Definition - What does Oaked mean?

Oaked wines are those that are fermented and/or aged in oak barrels or oak alternatives for a specific period of time which adds flavor and aroma. Oaked wines are richer in texture and have a heavier body with different tannins than those that are unoaked. There are variations to oaked wine characteristics dependent on time spent exposed to the oak and the type of oak used.

WineFrog explains Oaked

There are two ways to expose wine to oak during the fermentation and aging process, either in barrels crafted out of oak or with oak barrel alternatives like oak staves, oak chips or liquid oak added to a steel barrel. The oak barrels used for wine making are made mostly out of American or French oaks, but Eastern European oak can also be used from countries like Hungary. Alternately oaks from other regions like Spain and Austria are also usable.

American made barrels have a stronger influence on the wine with sharp tannins and intense flavors, these barrels are mostly used for full-bodied red wines or warm-climate Chardonnay. French barrels are made differently and this allows for softer expression of characteristics with subtle tannins. Wines that are oaked in barrels typically have flavors like vanilla, earthy, toasty, smoke and caramel with a full-bodied mouthfeel. Some wineries prefer to use oak alternatives such as wood staves (planks) or chips to influence the wine. These alternatives are added before or after the fermentation process and are cheaper to manufacture high volume wines. There are different blends and types of oak chips/staves used and are chosen dependent on the characteristics desired.

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