In the Emeritus cellar, David and Keith have just concluded the new barrel comparison tastings from the 2021 vintage! The goal of this process is to drill down on desirable interactions between oak barrels and wines in order to find the best possible wine/barrel combinations. With 14 clones and upwards of 150 barrels to work with, there’s a lot to pay attention to in these tastings. Some of the comparisons that our winemakers had to keep in mind include:
- The three different coopers that we source our barrels from.
- Toasting levels from each forest.
- The different forests from each cooper.
- The same forest across coopers.
- A new barrel compared to a used barrel from the same cooper and forest.
You can see why this sampling took over 7 days!
In the end, our preferences shifted slightly more to the lighter of toasting from one cooper and found the perfect toast for a new forest that we started working with last year. David and Keith also confirmed some thoughts about a certain forest being more appropriate for the heavier structured wines, as well as a cooper selection that is nearly the perfect match in each of our most rare wines. The best solution, however, remains a combination of new and used oak. We’ve fount that the new oak component is most complete when a combination of coopers, forests, and toast levels is employed.