Ask Wine Wizard
Barrel Alternatives: Matching quality grapes with oak
William Schultz — Windsor, California asks,
I made two barrels of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon this year, and the barrels are pretty old, so I don’t think I’ll get a lot of oak aroma or flavor out of them. I really don’t want to spend the $2,000 (!) to buy a new barrel and am wondering if you could recommend how I can get some good aging oak on the wine in a way that’s not cheap tasting but would be appropriate to do the grapes the credit they deserve. I got the fruit from a buddy who supplies local famous wineries and I’d like to do the wine justice . . . just not thousands of dollars worth, if you get my meaning.