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We received our order of six more barrels to add another level of barrels to the Barrel Room for a total of 26 barrels! Three of our new barrels have a "heavy toast" and three have a "medium toast", which will impart different flavors and aromas on the wine during aging.
" The porous nature of an oak barrel allows some levels of evaporation and oxygenation to occur in wine but typically not at levels that would cause oxidation or spoilage of the wine. In a year, the typical 59-gallon (223-liter) barrel can lose anywhere from 5½ to 6½ gallons (20.8 to 24.6 liters) of wine through the course of evaporation. This evaporation (of mostly alcohol and water) allows the wine to concentrate its flavor and aroma compounds. Small amounts of oxygen are allowed to pass through the barrel and act as a softening agent upon the tannins of the wine. The chemical properties of oak itself can have a profound effect on the wine. Phenols within the wood interact with the wine to produce vanilla type flavors and can give the impression of tea notes or sweetness. The degree of "toast" on the barrel can also impart different properties affecting the tannin levels of the wine as well as the aggressive wood flavors. "
We will be "barreling down" (pumping the wine from tanks into the barrels), our 2012 Frontenac, Marquette, and Chambourcin within the next week where they will age 6-8 months before they are bottled. Our barrels were coopered at the A&K Cooperage in Missouri. The whole coopering process is pretty amazing! Check out a few videos of the process...
Labeling the remaining 2011 Frontenac today! Aged in American oak for 8 months, our Frontenac has a bright acidity on the palate and embodies pepper and oak aromas with a lingering, delicous berry finish... It is a dry red in that it does not have any remaining sugar, to it but doesn't have too much of a "dry mouth-feel" to it because tannin levels are very low. When we released the 2011 vintage we started with 180 cases. The grapes grown for this yummy dry red were harvested from Beyer's Vineyards in Mitchell, IA- Zaniela's outside of Matlock, IA- and Sticks 'n Stones Vineyards in Milford, IA.