Combines Multiple Toast Levels In A Single Application
Studies in wine and oak barrels have shown that toasted oak complexity does not come from wine penetrating into staves but rather from variations in the process of toasting the barrel next to an open flame. While a barrel's toast may be labeled as "Medium," the inside surface actually develops a gradient of temperatures when toasted. It is this gradient that creates a subtle variety of toasted oak aromas and flavors and a more interesting and layered complexity in the wine. American oak Meritage Blend Infusion Spiral barrel packs replicate a barrel toasting gradient by distributing a mix of four different toast levels among six Spirals. The result is a balanced quality on the nose and palate comparable to the aromas and flavors found in a fine barrel-aged wine.
MERITAGE BLEND INFUSION SPIRALS by The Barrel Mill are calibrated to treat 59 to 70-gallons. When inserted into a neutral barrel, the Meritage Blend releases layers of fresh, new barrel, toasted oak aromas and flavors through a patented spiral-cut design that exposes an optimal ratio of cross-grain and parallel grain oak.
After six weeks, a broad spectrum of aromatics and flavors -- from more lifted fruit to a sweeter nose to a more lingering finish -- are virtually all extracted, rather than eight to 12 months typically for a new American oak barrel -- and at a small fraction of the price. Continued contact in wine beyond six weeks will further integrate flavors with wine and more rounded tannins will form.
As with standard Infusion Spirals, the Meritage Blend barrel set consists of six individual spirals carved out of 9-inch long cylindrical segments of premium grade barrel stave wood, contained and linked together by a food-grade nylon mesh. The mesh also permits wine to freely contact all surfaces of each spiral. The innovative spiral design creates an optimal ratio of side grain and cross grain exposure of the oak, giving the wine extracted complexity in less time than any other thru-bung oak alternative. Each Meritage Blend barrel pack is made with tight-grained American oak (sourced primarily from Minnesota) and is convection oven toasted to insure uniform depth of toasting from edge to core. Suggested Soak Time: 10 to 16 weeks.
Note: MERITAGE BLEND Spirals are packaged in a six-Spiral set with a mix of toast levels. Because all six Spirals are not the same toast level, cutting mesh to achieve a lower overall oak dosage (lower oak impact) will create an unbalanced mix of toast levels. To get less oak impact with fewer spirals, use a single toast Infusion Spiral barrel pack, such as medium or medium plus.