T he outcome is a delicate homogenous toast, which elevates the natural aromas of the wine and provides for greater control/ consistency of the toast from barrel to barrel.
In cooperation with the University of Turin we made a research, and with the results coming from gas chromatographic and sensory analysis, together with the tannin extraction we can point out the following characteristics for each toasting level, showing very different profiles:
Light toast (190 °C for 40 minutes)
the smell of almonds and clove are evident. Hints of licorice and toasted bread can be noted as well. The toasty nuances leave a lot of room to the fruity characteristics of the wine. Tannins are more present here compared to other toasting levels.
Medium toast (205 °C for 45 minutes)
we can note how vanilla, and coconut / oak (from the whiskey lactone) prevail. The impact of cotton candy, chocolate and butterscotch are also important highlighting the sweet character of this toast level. The contribution of the 4-methyl guaiacol is also important giving a bit of a spicy character. The tannins are more degraded, giving less astringency, with a good balance between the fruitiness of the wine and the toasty nuances described above.
Heavy toast (220 °C for 53 minutes)
At this toasting level the sweet notes tend to decrease leaving room to the smoked, toasted nuances. At the sensory evaluation also tobacco and pepper have a good impact. The tannins are much less present at this point compared to the other toasting levels. In the wine we should note a much higher tone of the toasty and smoke character over the fruitiness of the wine.
Upon completion of the toasting stage, the barrel is ready for the router machine that hollows out the grooves or "crozes" into which the heads are inserted. The heads are prepared utilizing a tongue and grove technique and shaped by a milling machine. They can be toasted upon customer request. A special insertion system is used to complete the assembly operation, without the use of any iron nails. Working hoops are removed and replaced by permanent hoops fit into position and nailed. Finally, the barrels are sanded, pressure tested, visually inspected and poly shrink wrapped for protection during transport.