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Tech Talk: Icon Process Brings Elegance in Barrels

Posted: Monday, 28 March 2011 11:15

Tech Talk: Icon Process Brings Elegance in Barrels

Seguin Moreau, largest and most advanced barrel-makers in the world have unveiled a staggering, far reaching and totally new technically advance process, baptised as  ‘Icône’ or ‘Icon and the barrels as Elegance, writes Bordeaux-based John Salvi MW who was recently at a technical conference and was suitably impressed with the technology.

As their technicians explain, oak is variable.  Any two trees standing next to each other in the oak forests can have widely differing molecular compositions.  It is the extractible molecules that influence the bouquet and the taste of a wine aged in barrels made from those trees.  For the first time ever, after 12 years of intensive research, Seguin Moreau is now able to analyse precisely that variability and is therefore able to control the correlation between the chemical composition of the oak and its organoleptic impact on the wine.

Each individual oak tree will generate a precise flavour and bouquet on a precise type of wine and this is known as the “oenological potential”.  This is of vital importance because the flavour and bouquet desired are no longer based on the botanical characteristics of the wood, or on its geographical provenance, but on its chemical characteristics and its molecular composition.

The technical and scientific team have established a mathematical model, which allows them to know the precise organoleptic effect (taste and bouquet) of each and every barrel made from every oak tree on any particular wine.  This is the ICON process. 

Every customer can now tell the coopers their exact requirement with regard to flavour and bouquet in their wine. Seguin Moreau can provide them with the precise oak barrel to suit their demand.  This is because the detailed and precise molecular structure of each and every oak tree is established by analysis at the time that the tree is felled.  As Seguin Moreau puts it “we can now provide a reliable, precise and reproducible flavour and bouquet profile for each of our customers’ individual wines year in and year out.  This is a truly staggering advance.

Wine matured in these revolutionary “elegance” barrels can attain a greater VOLUME in the mouth, round and integrated tannins, a profound respect of the fruit and individuality in any particular wine and sweet, soft oaky tones.  A tasting of 12 wines proved these claims beyond doubt and included such customers as Château La Conseillante, Ornellaia, Château Lagrange and Château Lascombes.  ICON added spice, smoothness and richness.

This is a truly momentous step forward and is already in overwhelming demand by many of the great wines and winemakers throughout the world. 

John U Salvi, Master of Wine

Seguin Moreau is a Cognac based 172- year old tonnellerie, (cooperage house) turning out around 90,000 barrels a year from 225L-600L size and big containers ranging from 600L-1200hL  in three production units in Charante near Bordeaux, Chagny in Burgundy and Napa, California. For more information on the Icon process, contact info@ Seguin Moreau.fr - Editor

       

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