Wine news Wine trends

Kentucky Bourbon Oak is the New Barrel on the Block

French oak, watch out: the new barrel on the block is Kentucky bourbon-drenched oak. Robert Mondavi announced today that it is releasing a Chardonnay aged in bourbon barrels from a “renowned Kentucky distillery”. This marks just another addition to the rapidly increasing lineup of bourbon barrel-aged wines.

Mondavi released a bourbon barrel-aged 2014 Monterey County Cabernet last year, which has already been received with open arms by the public. The wine has over 2,150 reviews on Vivino, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5. The bourbon barrel aging appears to impart a greater amount of vanilla and spice aromas to the wine, as that is frequently noted in many of the reviews. On the newly released Chardonnay, tasting notes also seem to indicate intensified flavors, including “intense aromas of ripe pineapple and toasted coconut with hints of toasted marshmallow and vanilla bean.” Contrary to what one might imagine, the bourbon barrel-aged wines do not have a higher alcohol content than what is standard for a wine.

Also in this emerging generation of bourbon barrel-aged wines?

  • Stave & Steel Paso Robles Cabernet, launched late 2016
  • Cooper & Thief California Red Wine Blend, launched summer 2016 (this one’s actually in port-shaped bottles, with 17% alcohol!)
  • 1000 Stories Zinfandel, technically launched waay back in 2010, but hey, it takes things awhile to catch on

The craziest thing about all of these wines? Consumers are going absolutely nuts over them. All of the above wines have an average rating of 3.8 – 4.2 stars on Vivino, across literally thousands of reviews. So, long story short: expect more bourbon-aged wines to hit shelves. And stay tuned for more bourbon-drenched wine news from The Wine Daily.

Image courtesy of Constellation Wines.


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