Extended barrel age VS early bottling

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Travis @llen
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Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#1 Post by Travis @llen » March 5th, 2020, 5:47 pm

I'm starting to track down some wines for a comparative tasting of extended barrel aged wines VS shorter time in barrel. Let me know if you know of any producers who do this and what you think of the differences. Thanks!
The ones I know of are SQN regular vs EBA, Epoch Tempranillo vs reserve Tempranillo, Saxum did a 32 and 44 JBV in addition to the regular '06, Booker seems to do a lot of their wines with different barrel aging programs. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#2 Post by larry schaffer » March 5th, 2020, 6:04 pm

I'm currently doing this with one of my Grenaches but my standard procedure is to age wines for about 3 years in older Oak. Let me know if you need any more information on any of these.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#3 Post by Matt A u s t i n » March 5th, 2020, 6:07 pm

In 2006 Alesia (Rhys) did two versions of their Fairview Ranch Syrah, one with extended barrel aging. I’ve got both and would happy to pop them if you are out my way again sometime.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#4 Post by Travis @llen » March 5th, 2020, 7:17 pm

Matt A u s t i n wrote:
March 5th, 2020, 6:07 pm
In 2006 Alesia (Rhys) did two versions of their Fairview Ranch Syrah, one with extended barrel aging. I’ve got both and would happy to pop them if you are out my way again sometime.
Awesome! Or we can plan this when you are in Seattle and try them with the others.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#5 Post by Travis @llen » March 5th, 2020, 7:27 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
March 5th, 2020, 6:04 pm
I'm currently doing this with one of my Grenaches but my standard procedure is to age wines for about 3 years in older Oak. Let me know if you need any more information on any of these.
Are doing a longer than 3 yrs, or an early release?

I’ve been thinking about my visit to gonon for the past 12 months. They have one set of neutral barrels, so they put everything in tank before the next harvest. The wines are so complex and delicious. I just want to evaluate the pros/cons to more time in barrel. I’d love to include the tercero Grenache barrel age differences if possible. I’ll email you. Cheers!
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#6 Post by William Kelley » March 5th, 2020, 8:24 pm

There are plenty of comparisons to be made, but very few instances where barrel maturation (and let's say "maturation" rather than "aging", as a better translation of "élevage") is the only modified variable.

You could compare e.g.

Niellon (bottled just before the next harvest) with Coche-Dury (bottled after two winters in barrel)
Leroy (reds generally bottled quite early, often before the next harvest) and Mugnier (bottled July two years after the harvest)
Henri Bonneau Célestins (five or so years in barrel) vs something like Janasse
Dunn Howell Mountain (two years in barrel) vs Schrader

You could also compare old, pre-1961 Bordeaux, with modern Bordeaux. In the 1920s, élevage for first growths was more like four years, so it has at least halved by today.

And so on and so forth. But obviously some raw materials are more suited to longer élevage than others.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#7 Post by William Kelley » March 5th, 2020, 8:25 pm

Travis @llen wrote:
March 5th, 2020, 7:27 pm
I’ve been thinking about my visit to gonon for the past 12 months. They have one set of neutral barrels, so they put everything in tank before the next harvest. The wines are so complex and delicious. I just want to evaluate the pros/cons to more time in barrel. I’d love to include the tercero Grenache barrel age differences if possible. I’ll email you. Cheers!
Except for the Vieilles Vignes!
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#8 Post by Travis @llen » March 5th, 2020, 8:53 pm

[/quote]

Except for the Vieilles Vignes!
[/quote]

Hi William, the VV is quite special (I tried once from barrel and once from bottle) but also different and old Trollat vines from St Jean de muzols. I’m actually interested in examples of the same wine (Or at least as similar as possible) from the same vintage. Maybe I should check out some Rioja producers riserva vs gran riserva from the same vintage as well.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#9 Post by William Kelley » March 5th, 2020, 9:04 pm

Travis @llen wrote:
March 5th, 2020, 8:53 pm
Except for the Vieilles Vignes!
[/quote]

