Life span and renovation
Our barrels are designed as high-quality aids to maturing and offer their full potential during their first two years of use. Their aromatic qualities and oxygenation capacity are gradually reduced over the following years.
Our barrels have a five-year life span. For two years they offer an undeniable contribution of aroma compounds. This can be seen in the spice and vanilla nuances produced by the vanillin, eugenol and methyloctalactones that they release. Their aroma compounds fade over the next three years, but this doesn’t prevent them from offering good oxygenation capacity. Beyond five years, the wine continues to benefit from maturing in a small container, but the oxygenation process in the barrels is considerably reduced by significant clogging.
None of the studies or tests carried out by our Research Centre on the question of regeneration has produced any significant results. There is therefore no technique for giving new life to a barrel.
However, there are certain washing methods, such as barrel scraping or sand-blasting, that remove the layer of wood stained by the wine. Strictly speaking, they are more of an in-depth wash than a regeneration. These operations are always followed by a “reburn” that impregnates the renovated barrel with bituminous, rubbery notes that are grouped together under the generic term “charred”. Finally, chemical conditioning can always be used to clean barrels thoroughly.