? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

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? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby OW Holmes » Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:20 pm

Are bordeaux producers - generic bordeaux and not the fancy stuff - allowed the use of oak chips? Can they use American oak? I ask only because I am working on a glass of 2000 Chateau Plaisance Cuvee Alix - a $15 wine - and it has the taste of American oak, and so much that I am tempted to think chips were added, but I presume that with all the regs over there, that would not be permitted.
So what's the collective wisdom?
By the way, this is wine for the pointy people - big extraction, big oak, almost no acid, no finesse. :(
-OW
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Peter May » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:13 am

OW Holmes wrote:Are bordeaux producers - generic bordeaux and not the fancy stuff - allowed the use of oak chips? Can they use American oak?


Oak chips are not allowed. See http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Archi ... 29,00.html

However, the EU Commission document resulting from industry consultations in February 06 proposes wide-ranging changes to current wine regulations, including (among many others) permitting internationally accepted winemaking practises. Which would include use of wood chips. Whether that will be available to all wines or only lesser quality remains to be seen.

Regarding American oak barrels, they are indeed used.
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Thomas » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:25 am

I was under the impression that the EU recommendation that would allow oak chips has been accepted by members.
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Peter May » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:49 am

My understanding is the ruling by the EU Commission has not made yet
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby wrcstl » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:23 am

OW Holmes wrote:By the way, this is wine for the pointy people - big extraction, big oak, almost no acid, no finesse. :(


OW,
I think you should post this on the RP board. I never know the points of wines I buy and have stopped subscribing to any wine mags but "no finese" cuts pretty deep. I like it but this is how civil wars get started. :lol:
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Bob Ross » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:34 am

Thomas, there's a good summary of the rules changes here: http://www.winebusiness.com/winemaking/ ... taId=43202

If I have it right, oak chips are permitted by the EU, member states may restrict their use, and there is a debate over whether their use has to be labelled. Final regs should be in place by the time of the 2006 harvest.

Regards, Bob
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby OW Holmes » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:42 am

Walt, I don't know how you can buy wine never knowing the points. I wish that were possible here. All the shelf hangers, and special displays of "90 point wines under $20" make that impossible. I try to ignore them but once in a while I get sucked in by a $14.95 wine getting 93 points, and some glowing writeup that almost never mentions acid, and I am almost always disappointed.
I am confident that the same note posted on Squires or the Spectator board would get me a severe, and probably justifiable, trashing. I guess I should watch my descriptors. I meant the "wine for pointy people" as a description of a style. Obviously not my style but I should recognize that the majority like that style and may take offense at my choice of words.
(I could also have added "absolutely no sense of place" - which was true - but those damn terroir debates get a bit tedious.)
-OW
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Victorwine » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:56 am

Like Thomas P, I thought that the EU has “Okayed” the use of oak chips, and now it is up to the controlling bodies of each appellation to decide how and when oak chips can be used.

Salute
Sorry BoB, I didn't see your post!
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby wrcstl » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:30 am

OW Holmes wrote:Walt, I don't know how you can buy wine never knowing the points. I wish that were possible here. All the shelf hangers, and special displays of "90 point wines under $20" make that impossible.


You are correct, shelf talkers everywhere. What broke me of reading them is my dislike of the style that gives high numbers and the fact that the wine stores put points up but are many times off by a vintage or two. I have trained my eyes to totally ignore them. My purchases are based on experience with the property, region (such as dry white Loires, Chablis and Bordeaux), comments on this forum and my wind merchant's recs since he knows my preferences well. If I were a point person I think I would look for wines rated 86-88, usually more my style.
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Tim York » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:32 am

Whatever the European Commission pomulgates, there will be a lot of scope for national interpretation.

With regard to the use of oak chips in France, there is an interesting communiqué from Dominique Bussereau, the French Minister of Agriculture, dated 29th march 2006 entitled "National Strategy for the reform of the winegrowing sector".

It is too long for me to translate in full but a lose translation of a relevant section is as follows-

".....wine is classified as responding either to "supply marketing", essentially AOC wines, or to "demand marketing"

The Institute received the task of rewriting the INAO decrees........

Furthermore it has been decided to open up the range of oenological practices to ease the adaptation of "demand marketing" wines to markets where our competitors are very present today.

In this connection the use of wood chips has already been authorised by the European Community and will soon be adopted into national rules."

This seems to me to imply that, for AOC wines in France, use of wood chips may remain forbidden but that for other wines "no holds will be barred".

If my understanding is correct, I find this an encouraging sign that there is a wish to keep good aspects of AOC rigour. But there may be a fight because less scrupulous French winegowers, including many in AOC regions, think that wood chips are a panacea.

As for generic AOC areas such as Bordeaux Supérieur, expect a lot of redefinition.
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby OW Holmes » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:10 pm

Oh boy. More international style wines coming. More old world wine that mimics new world wine. That's what we need.
-OW
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Thomas » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:38 pm

So, the OW before Holmes stands for Old World--beeeyouteeful!

Oak barrels started out as a means for storage and shipping, then became a way to add depth or certain character to wine, then the wine became secondary to the vessel.

With oak chips, all pretense is removed. It is out in the open. Next thing, grapes will become unnecessary for wine production--a little water and a lot of chemistry and flavoring will do. Think of the money saved in viticulture and those pesky off-vintage years. Think of how cheap wine will become.

I am getting over-excited--I need a drink...honey, have we any of that high fructose, oak chipped to death, blueberry tasting, alcohol-infused Zinfandaze?
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby OW Holmes » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:01 pm

Thomas wrote:honey, have we any of that high fructose, oak chipped to death, blueberry tasting, alcohol-infused Zinfandaze?


certainly, darling, its in this bottle called Clos de los Siete......
-OW
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Re: ? What are the bordeaux oak regulations?

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:03 am

wrcstl wrote:
OW Holmes wrote:By the way, this is wine for the pointy people - big extraction, big oak, almost no acid, no finesse. :(


OW,
I think you should post this on the RP board. I never know the points of wines I buy and have stopped subscribing to any wine mags but "no finese" cuts pretty deep. I like it but this is how civil wars get started. :lol:
Walt


Good one Walt!!! LOL.
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