Wine Maturation Vessels
Innovation in wine maturation.
The Flexcube barrel is designed to produce exactly the same wine quality as the most iconic traditional barrels with the consistency of Next Generation Barrels. To achieve this precision of wine quality, we blend the latest innovation in winemaking with our know-how and separate the elements of oxygen and oak to increase control and consistency.
Permeable polymer Flexcubes provide the oxygen element necessary in the maturation of wine through constant and linear passive oxygenation. The high quality of our barrel oak, BarriQ provides the flavours, tannins, aromas and integration of top-end barrels.
At Flexcube, we know oxygen can be both beneficial and detrimental to our wine. The right amount of oxygen and your wine will showcase its beauty perfectly. Too much or too little and we all know what happens.
Did you know the little-known fact that the Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) of traditional barrels can vary by up to 3 times (30mg/L/year) from barrel to barrel? This is a major cause of the variations we see when selecting traditional barrel. Traditional barrels are highly variable in the amount of oxygen they supply. Every winemaker has learned to deal with this random variation, all the while believing nothing could be done about it. Well, at Flexcube, we know it doesn’t have to be like that!
Dr Ignacio Nevares and Assoc. Prof. María del Alamo-Sanza, at the University of Valladolid in Spain, have recently confirmed that a new traditional barrel oxygen release is 11-12 mg/L/year. Quite different from the conventional wisdom of 20-30 mg/L/year, right?
Ignacio and Maria also work very closely with Flexcube’s engineers. As a result, we have designed our Flexcube shell to provide precisely 9.1mg/L/year. Coupled perfectly with the 2.2 mg/L/year that BarriQ Barrel Oak releases, this precisely matches the traditional barrel. And more than just the same, the oxygen permeability of Flexcube is precisely engineered and does not change from year to year. More accurate, more consistent.
While BarriQ barrel oak is exclusively sourced from the same state forests, the same trees, is hand split and seasoned in the exact same way as the oak used to make our traditional barrels, BarriQ barrel oak is convection toasted rather than fire toasted.
By nature, fire toasting is inconsistent as it varies within and along the same piece of oak depending on the surface impact of the heat (toasting is the outcome of time and temperature, vary these elements and the resulting toast varies as well).
Variability and inconsistency, of course, results in complexity, a valuable attribute – but it is hard to replicate barrel to barrel.
Convection toasting, on the other hand, 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.
Uniformity doesn’t give complexity. However, with our expertise, we combine blends of different toasts in different proportions to produce that sought after complexity but controlled and 100% replicable.
1,000 litres/10 hl/265 gal
Flexcube – in grey or natural (white, semi-transparent) colour and in low, medium and high permeability.
2,000 litres/20 hl/530 gal
Flexcube – only in natural (white, semi-transparent) colour,
and in low and medium permeability.
6 mg/L/yr – better suited for white wines and those varieties with low tannic- and phenolic content.
9 mg/L/yr – the most versatile option, works very well with most Cabernets, Shiraz and Merlot.
12 mg/L/yr- ideal for varieties with high tannic and phenolic content.