American Oak is sourced from American oak forests. The wood for the barrels that we select to mature our wine is air-seasoned for between 2 to 3 years primarily in America, however, we do have some Australian air-seasoned oak in our barrel selection.
The characteristics of American Oak are:
- Vanilla, to varying degrees, depending on the toast level of the barrel
- Cedar and sweet spices
- Caramel, to varying degrees, depending on the toast level of the barrel
- Coconut, depending on the quality of the oak
American Oak has a tannin structure that focuses the fruit towards the front and middle palate. This is called a short palate. In new oak the palate is lifted, crisp and fresh. In old oak (oak that has been used several times) the palate becomes porty, broad and heavy.
American Oak is very suited to sweet, fruit driven Shiraz styles.
French Oak is sourced from French oak forests. The wood for the barrels that we select to mature our wine is air-seasoned in France for between 2 to 3 years. The barrels are then made in France and shipped to Australia.
The characteristics of French Oak are very forest dependent and include the following typical traits:
- Cedar and pencil shavings
- Soft savoury spice
- Caramel and vanilla, to varying degrees, depending on the toast level of the barrel
- Astringency, depending on the quality and source of the oak
French Oak has a tannin structure that elongates and broadens the palate. Generally, French Oak produces a longer, finer and tighter palate and is more complex and structured than American Oak. This is called a long palate. How the tannins work with the wine is very barrel dependent. In new oak the palate is lifted, crisp and fresh. In seasoned oak the palate becomes savoury, dusty, coarse and drying.
French Oak is very suited to savoury spice and tannin driven Shiraz fruit.
Print off a PDF here.