oak

Grain

SEGUIN MOREAU’s wood buyers look for the straightest oak trees possible, which provide straight wood grain with as few flaws as possible.

The use of French Haute Futaie, or superior growth, wood from 150- to 200-year-old forests ensures dense, tightly packed grain and fine tannins. The French government’s tight control over the forests—cutting down imperfect young trees, clearing undergrowth that competes for nutrients and ensuring trees are spaced properly—helps to contribute to slow growth of trees with regular and fine grain.

When one looks at a log, the size of the grain can be determined by the growth rings each year. The size in rings per inch will put the oak in categories of medium grain, semi-tight grain, tight grain, and very tight grain.

Tighter-grained oak will release its wood compounds and tannins more slowly than semi-tight grain and medium-grained oak. As the grain gets tighter, the rate of evaporation slows down, as does the exchange between the wine and the outside air.

SEGUIN MOREAU categorizes most of our barrels according to grain and its tightness. For American oak, we look for the tightest grain possible. The ICÔNE barrel, while customarily fine grain, is selected based on its chemical composition of wood soluble compounds.

Barrel

Type

Grain and Suitability

Premium – Extended Age Bordeaux Export (27 mm)
Bordeaux Château Ferré (21 mm)
Bordeaux Château Façon
Transport (21 mm)
Very fine grain—oak is aged for an extended period of 30-36 months prior to coopering, giving the finished wine an exclusive creaminess and rounded mouthfeel, as the sweet flavors linger longer.
Premium Bordeaux Export (27 mm)
Bordeaux Château Ferré (21 mm)
Bordeaux Château Façon
Transport (21 mm)
For aging 18 months or longer in barrel. Oak profile is extra fine grain, with very sweet characters and elegant, gentle tannins.
Classic Bordeaux Export (27 mm)
Bordeaux Château Ferré (21 mm)
Bordeaux Château Façon
Transport (21 mm)
Ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux varietal blends. Oak profile is fine grain, with rich, complex wood tannins that allow for expression of fruit over long periods of aging.
Selection Bordeaux Export (27 mm)
Bordeaux Château Ferré (21 mm)
Bordeaux Château Façon
Transport (21 mm)
Bordeaux barrel for all red wines aged 15-18 months in barrel. Oak profile is semi-fine grain, offering clove, spice, vanilla aromas, as well as added supportive structure.
Premium Burgundy Export Designed for ultra-premium white or red wines that may be aged up to 18 months in barrel. Oak profile is extra fine grain, for integration of oak over a longer period of time and complexity with layers of aroma and flavor.
Classic Burgundy Export Fine grain with sweet tannins and a slow release of oak, suitable for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay requiring aging.
Selection Burgundy Export Semi-fine grain that allows for faster oak expression and contributions to richness of taste and concentration without dominating on fruity expression.