Hi William, the VV is quite special (I tried once from barrel and once from bottle) but also different and old Trollat vines from St Jean de muzols. I’m actually interested in examples of the same wine (Or at least as similar as possible) from the same vintage. Maybe I should check out some Rioja producers riserva vs gran riserva from the same vintage as well.
[/quote]

I think you'll struggle to find this, as producers will select only the barrels most suitable for longer aging for such treatment. That was really the point I was making.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#10 Post by GregT » March 6th, 2020, 12:21 am

Travis - not sure why you'd try CA Tempranillo as I haven't had any great versions yet but there are a lot of various aging regimes done in Spain. That's actually the point of the crianza, reserva, gran reserva designations. And there are many bodegas that don't follow all of the requirements. Muga for example, does the Torre Muga for 18 months in oak and the Seleccion Especial for 26 months. I have a friend who kept a barrel of wine for us for double the regular aging time.

What you need to look at is the "barrel". You have at least the size, the age, and the origin of the containers to deal with. If you're talking about a new barrique from Alliers with minimal toast, that's going to be a very different result from a five year old barrel from somewhere in Missouri or a two year old barrel from Tokaj. Or a large ancient cask. LdH has some of those and they replace staves as needed.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#11 Post by Karl K » March 6th, 2020, 3:49 am

You may not find an instance where the two bottlings started out as the same juice but there is Muscadet sur lie bottles young and Muscadet left to mature longer.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#12 Post by Paul Fountain » March 6th, 2020, 5:12 am

See if you can find a Vintage Port and A Colheita from the same producer and year. Not super common but they do exist.

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#13 Post by markjchambers » March 6th, 2020, 5:20 am

Travis @llen wrote:
March 5th, 2020, 5:47 pm
I'm starting to track down some wines for a comparative tasting of extended barrel aged wines VS shorter time in barrel. Let me know if you know of any producers who do this and what you think of the differences. Thanks!
The ones I know of are SQN regular vs EBA, Epoch Tempranillo vs reserve Tempranillo, Saxum did a 32 and 44 JBV in addition to the regular '06, Booker seems to do a lot of their wines with different barrel aging programs. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
In the same vein, Alban Reva is EBA. Patrina is the "regular" wine. Not single vineyard, but similar profile. It is always well-reviewed and is half the price of Reva.

I have not done a direct comparison, mostly because I drink the regular wines earlier and the EBAs a lot later. I've always assumed the EBAs need more time.

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#14 Post by Richard Albert » March 6th, 2020, 6:30 am

Caymus Special prior to 1984 saw 48 months in Limousin barrels. The time in barrel started decreasing with the 1985 vintage while the production numbers went from a few hundred cases initially to 1000 cs in 1984 and then up and up from there.
You could compare vintages of Special Selections, or vs. the Napa bottling in the same vintage. I am not sure of the Napa's elevage, but you could ask for tech sheets. There is no common baseline wine for an apple to apple tho.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#15 Post by Robert Sand » March 6th, 2020, 7:14 am

Pegau C.Reservée against Pegau Cuvee Laurence would be the ideal comparison! Usually the same wine ... different time in barrels.

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#16 Post by mike pobega » March 6th, 2020, 9:12 am

The Booker Tempranillo EXT is awesome.

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#17 Post by Bryan Carr » March 6th, 2020, 9:29 am

In Bennett Valley there's a small producer called Westerhold who has Russell Bevan make their wines and they were doing dual bottlings of their syrahs one bottled standard and one with extended barrel age for a while, they might have some library ones available if you shoot them an email.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#18 Post by Doug Schulman » March 6th, 2020, 9:33 am

This would probably be tough to track down, but if you could find a corresponding original release to a Nikolaihof Vinotek bottling, that would be a fascinating look at very extended cask aging.

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#19 Post by larry schaffer » March 6th, 2020, 9:40 am

The challenge is to find the exact wine, not a 'similar' one. Therefore, the Alban suggestion is a good one, but not really relevant here.

My guess is that Travis is looking at this from a winemaking perspective . . .

