What are the two main oenological differences between BarriQ & LBarriQ?Pierre-Benn de VilliersLBarriQ comes from exactly the same source of wood as BarriQ but it is cut thinner to provide faster extraction of oxygen and oak compounds in wine. For this reason, it offers faster extraction but at the cost of slightly less complexity and structure than BarriQ.
What does the term “nbe” mean and what does it mean that a wine had “100% nbe”?Pierre-Benn de VilliersNBE stands for New Barrel Equivalent. 100% nbe gives approximately the same amount of oak extract as a 1st fill barrel.
BarriQ oak is convection toasted, so how can BarriQ replicate the complexity of a fire toasted oak barrel?Pierre-Benn de VilliersBy combining different toasts, in different proportions. That is how we created BarriQ barrel profiles. Each barrel profile offers a unique combination of oak and toast levels formulated to match the oenological properties and complexity of the best oak barrels. BarriQ is available in seven exclusive barrel profiles. Find out more about each barrel profile here.
What is the difference between fire toasting & convection toasting?Pierre-Benn de VilliersFire toasting is inherently inconsistent as it varies within and along the same piece of oak depending on surface impact of the heat (toasting is the outcome of time and temperature, vary these elements and the resulting toast varies as well). This creates aromatic and flavour complexity however, at the cost of consistency. Convection toasting is controlled and measured and produces a uniformity of toast throughout the same piece of oak. The same level of toasting can be replicated infinite times, ensuring consistency from batch to batch. The cost of this consistency, however, is aromatic and flavour profile simplicity.
What are the key differences between BarriQ “barrel oak” and oak “alternates”?Pierre-Benn de VilliersBarriQ barrel oak is not an "alternate". 1- Quality of wood: BarriQ barrel oak is exclusively sourced from slow growth Haute Futaie state forests in France, harvested at 100-200 years old; the finest medium elevation forests in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia; and the most prized Appalachian and Midwestern white oak forests in North America. BarriQ oak comes from exactly the same trees, and exactly the same part of those trees, that are used to make our traditional barrels. 2 - Hand split, not sawn: BarriQ is 100% hand split. This is important to preserve the full length of the 'tubes' within the piece of wood, allowing the retention and slow release of oxygen. Slow-release slows the reaction kinetics, creating a higher quality result. 3 -Thickness of stave: BarriQ is 23mm thick, compared to 7mm of typical alternates. Greater thickness is important to slow release and integration of oak tannin/flavours and to provide greater toasting complexity. 4- Seasoning: Oak alternatives are generally not air seasoned fully or long enough, thus they retain hard, green tannins. This is the reason winemakers generally have to take alternates out of the wine after they have been in wine contact for 6-8 months, otherwise these tannins start to be extracted. BarriQ barrel oak, on the other hand, is naturally season for 24 months. This is to allow three main oenological processes to take place: phenolic extraction/leaching (reduce tannin), oxidation of ellagic tannins (reduce and transform tannin) and encourage growth of micro-flora (increase of aromatic and flavour complexity). 5 - Complexity from blend of toast levels: BarriQ is available in seven exclusive barrel profiles. Each barrel profile offers a unique combination of different toast levels formulated to match the oenological properties and complexity of the best fire toasted traditional barrels.