How do you prepare a wine with a barrel?
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Bodegas mitos

For four years, we have been working delicately in the production of our next red wine MITOS Reserva 2016. It is the result of the mixture of the best grapes from old vineyards of Tempranillo and Bobal, which will result in an elegant wine from the D.O. Utiel-Requena.

For all the winelovers who hope to be able to taste it soon, we give you this brief explanation about the elaboration of barrel wines that we hope you will enjoy.

Wine ageing

Once the fermentation has been carried out, which begins the maturation of the wine, we can decide whether to continue the process in stainless steel tanks, bottling it or whether to store it in wooden barrels in order to carry out its aging, as is the case with MITOS Reserve and MITOS Crianza.

The permanence of the wine in oak barrels for a period of time is called aging. This period must be completed after a period of rest in the bottle.

It is important to know that not all wines can carry out this aging process, since it will depend on factors such as the variety of grapes, its quality and the type of elaboration that the wine has had. In order to age the wines, they must have a sufficient amount of tannins, acidity, body, dry extract, alcoholic degree and predisposition to oxidation. However, contrary to what many may think, not only red wines can carry out the aging, but also white wines from grapes such as Chardonnay, Macabeo or Verdejo evolve very well.

Types of barrels

There are two types of oak barrels: French and American. The first ones will achieve a smoother and more elegant wine. The second, harder and “wild”. Many producers combine both barrels to obtain the qualities of both, as is the case with MITOS Reserva.

Bodegas mitos

Aging in barrels of red wines from bodegas mitos. Reserve, aging

Phases of barrel ageing

As we just mentioned, aging must contain two stages: maturation in oak barrels, and rest once bottled:

1- Ageing in wood or oxidative phase

In this phase, the wine’s anthocyanins are destroyed inside the barrel, which are none other than those responsible for the color of the wine at its origin. For this reason, red wines go from the purplish red color of young wines to a more intense yew red color of mature wines. A greater softness is also achieved by the condensation of tannins and anthocyanins.

The wood will transfer some of its components to the wine, which will influence the aroma and flavor.

2- Ageing in bottle or reducing phase

This phase will be carried out in the absence of oxygen because once the bottle has been covered with the cork, this will prevent the oxygen from entering. In addition, it will always be carried out with the bottle in a horizontal position so that the cork is moistened. At this time, the color of the reds will be fixed in brick tones because anthocyanins (blue and red pigments) decrease and flavones (yellow pigments) increase.

The primary aromas of the grape are also attenuated and the tertiary aromas that give the wine its bouquet appear. Aging will make the tannins disappear and the wine’s astringency will be reduced, making it smoother and finer on the palate.

But, what exactly is a Reserva? 

The wines are classified according to their aging time, so that reserve wines are wines from good vintages that have been at rest for at least 36 months, of which at least 12 have been in barrels.

We still cannot give you more details about our next Reserve 2016, but stay tuned because very soon we will be able to find out what its characteristics are.