El Sacramento – La Trasiega and the importance of the cask in the ageing process
La crianza es un proceso largo. Nuestros vinos tintos, El Sacramento y Caminos de Sacramento, pasan una media de quince meses en barricas de roble hasta el momento del embotellado.
At the end of the fermentations, the new wine is untamed. It is a very lively wine, with a strong character. The barrel is a porous container and inside it the wine breathes and its lees are deposited at the bottom in a natural decanting process. Time, once again, is our best friend. During the ageing process, the wine has to go through its phases until it reaches rounder, more balanced, organised and elegant tannins. Every four months we rack, i.e. we empty the barrel to separate the wine from its lees deposited at the bottom.
As the barrels are not stacked, we can closely monitor the ageing process. At the beginning we have each tank in barrel separately, following the vinification by parcel. In the second racking, and after a delicate tasting process, we determine the exact blend of what will be the great wine, El Sacramento, and the second wine, Caminos de Sacramento.
This blending early in the ageing process is also important in order to unify and merge the different batches chosen. The aim is to produce a balanced, elegant, complex and persistent wine.
The second role of the barrel is to provide the tannins of the wood that polymerise with those of the wine, building a more stable chain between them, which will give the wine a longer life. The choice of cooperages has been a long process of tests to finally select the ones that best suit our wines.
The world of wood is very complex. The forest, the wood, the craftsmanship involved in cutting the staves, the two-year drying process, the actual manufacture of the barrel… there are many factors to take into account when choosing the right barrel for our wines. At Viñas Leizaola we work exclusively with the finest French oak barrels.
We ensure that the tannins of the wood are always integrated. The role of the barrel is to support the wine and it has to go hand in hand with the natural elegance of the wine. Hence, our care in selecting our suppliers.