Oak Toast for Cabernet Sauvignon

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by NDengineer, Apr 25, 2018.

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  1. NDengineer

    NDengineer Junior

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    I'm making my first Cab using the Master Vintner Cab kit, and would like some suggestions on what level of toast to use for oak cubes.

    A 50/50 combination of american and french oak seems like it should balance out the wine. I'm leaning towards medium-plus toast, but have medium, medium plus, and heavy available. Maybe a medium american and a medium plus French? Heavy toast seems like too much toast.

    What oak do you use on your Cab?
     
  2. Johnd

    Johnd Middle Aged Member Supporting Member

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    I’m pretty much a M+ oak user, have used M on a few lighter wines. For a Cab, wouldn’t hesitate, M+ it would be. FWIW, in the winery caves that we’ve visited, the vast majority of the barrels are M+ toast.
    As for the mix, French and American are both nice, my wines frequently get a mixture when adding staves to a neutral barrel.
     
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  3. JohnT

    JohnT Moderator Super Moderator

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    It really does depend on what you want.

    For a toast, a light toast will impart flavors that resemble wood (like sniffing a board).
    A medium toast will give some wood characteristics, while also impart vanillas.
    A dark toast will impart vanillas as well as chocolate/smokey flavors.

    I would go with a medium toast European (or Hungarian) oak CUBES or BEANS (even better).
    Makes out really well with a cab (IMHO)

    Also, IMHO, the bigger piece of oak, the better. Forget using chips.
     
  4. Kraffty

    Kraffty Member

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    and this probably doesn't need to be said but it's possible to over oak depending on what you're using. You can always add more but can't really take it back out.
    Mike
     
  5. NDengineer

    NDengineer Junior

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to use oak cubes, and try the medium plus toast. Maybe I'll throw in some medium cubes too, since I have some left. I'm not interested in those light toast flavors.
     
  6. NorCal

    NorCal Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I have become a big fan of the oak spirals.
     
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  7. baron4406

    baron4406 Member

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    I tried the StaVin Med + oak and the wine ended up tasting like a campfire-not a fan of the smokiness. I prefer med for the vanilla
     
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