Granular Oak Additions to Cabernet Franc Must (2016)

This study examined the effects of adding Xtrachêne Medium Toasted French granular oak to must at crush on the sensory and phenolic qualities of Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc was harvested from the same block, processed on the same day but kept separate, and one lot received 4 pounds per ton Xtrachêne Medium Toasted French granular oak whereas the other remained as a control. All other treatments between lots were the same. Wines made with granular oak exhibited greater hue and less color intensity. This shift in intensity may be due to the lowered levels of quercetin and anthocyanins in the wine produced with granular oak. Overall, there appeared to be a weak, but significant difference, between wines. No major preference trends could be seen, except for perhaps a weak preference for the control. No strong trends could be seen with descriptive analysis, except that on the second tasting most flavor attributes were lowered by the granular oak treatment. Due to the prevalence of this practice in Virginia, and the inconclusiveness of the results, more work should be performed on the impact of granular oak on wines.

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