Barrique: what it is and which is the impact of the barrique in the aging of wine

  • 07/07/2020

White, red, rose and sweet wine. There is another category amongst these: barrique wines​.

What does it mean “barrique wines" or “barrique"

The term come from from the French feminine noun barrique which indicates a barrel used for the maturation and aging of wine. Over time this word has become part of the wine vocabulary, giving rise to the expression "barrique wines": wines left to age slowly in oak barrels.

Use of the barrique: which is the impact in the aging of wine

The reactions that are unleashed in t​​he maturation process due to contact between the wood oak and wine affect different aspects of the wine itself. The aging in barrique in fact:

  • stabilizes the color of the wine
  • gives wine smoothness
  • improves win​​​e aging
  • gives better aromatic complexity​​

The main differences from barrique to other barrels are:  the material, the components that characterize it and its processing: techniques in continuous improvement thanks to the work carried out by generations of winemakers.

Barrique's charateristics

The oak wood is seasoned in the open air, exposed to the sun and rain, for a period that varies from two to four years: rains clean it from a series of bitter particles while the sun makes it less porous and waterproof also thanks to the so-called metal “hoops" that assemble the various staves, preserving the wine from oxygenations which could compromise its aromas and integrity.

Barrique's toasting

The decisive step is the "toasting" of the wood, it means the overheating of the internal part of the staves with flame. This process generates a series of complex chemical-physical transformations very important for the aromatic profiles which will then be transferred to the wine. The particular processing in fact gives notes of vanilla, coconut, ash and tobacco. Another basic detail is the “cocchiume": a hole closed with a cork, made on the barrique stave, used to fill and empty the barrique and to take samples of wine.

Barrique aged red and white wine: how to pair with food

The perfect pairing with barrique aged red wine are: meat, entrecôte cooked on the barbecue and in general smoked meats as the alcohol content and the woody notes of the barrique are well combined with the aromas of cooked meat grilled. Barrique aged white wine should instead be tasted with sapid foods.

Tenute del Cerro barrique's aging

During a stay in La Poderina, located in Montalcino, you will have the opportunity to book a tasting in the cellar and taste the wines aged in French oak barriques as well as in large barrels.



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