The winemakers at Ron Yates Winery – Todd Crowell and Reagan Sivadon – take great pride in their barrel program at Ron Yates. Lucky for us, we got to participate in a barrel tasting to see how the same wine has developed when aged in different barrels.
We tasted 2018 Friesen Vineyard Merlot aged for nine months in a neutral French oak barrel, Heinrich Cooperage barrel (American oak barrel from Barossa), and these four different French oak barrels: Nadalie Expression Rouge Satin Toast, Quintessence Fleur de Quintessence, Boutes Grand Reserve Chateau Toast, and Radoux thin stave, tight grain barrel. Grand Reserve Chateau Toast, and Radoux thin stave, tight grain barrel.
This was a fabulous learning experience – from understanding the proprietary nature of the cooperages in terms of where they source their wood, how they make the barrels and their toast regime to the very distinct flavors and tannins from each barrel.
One thing for sure – Ron, Todd and Reagan have some great Merlot aging in those barrels. Will be great to see the final product – whether it’s a single varietal Merlot or a blend – later this year.
This was the first time Ron Yates Winery has offered this barrel experience for guests. They will likely do it again later in the year so stay tuned!