Oak Products

The organoleptic benefits of adding oak alternatives to wine can vary based on the botanical source of the wood, fragment size, toasting intensity, and treatment received. Not all wines age in the same way when treated with oak fragments.

Natural fragments are characterized by their antioxidant properties and capacity to stabilize color in red and rosé wines. These characteristics result from their ellagitannin content. They also enhance the wine’s structure by increasing the mouthfeel volume sensation, adding sweetness (from the oak’s polysaccharides), and help preserve varietal characteristics by absorbing the volatile compounds in wine that produce undesirable aromas.

Toasting reduces the amount of some compounds, while producing others at the same time. The final content varies according to toasting temperature. The main aromas produced by medium toasting derive from eugenol (clove, pepper and cinnamon) and whisky-lactone cis- and trans-isomers (coconut and vanilla). In contrast, intense toasting predominantly produces compounds derived from cellulose and hemi-cellulose heat degradation, such as furanic aldehydes (caramel, smoke, toasted and butter aromas). Intense toasting also produces vanilla aromas (derived from vanillin) and a low-molecular-mass polyphenol, which is produced by lignin heat degradation.

The SPIRIT range of ageing alternatives is derived from multiple oak sources and is available in several formats and toasts designed to modulate and increase wine complexity.

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