Our classic American oak barrel comes from the tightest grain American white oak from forests in Midwest—from Missouri to Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Tennessee.
Aged for two years at our seasoning yard in Perryville, Missouri, the wood undergoes the same proactive maturation process as our French oak.
The rough staves are jointed at our stave mill and then brought to Napa for coopering.
American oak (Quercus Alba) has a methyl octlactone isomer contact 2.5 times higher than that of French oak, as well as low levels of ellagitannins. It provides a high level of aromatic complexity, which adds richness to the mid-palate of a wine and well-integrated toasty spice notes.
Because of its physical structure, the wood can be sawn rather than split. Its pores close up naturally and eliminate any risk of leakage through cut fibers. Sawing gives a yield of around 40%, instead of the 20% imposed by splitting.
During toasting, the degradation of the polyosides in the wood process greater quantities of furan deritivies and enoloic molecules, giving the more typical “roasted” aromas.
We also offer American oak aged for three years. The extra year of aging softens the aromas further, resulting in more subtle and finessed flavors.