The ICÔNE Concept

Beyond grain, beyond origin: selecting oak based on chemical analysis and œnological potential.

SEGUIN MOREAU’s ICÔNE concept, an exclusive oak selection process, is a method of chemical analysis of wood’s extractable substances to identify œnological potential. The end product is a barrel of the utmost consistency and quality—precisely targeted to particular types of barrel aging and achieving specific and reproducible elegant results.

Over the past decade, SEGUIN MOREAU has invested significant resources in scientific research and development to understand oak’s chemical composition and its impact on sensory components in finished wine.

Throughout history, cooperages have studied oak wood and its interaction with wine, then turning increased focus to wood’s grain composition. SEGUIN MOREAU’s Research and Development Manager Andrei Prida and his team have taken the study further, towards the molecular level of oak barrels and the chemical reactions that determine a wine’s aroma and flavor quality.

Barrel-aged wine is a complex mixture, and its olfactory perception is a result of interaction of the flavors. To determine the role of oak-derived flavor compounds, Prida studied the correlation between the flavor impact that chemical compounds such as tannins and phenolics impart and the actual flavor attributes winemakers seek for their wines. See “Impact of Oak-Derived Compounds on the Olfactory Perception of Barrel-Aged Wines,” in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 61:3:408-413 (2010).

This cutting-edge research has helped SEGUIN MOREAU identify which chemical compounds lead to certain aroma and flavor profiles. As a result, the cooperage now tests rough oak staves and segments those with specific makeup of the compounds that will benefit full-bodied red wines, lending finesse and predictability. The staves are re-tested throughout the aging cycle to ensure their exclusive suitability for the ICÔNE program.

For more information and news articles, please see ICONEbarrel.com.