19.11.2018

Joy came from France: François Frères oak barrels

It's usually like we're at Sonberk, who sends out packages that bring a lot of happiness. They are in bottles and liquid. But now we have a couple of deliveries to us. Large and wooden. We got 11 barred oak barrels from François Frères, the famous French cooperage, which are used to produce wine with a Burgundy character.

Wine is a bit of alchemy. In order to succeed, you have to put together a lot of small pieces in one big puzzle at the right time and with the right amount. A part of Sonberks wines are resting in François Frères's barrels. There are only a few wineries in the Czech Republic (rather in Moravia), and it is no coincidence that they are the ones we are facing this year in the competition with the title “Winery of the Year”.

Our winemaker, Olda Drápal, chose this brand in 2005 and has not been allowed to do so since then. Why? "Because I like the taste of the wine the best," laughed at the first question, but then he explains it. "As a basis, we have these barrels for years, and every year we try some other ones for comparison. François Frères is still the best performer. Among other things, because their barrels are really high-quality,"says Olda.

The production of barrels that hold 225 liters of wine lasts for the first time. For the most common ones, their wood matures for 12 to 24 months. For the “Exclusif” ones wood dries for 36 months and "Rare" barrels for 48 months. "The producer lets the wood stand outside, let it rain and the sun shines, so the hardest tannins are leached out, and the wood matures properly," Olda says. In addition to wood and its maturity, the character of the resulting wine also makes the burning, which is provided with the interior of the barrel. It's like him with a steak. The master can order what degree of toastiness he wants. So believe the Sonberks barrels are burnt to the medium. We use them for two years, because then the firing has no strength. In addition, in order for wine to be labeled barrique can use a maximum of three times. "It is also true that white wine is being purchased with barrels of lesser density in wood and red with a higher density of rings in wood," adds Olda.

The maturing in the oak barrique barrel does not concern every Sonberk wine. Chardonnay is used in cuvée with Pinot Gris, Sémillon / Sauvignon and mainly our Merlot, the only Sonberk red wine. Yes, the one that won its category at the award-winning Oenoforum 2018 Wine Conference. That barrels have arrived right now is no coincidence. Merlot will be poured into them in the year 2018 from the recently harvested grapes. And yes, it also means that we’ll start selling the vintage 2016 really soon.

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