This month’s wine club shipment theme is “Aging Vessels: Oak, Stainless, Concrete.” We’ll be tasting four wines that each use a different aging method to understand how aging affects wine taste.
It’s a great opportunity to taste the difference in aging vessels while you taste new, intriguing wines from around the world.
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Wine Club 003 – Aging Vessels: Oak, Stainless, Concrete
How much of what you love about a wine has to do with the grape variety compared to the vessel it was aged in?
For this wine club shipment, we’ve gathered together four wines so you can experience first hand how much things like oak barrels, concrete, and stainless steel affect the taste of wine. The September 2021 shipment includes three red wines and one white and each wine has a unique aging story – so, you’ll learn a lot while you sip.
In putting this club shipment together, we were excited to not only find an incredible concrete-aged wine, but also wines aged in two very different types of oak. This would be a great club shipment to practice comparative tasting.
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Wine Club 003 – Selected Wines
Here’s an overview of Wine Folly Wine Club 003:
- An unoaked Chardonnay that’s aged in stainless steel from Chablis, France. This wine was aged on the lees for added creaminess, but is anything but buttery!
- A raw concrete fermented and aged Malbec from Uco Valley, Argentina. This wine is rich from fruit, and the concrete adds texture and softness.
- A 10-year old Gran Reserva Rioja from Spain that’s aged in American oak. Well get to taste the difference between European and American oak.
- A Merlot from Napa Valley that’s been aged in 100% French oak. Let’s understand what French oak adds to a wine.
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2019 J. Moreau & Fils “Les Petits Dieux” Petit Chablis, France
Petit Chablis from outstanding producers may be one the best-kept secrets in wine, especially when we’re talking about bottles like J. Moreau’s 2019. A bright and lively gemstone of a wine, it boasts enticing minerality with delightful depth and complexity.
Moreau ferments their Petit Chablis exclusively in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures—perfect for locking in the wine’s freshness. Malolactic fermentation and lees aging give it a bit of extra body, filling out its wiry frame, before bottling several months later.
2019 Zuccardi “Concreto” Malbec, Paraje Altamira, Mendoza, Argentina
This Malbec is beautifully structured, with the dense tannins and phenomenal texture that have come to define Zuccardi wines. It oozes with aromas of black plum, black raspberry, cassis, and lilacs—and has a levity and crispness to the palate since there’s no oak.
The rebel winemaker claims vinifying and aging in cement (concreto) empowers the wine to best convey the region’s mineral-rich terroir. In fact, he’s been singled out as a leader in a group of new-generation winemakers in South America known as the “cement heads”—a quirky title that Zuccardi embraces.
2011 Bodegas Olarra “Otoñal” Gran Reserva Rioja, Spain
Crafted by traditionalists based in Logroño, in the very center of Rioja, this is a standout bottle that showcases why Gran Reserva Rioja has been a mainstay among collectors for centuries. Opening with black and red fruit accented by leather, cigar box, and spice cake, it’s aromatically intoxicating—but a taste is even better. There’s a bright, fresh quality to the fruit that plays beautifully with the savoriness of age, and ten years in the cellar has imbued the tannins with a velvety texture.
Age-worthiness is a trademark of Bodegas Olarra, who takes an old-school approach to winemaking. They ferment their grapes with a long maceration to develop the structure and color that will support extended aging, before letting the wine rest for a full two years in large, American oak casks.
2018 Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley, California
Duckhorn wrote the book on California Merlot, and they’re still authoring the state’s most iconic expression. For decades, their Merlots have ranked among Napa Valley’s benchmark reds, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Silver Oak and Opus One.
This wine features aging in 100% French oak, 40% of which are new, toasted barrels.
Join Us Next Time!
The Wine Folly Wine Club is a bimonthly club (once every 2 months) that features four expertly curated wines to expand your mind and sense of taste. You can learn more about the Wine Folly Wine Club here.