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New oak barrel may have "over-oaked" my wine.....

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Dom Lausic

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Just bought a new 50L French oak barrel, and racked a red blend (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Zinfandel). The wine was sitting in an older oak barrel (100L), but I had to rack into a smaller vessel. Had the wine in the new barrel for about a week now, and it has already greatly affected the taste of the wine! Almost too much oak...…. I want to rack to glass carboys immediately for bulk again, so that it doesn't impart anymore oak to the wine. But what to do about the over-oaking?? Will the tannins fade off over time??? Was actually hoping to bottle over the next couple of weeks, but now not so sure...… Or do I now have wet oak in a bottle...….
 

salcoco

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the tannin should mellow over time. might be a few years.
 

Dom Lausic

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Yikes!! Guess i should take it out of the barrel as soon as possible?? Bulk age in carboys??
 

mainshipfred

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It's a little surprising to me that 1 week in a 50 liter would give off that much oak. Would the toast level make a difference? I have wine in a new 25 and 30 liter medium toast for a month now and it's just starting to get hints of oak.
 

Dom Lausic

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Me too..... Didn't think that one week would have made much of an impact. But I think you may have a point. It could have been that they were toasted quite a bit. I'm just trying to decided whether I tie up two 6 gal carboys for the next year or two. Or should I actually bottle? Maybe bottling will help the tannins settle faster?? Not sure......
 

Johnd

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If you over oaked it just a bit, don’t fear yet, oak will fade back a bit as the wine ages, either in carboy or bottles.
 

Dom Lausic

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The more I sample and taste, its starting to feel like I'm tasting the "toasting" as opposed to the oak, which makes sense as it is a brand new barrel. So you think its time to rack?? I'm waiting for my SO2 test kit to arrive so I can adjust sulfites accordingly. So i either wait a week until it arrives? Or rack to carboys and then bottle afterwards.... What do you think johnd??
 

Johnd

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The more I sample and taste, its starting to feel like I'm tasting the "toasting" as opposed to the oak, which makes sense as it is a brand new barrel. So you think its time to rack?? I'm waiting for my SO2 test kit to arrive so I can adjust sulfites accordingly. So i either wait a week until it arrives? Or rack to carboys and then bottle afterwards.... What do you think johnd??
Without a taste my friend, my opinion is meaningless. Try to find some wine drinkers whose palate you trust if you want more opinions, they may help confirm or deny your suspicions.
 

Dom Lausic

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LOL! So i see you're in South Louisiana? It'll take me 3 days of driving to get there, so that may not go over well with the wife! I think I'll put it in carboys, and let in sit. Then there is no pressure to have everything bottled! Just scored 120 bottles from a local restaurant in town, so my hands will be full removing labels and cleaning bottles!!!
 

Johnd

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LOL! So i see you're in South Louisiana? It'll take me 3 days of driving to get there, so that may not go over well with the wife! I think I'll put it in carboys, and let in sit. Then there is no pressure to have everything bottled! Just scored 120 bottles from a local restaurant in town, so my hands will be full removing labels and cleaning bottles!!!
Sounds like a solid plan.
 

Jbu50

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I think a professional would tell you to hold the course, it’s just a week, give it more time in the barrel. I read that John Hall (40 Creek) had a similar experience but he held the course and the initial oak essence matured and mellowed over time... I am experiencing something similar with a new barrel but I’m holding out to see what exactly happens. I can always cut it back later if necessary...
 

pgentile

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Just bought a new 50L French oak barrel, and racked a red blend (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Zinfandel). The wine was sitting in an older oak barrel (100L), but I had to rack into a smaller vessel. Had the wine in the new barrel for about a week now, and it has already greatly affected the taste of the wine! Almost too much oak...…. I want to rack to glass carboys immediately for bulk again, so that it doesn't impart anymore oak to the wine. But what to do about the over-oaking?? Will the tannins fade off over time??? Was actually hoping to bottle over the next couple of weeks, but now not so sure...… Or do I now have wet oak in a bottle...….
Going to taste my sauvignon blanc tomorrow that's in a new hungarian barrel for 14 days so far. I'm expecting it to be over oaked. But I wouldn't expect your blend to be.
 

pgentile

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Paul, have you pulled it from the barrel yet? Real curious about the oak.
Tasting will be approximately 5pm this evening. Few errands I have to run and then rack a few carboys in case the sauv blanc is ready to come out.
 

winemaker81

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I'd play cautious on over-oaking. I've had a few wines that none of us will live long enough for the tannins to reduce.

The ratio of barrel interior surface area to wine volume increases rapidly as the barrel get smaller. This means moving wine from one 100 liter barrel to two 50 liter barrels dramatically increases the oak contact. If the smaller barrel is new? The effect is even more significant.

If you think the oak is sufficient, move it to glass. You can always move it back into the barrel if it later seems too little ... but you're not taking the oak out of the wine if it's too much.
 

baron4406

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I really over-oaked my 2016 Mixed Black all grape. So I just let it age in the bottle for a year and the oak was gone, it was the wine i brought to our barrel meet up and they can confirm this. I always shoot for "over-oak" now anyways since I'm usually bottle aging for a year anyway
 

mainshipfred

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I really over-oaked my 2016 Mixed Black all grape. So I just let it age in the bottle for a year and the oak was gone, it was the wine i brought to our barrel meet up and they can confirm this. I always shoot for "over-oak" now anyways since I'm usually bottle aging for a year anyway
I don't remember the Mixed Black being over oaked.
 

Dom Lausic

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Well that's great news! I'm hoping that the flavours I'm tasting are from the barrel toasting, so I hope they settle. I'll likely rack to carboys for a while to let it sit before bottling. Hope it works!
 

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