Notes from LA (longish and boring)

You also need to consider the exchange of oxygen in old barrels vs. concrete. You will get a very different wine. Very little oak character remains after one use. I have no issue with oak and Syrah, more often, it is oak with Grenache, as a little bit goes a long way.

To take a step back, Raveneau both uses some new oak and makes wine in a style that imparts oak features intentionally. There are Chablis producers that don’t use any oak at all (Louis Michel), as a contrast. Raveneau even experimented with 100% new oak for a cuvee years ago. So while the potential neutrality of oak is an interesting discussion, it is somewhat moot as to Raveneau specifically.

The oak discussion is interesting on its own!

Yes. I suspect this is at least part of what Charvin was addressing in his comment.

I can’t abide much if any oak in Syrah or Grenache. I was never a big fan of Guigal La Las, for example, despite your generosity in pouring them countless times. Even the '83 La Mouline and La Landone at the French Laundry at the end of that insane/excessive weekend didn’t excite me nearly as much as it did you and Eric. I auctioned all of my SQN last year for the same reason. Good to see you, if only online.

Apologies for the thread drift.

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Used/Old barrels doesn’t have flavor imprint of the wood, rather benefits from the oxidative effect?

New barrels, well I find that they leave imprint from the examples you mentioned. In the lesser levels (without vanilla, chocolate and what have you) I personally feel a textural layer that stands out. Not sure how I would describe it but something like a slight sharpness/thorny texture of the tannins.
I am sure many aspects of the winemaking as well as variety influencing how much it’s noticed, but at least for those wines I have noticed it on, this hasn’t balanced out after 10 years.

This is very far from my experience in talking to winemakers and tasting wines.

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Yeah, me too. I often pick up oak in 2nd and 3rd use barrels, especially high toast or American oak.


They don’t use high toast American oak barrels in France.

Did I need to make the “OR” more obvious? :rofl:

Also “especially”!

this applies to several areas in life.