The different aging methods
There are several methods of aging wine, each of which produces its own distinct flavors and aromas. The most common is aging in stainless steel vats, which allows wine to age without modifying its structure or its aromas. When wine is more tannic, the preferred method is to age it in oak barrels. It is this method that is traditionally associated with producing superior wines in the same way that a manual harvest usually signifies a better quality product. Aging in an amphora, or a ceramic container, is rarer, and brings clay aromas to the wine. Wine connoisseurs know that aging serves an essential purpose: it maximizes the potential of the grape fruit. Thanks to the alchemy that takes place between wine and wood, aging often brings woody, vanilla flavors to wine. English speakers call this aroma “matured oak.” Of course, the particular scent depends on several factors such as the length of aging, the origin of the wood, and the work of the cooper. It will also be more marked if the wine ages in a new barrel or in a barrel containing a lower volume of wine. Barrel aging is a complex operation. We are proud to master this ancestral art to offer you high quality wines.
Both red and white wines can be aged in barrels
The process of aging wines in oak barrels is very common in large estates like those found in Burgundy or Bordeaux. Depending on the size and age of the barrel, radically different aromas are transmitted to the wine. A new cask will produce woody notes and textures while an older cask will give more roundness and finesse to the tannins. Aging in barrels is a long process which requires work at each stage in order to control the oxygenation of the product. Each grape variety in the estate requires special attention. We apply the same rigor in the cellar as in the vineyards. Our white and red wines that are aged in barrels produce a singular taste. In fact, many of the greatest houses of champagne and high-end spirits age their products in oak barrels as well in order to achieve these unique flavors. Many whiskeys, for example, also contain aromas of vanilla thanks to their barrel-aging process. We are proud of our wines from the Château Virant estate, several of which are aged in oak barrels. We take pleasure in using traditional methods to create wines with a complex aromatic palettes and distinctive taste qualities.
The oak barrel: a traditional guarantee of quality
Aging in oak barrels is a popular method used by all of the great wine estates in France and around the world. This process produces wines with subtle aromas of wood or vanilla. In addition, this method has the effect of refining the tannins, thus making the wines more elegant and complex. Wines aged in our Château Virant oak barrels are frequently praised for their aromas and taste qualities by the greatest oenophiles and professionals in the industry.