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Wine ‘doesn’t need oak to age’

Bordeaux reds do not need to spend time in oak in order to have a long life ahead of them according to one producer in the region.

Some of the wine made by Vignobles Silvestrini

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent visit to Bordeaux, Sabine Silvestrini of Vignobles Silvestrini in Lussac-Saint-Emilion said: “People think that without oak you can’t make ageworthy wine but that’s not the case.

“Tannin is already present in the grape skins, you just need to extract it properly. You can make wines to age without any use of oak.

“Some of our wines from the 1960s that were made without any oak treatment are ageing very well and still have life in them – oak isn’t necessary for ageing wine, it all depends on the style you are trying to create.”

The Silvestrini family came from the Veneto to Bordeaux’s Right Bank in the 1960s. Today they own 35 hectares of vineyard land in Lussac-Saint-Emilion, Montagne-St-Emilion and Pomerol. The wines are imported into the UK by Astrum Wine Cellars.

“We are relying less and less on négociants and are trying to sell as much of our wine as possible direct,” Silvestrini told db.

The estate produces around 180,000 bottles a year, which it sells in France, the UK and other key export markets like Belgium, Canada and China.

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