About Demptos Tonnellerie Barrels
Steeped in the traditions of its 200+ year history, making it the oldest family owned cooperage in France, Demptos has evolved as the cooperage of the future with the opening of the Demptos Research Center (DRC) in conjunction with the University of Bordeaux’s Faculty of Oenology in 1991. The DRC is at the heart of a scientific network including 4 university laboratories and benefits from the sharing of expertise combined with access to the most innovative technologies available. Using Mass Spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, they carry out research to meet the challenges set out by the Demptos cooperage. The DRC acts as both expert and advisor, with the cooperage utilizing the research findings to adapt their range of barrels to their customer’s oenological requirements and at the same time supporting their customers in the long-term upkeep of the cellars. Initially focused on highlighting the criteria that determine the quality of a barrel, in the 1990’s the Research Department’s studies focused on components influencing the quality of the oak (i.e. toasting and drying). They demonstrated the superiority of natural drying, which favours biochemical transformations controlled by specific micro-organisms in the oak and developed the notion of “passive drying”, which allows for the natural maturing of oak destined for greatness.
The DRC also carried out research into oak selection and how geographical location of the forests could impact the tightness of the grain. Studying the conditions under which wines are matured in barrels from the point of view of redox phenomena, the Centre highlighted the existence of gaseous exchanges between the oak and the wine directly within the staves. Its studies also proved that, contrary to what was currently accepted, fine grain is more porous than rough grain and therefore encourages redox phenomena in the barrel.
Since 2010, the DRC’s projects have focused on evaluating wine’s need for oxygen and the conditions for stabilizing phenolic structure during the maturing period. Studying wine from a physical and chemical angle, its research has concentrated on the polymer melanins formed during the cooperage toasting process and the properties of the colloidal state of the wine. Each and every barrel produced at the Demptos cooperage benefits greatly from the nearly 30 years of dedicated scientific research performed at their Research Center. But the truth is in your wine. Ask us about a barrel trial in your cellar to experience the results of the DRC’s research in person.
The end result of 200 years of experience, and representative of the Demptos house style. It’s an outstanding barrel, chosen for the long-term maturing of great wines, and can be seen lined up in some of the best-known cellars around the world. Selection begins in the forests…the oak is sourced from two-hundred-year-old trees grown exclusively in the French Government-managed forests and is seasoned outside at the cooperage in Bordeaux for a minimum of 24 months.
Predominantly Quercus Alba oak sourced from within a 130 km2 region in the southern part of the state of Missouri, which benefits from the specific drying conditions that naturally reduce the astringency and bitterness and increase the aromatic effect. This oak contains 5-10 times more aromatic compounds than European oak and 10 times the concentration of whisky-lactone to add sweetness and softness to a wine at only 7-8% in a blend.
The aroma and ellagitannin content of the Quercus petraea contributes to these barrels’ subtle nuances. Seasoned in Szigetvar, Hungary, it’s characterized by evocative aromas of vanilla and spices. Measured tannin content limits the sensations of bitterness and astringency. With controlled toasted notes, the barrels maintain the varietal aromas, allowing grape varieties to fully express their nuances. They are ideal for short to medium term maturing of aromatic wines intended for drinking shortly after bottling.
DEMPTOS TECHNOLOGICAL BARRELS – Where science meets tradition…
A barrel for great wines, the Réserve range is the fruit of French tradition, the experience of Demptos’ craftsmen and the selection of the best oak. They are made only with staves of a uniform appearance, chosen for the extreme fineness of their grain. Harmony of colour, fine polishing after sanding… particular attention is paid at every stage in its production, from selecting the oak to the final touches, to ensure that this barrel is unique. The Demptos Réserve is for wines with a rich, balanced structure and is intended for long maturing periods of 14 months or more. It’s also characterized by a limited oak tannin influence and a more marked aromatic character due to its whisky-lactone content.
An aroma enhancer made from oak selected for its norisoprenoid content, the Essencia® barrel is the result of years of research and the scientific expertise of Demptos’ employees. Designed to encourage the expression of fruity or floral aromas in the wines, the Essencia® barrel is exclusive to Demptos. It took over eight years of research by the Demptos Research Center, combined with the traditional experience of its craftsmen, to devise this 100% analytical product. Chosen for its aroma-enhancing capacity caused by its norisoprenoid content, the oak in the Essencia® barrel has oxidative tendencies. Due to the significant presence of carotenoid molecule deterioration products, it encourages the expression of floral and fruity aromatic notes. Through the synergistic action between the norisoprenoids in the oak and the wine, Essencia® accentuates the pre-existing character of a terroir and increases the perception of fruit.
The Paradox® barrel is characterized by an intense, deep toast that takes place without charring the surface and protects the oak against the aromatic notes brought out by a traditional deep toast. The Paradox® offers the ability to increase the sweetness of the wines and remain more faithful to their aromatic character. A barrel for today’s wines, used from the early months of maturing, Paradox® develops an innovative form of maturing that has little impact on the wines’ tannin structure, characterized by a discreet oakiness, volume and sweetness. It’s designed for the maturing of wines sensitive to oak. Adapted for taking samples during the early tasting phase, this barrel also adds complexity and tension to the wines during blending. In most cases, we recommend fine grain for the Paradox® -Red barrel and medium grain for the Paradox® -White barrel.