Brolio Highlights03 June, 2022
Wine is a living matter that slowly evolves over time through the development of its organoleptic properties. Aging in wood is an important process, especially for red wine, because it allows the tannins to become fuller and richer through the principle of osmosis, thereby giving the wine an interesting taste profile.
Choosing the size and type of wooden barrel most suitable for aging a wine is therefore a fundamental step. At Brolio, we use oak barrels with an approximate 500-liter capacity for our best wines, such as the Castello di Brolio and the Cru ones. Although still not ideal in terms of size, these barrels are more than double the size of a “barrique,” which can “only” contain 250 liters. Our strategy privileges “second passage” barrels, which have been previously used, over new “first passage” barrels.
A new first passage barrel has the ability to infuse the wine with more intense aromas, highlighting tertiary scents – for example, highlighting spicy or toasted aromas over floral or fruity ones – whereas a second passage barrel transfers softer and less perceptible scents. In the case of the latter, tertiaries scents discreetly merge with primary aromas – that is, those of the grapes used to make the wine. Through this strategy, we try to be respectful of the grapes and the wine and maximize their natural evolution without overriding the natural features of the production land.