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Rarely does a perfect harvest come along and 2022 is no exception. Drought, frost, extended heat spells can stress vineyards and challenge even the most skilled Winemaking team.
Winemakers that were forced to pick early or during the heat spell around Labor Day may be challenged with pyrazines and a lack of color, structure, and weight. Oak can help to mitigate these challenges by decreasing and masking pyrazines, improving the structure and helping to stabilize the color in your wines.
Incorporating oak in the fermenter is key to building the structure of your wine but just as important is adding oak post-primary. Light toast and Untoasted French Oak in particular can be used during ML or post primary for any wine to enhance the structure, texture, volume and sweetness. We recommend a standard addition rate of 1-1.5g/L Untoasted French Oak and 1-1.5g/L Light Toast French Oak for most wines. Higher rates can be added to fuller-bodied Reds.
Wines benefit greatly from the copigmentation of Anthocyanins with elagitannins in Oak. Adding oak early in the process with help stabilize and protect what color you have in wines even in poor color years or with challenged fruit. Oak chips in the fermenter does a fantastic job helping to stabilize color as does oak during ML, especially when Micro Ox is used. We recommend 2-4lbs per ton of a mix of Toasted and Untoasted Oak in the fermenter and 2-3g/L of Untoasted and Light Toast French during ML for most wines.
Oak is your friend when going toe-to-toe with Pyrazines. Untoasted Oak reduces the amount of volatile organosulfur compounds which can contribute to vegetal aromas in wine and Toasted Oak does a wonderful job masking those aromas. Using the two together is the most powerful tool when dealing with pyrazines. 2-4 lbs per ton of Untoasted and Toasted Oak in the fermenter lays the groundwork. Followed by 2-3g/L of a mix of Untoasted and Toasted Oak during ML and eventually 1-6g/L of a blend of toasts from light, medium to dark (depending on wine style) for aging will help tame even the wildest of pyrazines.
Get in touch with our Oak Specialists today!