We use the oakwooden winebarrels for a large part of our red wines. The contact between the wine and the wood of the barrels intensifies the aroma of the wine, it adds complexity and various flavors to the wine and the wood itself brings out a woody, spicy aroma with obvious notes of vanilla. This in combination with the fruit in the juice of the ripe grapes, makes a beautiful red wine.
The structure of the wood influences the lenght of time the wines stay in the barrels. The wood structure determines the amount of oxygen that gets to the wine, which determines how long it takes for the wine to have developed sufficiently. The choice of the right type of wood and the right type of barrel is crucial for good winemaking.
At the beginning of May 2008 the new barrels we purchased have arrived, and we’ve filled them partly with the 2007 wines. These barrels are manufactured at companies like Tonnellerie Dargaud & Jaegle from the Bourgogne. To produce the style of wine we make, we need various types of barrels, of different sizes and different kinds of French oak wood. Jean-Pierre knows how to pick these barrels by his many years of experience.
Le fût Marcel Cadet
These barrels hold 228 litres, and are made of a mixture of oak woods from 5 of the best forests of France. Some of these barrels have been burnt by a mid-flame, this is also called ”Moyenne Temperature”, and some are burnt by a high-flame, also called “Moyenne Haute Temperature”. The burning process is used to give the wood extra aroma. The “Moyenne Haute Temperature” gives the wine some notes of roasted toast, coffee and cocoa. The wood has been dried for as long as 18 months before it was further used to manufacture the barrels.
Chêne Futaine de Prestige
These barrels hold 400 litres and give more space to the wine, which influences the intensity of the flavoring of the wood on a much dosed manner. The fruit is stronger than the wood in these barrels. These barrels are quite expensive, but necessary in order to create wines in the way that we do at Château de l’Horte. The barrels are made from the limited types Troncais from the Allier area and the Jupilles from the Sarthe area in the Loire. The barrels are both burnt in the Moyenne Temperature and part of it in the Moyenne Hate Temperature way. In the following video you can see the process of winebarrel manufacturing: