Definition - What does Barrel Fermented mean?
The term barrel-fermented refers to wine that has been fermented in small oak barrels called "Barrique", instead of stainless steel or concrete vats and tanks. The process involves turning grape juice into wine and is more often associated with white wines rather than red wines. Wines that are fermented in oak barrels also taste different from wines fermented in other forms of vessels.
WineFrog explains Barrel Fermented
Wine bottles noted as being barrel-fermented are referring to the oak influence on the wine. Oak barrel fermentation highlights nutty and oaky aromas and flavors present in wines. The oak imparts various characteristics into the wine, including the following descriptors that are considered to fall under the umbrella of the term "oaky":
- Black pepper
- Spices (nutmeg)
The process is mostly beneficial for white wines as they lack the tannin content found in reds. In this case, the wine is able to draw tannins from the oak barrels.