Barrel Tasting Cabernet Sauvignon

Kathy and I traveled to Vint Hill Craft Winery in Virginia to taste our Cabernet Sauvignon in the barrel. Our Cab has been in French oak for nine months, since last November. I can keep it in the barrel until next summer. DJ (Vint Hill’s winemaker) explained that the longer a wine remains in a barrel the less oak influence will be on the aroma and taste. He went on to say that a mistake that some winemakers make is to oak their wines and taste them early on. Often they think the wines are over oaked and rack them out of the barrel. Instead they should have left them in the barrel.

Our Cab had a red to purple color and dark fruit aroma. Blackberries were on the taste. There were plenty of sharp tannins on the finish and Kathy pointed out that she needed food to go with the wine. DJ explained that by leaving the wine in the barrel for another year, the harsh tannins would soften. We should have a Cab that will pair well with food, and can also be easily enjoyed without food.


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