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Seguin Moreau Introduces Icône - The First Wine Barrel To Increase The Consistency Of Specific Aroma And Flavor Profiles

Posted on January 25, 2011

NAPA, CA (January 24, 2011) – SEGUIN MOREAU, the world's leading supplier of French oak wine barrels, today introduces ICÔNE, a revolutionary new scientific approach to barrel selection designed to ensure aroma and flavor consistency among some of the world’s top wines. 

The ICÔNE concept, an exclusive oak selection process, is a method of chemical analysis of wood’s extractable substances to identify enological potential. The end product is a barrel of the utmost consistency and quality—precisely targeted to particular types of barrel aging and achieving specific and reproducible elegant results.

“Throughout history, cooperages have studied oak wood and its interaction with wine. What started with increased focus on forest selection quickly turned towards wood’s grain composition,” says Andrei Prida, Research and Development Manager, SEGUIN MOREAU. “Now we have turned our attention towards the molecular level of oak barrels and the chemical reactions that determine a wine’s aroma and flavor quality.”

Over the past decade, SEGUIN MOREAU has invested significant resources in scientific research and development to understand oak’s chemical composition and its impact on sensory components in finished wine.

Barrel-aged wine is a complex mixture, and its olfactory perception is a result of interaction of the flavors. To determine the role of oak-derived flavor compounds, Prida studied the correlation between the flavor impact that chemical compounds such as tannins and phenolics impart and the actual flavor attributes winemakers seek for their wines. See “Impact of Oak-Derived Compounds on the Olfactory Perception of Barrel-Aged Wines,” in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 61:3:408-413 (2010).

This cutting-edge research has helped SEGUIN MOREAU identify which chemical compounds lead to certain aroma and flavor profiles. As a result, the cooperage now tests rough oak staves and segments those with specific makeup of the compounds that will benefit full-bodied red wines, lending finesse and predictability. The staves are re-tested throughout the aging cycle to ensure their exclusive suitability for the ICÔNE program.

“The new ICÔNE concept is a game-changer for winemaking,” says Francois Peltereau-Villeneuve, President and CEO of SEGUIN MOREAU Napa Cooperage. “We have been working alongside top winemakers over the last five years to test our ICÔNE barrels with impressive results of consistency and quality in the bottle.”

Visit to read Prida’s research paper on the concept or to learn more about the barrel.

SEGUIN MOREAU has been the world’s leading cooperage and supplier of French oak wine barrels for more than a century. In 1994, the company established the SEGUIN MOREAU Napa Cooperage to support United States wineries and bring cooperage operations closer to local winemakers. Classically trained in France and Scotland, the production team of coopers manufactures barrels ranging from 225L Bordeaux and Burgundy Export to exotic 500L barrels. French, American, Eastern European and Russian wood aged in SEGUIN MOREAU seasoning yards in Merpins, France and Perryville, Missouri is toasted to each winery’s specification before coopering.


Media Contact: Sean Carroll, Benson Marketing Group, 707-254-1167,

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