Ermitage was created to enhance the range of barrels by investing in even higher quality features, with the aid of expertise provided by Berthomieu. The barrels produced in the new production line are:
In 225 liters
Bordeaux Transport, 27mm
Bordeaux Transport mince, 22mm
Bordeaux Château Ferrée, 22mm
Bordeaux Château, 22mm
In 228 liters
Bourgogne Export, 27mm
Bourgogne Caveau, 27mm
and 300, 400 and 500 liters
Ermitage barrels are distinguished for
- The longest seasoning of the oak, which extends to 36 months
- The ability to select the top French oak forests, Bertranges and Tronçais
- Εnabling the winemaker to select intermediate levels of toasting within the classic range of "light, medium, medium plus and strong"
With the support of Groupe Charlois, Ermitage seeks out oak of consistently high quality each year. Thanks to the wide knowledge and experience of six generations, Groupe Charlois knows where to look all over France for the finest oak.
After the oak has been seasoned for 36 months, three goals have been met:
The first is to bring the moisture of the staves to within 14-18%,so that mechanical processing is possible.
The second is to increase the porosity of the wood so that oxygenation of the wine during aging is optimal.
The third is to flush out the phenolic substances responsible for the aromas of green wood, while through chemical and biochemical processes to develop noble oak aromas.
The technique of slow, deep toasting of the barrel that gives richer, more complex, and at the same time more refined aromas, has been perfected. This method, unlike the traditional "gauloise" toasting, does not lead to the formation of a highly aromatic surface rind inside the barrel, which can overwhelm the wine with strong wood.
Strict observance of all of these factors enables avoidance of intense toasting, without running the risk of the phenomenon of "green-unripe" wood even in light toasting.
And for fans of aging with minimal aromatic influence of the barrel on the aromas of each variety of wine, natural drying of the oak for 48 months is also available.
And of course each barrel is labeled “Naturaleza” once it has passed all chemical and biochemical tests and meets certification requirements, just as Berthomieu barrels do.
In cooperation with each winemaker, Ermitage recommends barrels that will ensure the expression of his own "personal" views on the aging of his wines.