Next Generation Barrel
The Flexcube barrel is designed to produce exactly the same wine quality of the most iconic traditional barrels with the consistency of Next Generation Barrels. To achieve this precision of wine quality, we blend the latests innovation in winemaking with our know-how and separate the elements of oxygen and oak to increase control and consistency.
Permeable polymer Flexcubes provide the oxygen element necessary in the maturation of wine through constant and linear passive oxygenation. The high quality of our barrel oak, BarriQ provides the flavours, tannins, aromas and integration of top end barrels.
“It is simple. We put the barrel oak in the wine,
not the wine in the oak barrel”
Wayne Donaldson - Technical Director
At Flexcube, we know oxygen can be both beneficial and detrimental to our wine. The right amount of oxygen and your wine will showcase its beauty perfectly. Too much or too little and we all know what happens.
Did you know the little-known fact that the Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) of traditional barrels can vary by up to 3 times (30mg/L/year) from barrel to barrel? This is a major cause of the variations we see when selecting traditional barrel.Traditional barrels are highly variable in the amount of oxygen they supply. Every winemaker has learned to deal with this random variation, all the while believing nothing could be done about it. Well, at Flexcube, we know it doesn’t have to be like that!
Dr Ignacio Nevares and Assoc. Prof. María del Alamo-Sanza, at the University of Valladolid in Spain, have recently confirmed that a new traditional barrel oxygen release is 11-12 mg/L/year. Quite different from the conventional wisdom of 20-30 mg/L/year, right?
Ignacio and Maria also work very closely with Flexcube’s engineers. As a result, we have designed our Flexcube shell to provide precisely 9.1mg/L/year. Coupled perfectly with the 2.2 mg/L/year that BarriQ Barrel Oak releases, this precisely matches the traditional barrel. And more than just the same, the oxygen permeability of Flexcube is precisely engineered and does not change from year to year. More accurate, more consistent.
BARRIQ BARREL OAK
While BarriQ barrel oak is exclusively sourced from the same state forests, the same trees, is hand split and seasoned in the exact same way as the oak used to make our traditional barrels, BarriQ barrel oak is convection toasted rather than fire toasted.
By nature, fire toasting is inconsistent as it varies within and along the same piece of oak depending on the surface impact of the heat (toasting is the outcome of
time and temperature, vary these elements and the resulting toast varies as well).
Variability and inconsistency, of course, results in complexity, a valuable attribute - but it is hard to replicate barrel to barrel.
Convection toasting, on the other hand, is controlled and measured and produces a uniformity of toast throughout the same piece of oak. The same level of toasting can be replicated infinite times, ensuring consistency from batch to batch.
Uniformity doesn’t give complexity. However, with our expertise, we combine blends of different toasts in different proportions to produce that sought after complexity but controlled and 100% replicable.
Why Next Generation Barrels should be part of every winery?
The reliability of constant and linear passive oxygenation and the high grade of BarriQ oak, guarantee less reductive wines with fresh fruit characters and perfect oak integration.
The winemaker has a broad range of options by combining different oxygen permeabilities, oak barrel-blends, oak quantities and contact times.
The passive oxygenation levels of Flexcubes remain unchanged over time and are uniform through the entire surface. Convection toasting of BarriQ provides an even toasting throughout the wood and guarantees batch to batch consistency.
Next Generation Barrels can be stacked to up to 4,000 litres/40 hl/1,060gal making possible to double the capacity of any barrel room. Find out more Space Efficiency Chart
A 1,000 litre Flexcube is equivalent in capacity to over four traditional oak barrels but only requires the maintenance of one. Next Generation Barrels are easier to top up, clean and move around.
Next Generation Barrels offer a much more efficient approach to oak, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of winemaking. By introducing BarriQ oak in the wine, all sides of the oak are being used, not just a 5mm layer as in traditional barrels.