EXPERTISE AND INNOVATION
For the past thirteen years, we have been working on controlling the chemical variability of oak via a specific research program called ICÔNE.
We are attempting to study the key to ageing in wooden barrels: the correlation between the chemical composition of oak and its organoleptic impact on the wine it ages.
This is how the concept of wood's 'Enological Potential' and the ICÔNE selection process came into being.
For further information: www.seguin-moreau-icone.com
This process was developed with the University Institute of Vine and Wine (Dijon). It involves saturating oak wood in water to reduce the amount of soluble tannins present and limit their impact. The partially constructed barrels are completely immersed by coopers at high temperature for a precise time period. The coopers then quickly bend them by firing, which is followed by toasting. Since toasting evaporates excess water in the oak, it takes longer, is gentler and penetrates the wood more deeply than traditional firing.
This process reduces tannin content and excessively smoky or roasted aromas in the wood. It is suitable for winemakers looking for delicate hints of vanilla and sweet spices, a moderate tannin content and respect for the original fruity flavor of their wine.
This process consists of creating a network of U-shaped ridges on the inside surface of oak barrels. Grooves 10 mm wide and 5 mm deep are hollowed out on the inside surface of the staves: this increases the contact surface area by 75%, thus enabling more intense interaction processes. This process also creates a firing gradient that increases aromatic complexity.
Vanilla and baking aromas, which are characteristic of gentle heat, combine with the caramel and roasted aromas resulting from more intense firing.