Difference between large barrel, tonneaux and barriques

Difference between large barrel, tonneaux and barriques

Large barrels, Italian style, tonneaux, barriques

Many different tools that bring different results and create unexpected wines with unique expressions.
Let's start with large barrels

Learn about wine with our books
Getting to Know Wine

The best tool to approach the world of wine.

A complete guide to wine, from viticulture to tasting.

Learn more about

Large Barrels
large barrels wine maturation
Large barrels used for wine maturation can range in size and capacity from a few hectoliters to several dozen. The best wood for their construction (mainly used for aging barrels) is oak, particularly oak. Sometimes chestnut, locust, and various species of maple are also used.

Among the advantages offered by wooden vessels in the aging of wine is that they allow a micro-gaseous exchange with the outside; among the disadvantages it should be kept in mind that old wood in barrels is often a source of bacterial contamination and bad taste.

A new cask that is to contain a quality wine must undergo a process called abbonimento, washing it with hot wine. If the cask is not new, it can be washed with boiling water and coarse salt, and if it is not to be used immediately it must be drained well and then sulfurized. Before being filled, the cask should be inspected inside. Any tartar on the inside walls should be shiny and spotless, and there should be no organisms such as moss or lichen. If this occurs, the cask is unusable.

Compared with 225-l barrels, large barrels of 10 hl and above have some advantages. Through the use of barrels the wine acquires unusual fragrances and becomes more velvety, while with large barrels aging is more respectful of the nature of the wine. There is less surface area in contact with the liquid for the same volume, and thicker staves prevent oxygen from entering. There is little oxidation, and chemical reactions in the wine are limited mainly to tannin polymerizations. The release of aromatic substances is slower or almost nonexistent, so the wine retains its organoleptic characteristics almost intact.

What about tonneaux?
Tonneau (plural Tonneaux) is a particular cask used in the west of France (especially in the Bordeaux area) for storing and maturing wines. Depending on the area and the type of evolution desired for the wine, Tonneau capacities range from 560 to 1005 liters. Its effect on wine is intermediate between those obtained with the smaller barriques and those obtained using larger wooden vessels of 20 hectoliters or more.

Now it is time for barrels
The barrique is a small wooden barrel, usually between 225 and 228 liters in capacity, used for maturing wine, both white and red. The Bordeaux barrique is 225 liters, the Burgundian (called pièce) 228, those for aging cognac 350, while for Port, barriques from 230 to 260 liters are used. Also in France in Champagne, barriques of 205 liters are used for aging wines used in the assemblage of the best champagnes. There is also a smaller type of barrel called demi-barrique with a capacity of 110-115 liters.

Comments 0

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published