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#20 Post by Doug Schulman » March 6th, 2020, 9:44 am

larry schaffer wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 9:40 am
The challenge is to find the exact wine, not a 'similar' one. Therefore, the Alban suggestion is a good one, but not really relevant here.
Right, that's very uncommon. Even with Nikolaihof, I think the Vinotek wines are selections of the best casks, but at least you'd have wine from the same harvest in each, not a special part of the vineyard or something like that (I think so, anyway).

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#21 Post by Eric Reichenbach » March 6th, 2020, 10:01 am

2006 MX Beckstoffer To-Kalon CS - 18 months
2006 MX Beckstoffer To-Kalon CS "Reserve" - 28 months

Same juice, same (Darnajou) barrel.

Maybe not as much of an ageing difference as you are looking for, but it's an option.
Also, now that this wine is 13 years old, you could evaluate how the ageing difference plays in the aged wine.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#22 Post by Travis @llen » March 6th, 2020, 1:41 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions! I realize that the wines won’t be the exactly the same, even when juice comes out of the same fermenter and goes into 2 ‘identical’ new or used barrels - the wines are different. I’m just trying to gain a better understanding of the effects of time in barrel. And it gives me a reason to track down some vino and open some fun stuff. Keep the suggestions coming.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#23 Post by larry schaffer » March 6th, 2020, 2:25 pm

Travis @llen wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 1:41 pm
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I realize that the wines won’t be the exactly the same, even when juice comes out of the same fermenter and goes into 2 ‘identical’ new or used barrels - the wines are different. I’m just trying to gain a better understanding of the effects of time in barrel. And it gives me a reason to track down some vino and open some fun stuff. Keep the suggestions coming.
You also need to take into account the age and the toast of the oak - extended barrel aging in newer oak will lead to a totally different wine than aged in older oak barrels . . .

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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#24 Post by GregT » March 6th, 2020, 6:55 pm

And the size of the barrels.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#25 Post by Mel Knox » March 9th, 2020, 11:18 pm

Schrader vs Dunn...very different barrels..
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#26 Post by Wes Barton » March 10th, 2020, 7:14 am

Travis @llen wrote:
March 6th, 2020, 1:41 pm
Thanks for all of the suggestions! I realize that the wines won’t be the exactly the same, even when juice comes out of the same fermenter and goes into 2 ‘identical’ new or used barrels - the wines are different. I’m just trying to gain a better understanding of the effects of time in barrel. And it gives me a reason to track down some vino and open some fun stuff. Keep the suggestions coming.
It depends on characteristics inherent to a grape variety, too, and how much you value them, desire to resolve them, etc. In other words, you're looking to experiment with grapes that can reward extended aging. I've had a wine where the veteran winemaker recognized some of his Cab one year was next level and set it aside for a decade in barrel. Can't argue with the results. On the other hand, some grapes will only suffer going into barrel at all. Some should be bottled and consumed fairly quickly to show off what's special about them. Some will just reach a point in barrel where they've gained all they can and will only decline. You'll see winemakers put a lot of thought into optimal timing for the bottling of the different wines they make (as well as how much time they should then rest before release).
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#27 Post by Wes Barton » March 10th, 2020, 7:21 am

Travis @llen wrote:
March 5th, 2020, 7:27 pm
I’ve been thinking about my visit to gonon for the past 12 months. They have one set of neutral barrels, so they put everything in tank before the next harvest. The wines are so complex and delicious. I just want to evaluate the pros/cons to more time in barrel. I’d love to include the tercero Grenache barrel age differences if possible. I’ll email you. Cheers!
I know some people who move barrel aged wines back to tank for a few months before bottling for stylistic reasons. The wine has softened and gained from all the barrelly stuff. The time in tank brings a bit of reduction, a steely spine and focus.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#28 Post by C Chan » March 15th, 2020, 6:00 am

Not sure if this is related to the topic.

I’ve got a sample bottle of 2006 Branaire Ducru that was bottled during the barrel aging. From memory I sourced this in around June-August 2007.

Could be interesting to compare it to the actual final bottling.
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Re: Extended barrel age VS early bottling

#29 Post by Mike Rotondo » March 16th, 2020, 2:28 pm

For a more reasonably priced comparison, there's a Sonoma winery that does this type of thing - David Coffaro. They offer their wines with different barrel aging times.

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