Question: Why are winemakers using more used oak barrels instead of new ones?
Answer: Many reasons possible. The current winemaking trend seems to be towards showing more fruit & distinctive terroir from the vineyard in your wine and less prominent intense oak from new barrels. Also larger size casks are in increased use for the same reason resulting in more wine to oak ratio. Also remember that new oak is very expensive so there is a cost saving issue as well in using less new. Actually after the new oak barrels have been used a few times they are called “neutral” retaining the advantage of allowing some oxygen exchange with the wine for texture but without any intrusive new oak flavours. Still you always have some top properties with concentrated powerful fruit using 100% new oak in those best vintages. Lots of other choices these days including stainless steel, concrete, amphora, etc. Interesting to monitor the difference in your tasting perceptions because of the amount of new oak barrels used in the winery.
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