{ Red Experiment P5.5 }

Tasting Note

. . .
2015 Red Experiment P5.5 wine label

{ Background and Aims }

We were so intrigued by the results of our 2014 H3.4 that we decided to continue the trial by testing a different aging regime – using standard 225-liter barrels for the first year and then aging in large 600-liter foudres for the second. Our expectation was use of the standard barrel for the first year would allow the progression of structure that we desired and that the move to a foudre for the second year would preserve the freshness that we find so appealing in our wines.

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{ Methodology }

Following fermentation, all lots were barreled down into standard 225-liter barrels. After 12 months of aging, the wines were evaluated, and Experiment H3.4 was blended and returned to 600-liter foudres to age for 8 additional months before bottling.

{ Conclusion }

Overall, this aging regime worked well. It achieved both the progression and the freshness in the wines that we wanted. More importantly, it taught us a lot about the interaction of oxygen and phenolics in wine and what proportions of each that we would like – information that has since been transformational in how we conduct fermentations and how and when we think about racking and blending. Another surprise was that the few barrels of the blend that were in the standard barrels for the entire aging period were not terribly different from the wine aged in foudre. So, the end result was less a change in barrel use and more so a deeper understanding of our winemaking.