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May 2006
Can Varietal-Specific Barrels Make a Difference?
Today's coopers have embraced new technologies to produce the most specialized and refined barrels the wine industry has ever seen.
by Lance Cutler
Aside from grapes themselves, nothing influences the aroma and flavor of wine as much as oak barrels. The toasty aromas of Chardonnay, much of the spice found in Zinfandel, and clearly the cedar and tobacco notes in a fine Cabernet Sauvignon derive from oak wine barrels. Fine wine and oak barrels have historically been perfect marriage partners for centuries-barrels define tradition. In fact no other symbol so succinctly represents the mystery and quality of fine wine as the oak barrel. Modern-...
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