A series of U-shaped channels 10 mm wide, 5 mm deep are grooved along the inside of American oak staves, resulting in an increase of surface area of 50%. This increase of surface area to volume ratio intensifies the phenomena of exchange between wine and wood in comparison to a regular barrel.
The unique U-STAVE™ process requires graduated toasting levels, which enhances aromatic expression while allowing for better structural integration. The vanilla/baking aromas that are characteristic of light toasting combine with the aromas of caramel and roasting that result from heavy toasting.
The combination of Bordeaux Chateau (21 mm) and Bordeaux Export (27 mm) stave thickness gives an additional surface area, which increases the oak extractive value of a 60-gallon barrel to that of a 78 gallon barrel. This quicker oak extraction lends more intensity and depth, as well as softer, more integrated American oak characters.
It allows the sweet fruit character to show in wine, with a subtle toasty quality. The mouthfeel is rich and round, with a broader palate but no harsh oak tannins.
Available on American oak: Bordeaux and Burgundy Export, 300L, Puncheons and 3-Year Aged Oak