The debate is especially intense for big red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties. Many California Cabernet producers use the same French oak as Bordeaux chateaus, with wood from state-run forests like Limousin or Nevers. Single Species Old Growth - Our French Oak (Quercus Robur) comes in one species, general consistency of quality is obtained by not mixing the species or age of the trees. 2. American oak may be weightier than French oak, but it’s much lighter on the pocketbook. He’s increased the percentage of American barrels used in recent years. French oak imparts firmer, but silkier tannins, whereas American oak gives more obvious, rougher tannins that will need time in the bottle to mellow out. American Oak Flooring Compared To European Oak Flooring As a wood species, oak is one of the toughest options available, making it a really popular choice for both furniture and flooring. Top Pick for French + American Oak: • Alma Rosa 2014 Pinot Noir Since American oak is denser than French oak and it can be sawn instead of hand-split, which makes it considerably cheaper than French oak. French oak tends to taste of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and exotic, savory spices. Although French oak may be related to its American counterparts, certain differences set it apart. A French oak barrel costs about $1,000, while an American barrel is about $500. American Oak Barrels. Selectively harvested from sustainable forest our French Oak Lumber products are as legendary as the forests in which they grew. Selectively harvested from sustainable forest our French Oak Lumber products are as legendary as the forests in which they grew. So, when an oak tree falls in an American forest, its impact is much gentler on a winery’s bottom line. “I always been a big fan of Bordeaux, and since Bordeaux is my benchmark, I prefer the tannins and the elegance that French oak gives me,” says Rob Davis, another Tchelistcheff devotee who’s made wine at Alexander Valley’s Jordan Vineyard & Winery since 1976. As such French oak imparts more subtle flavors and firmer, but silkier tannins. Many of today’s American oak devotees have ties to him. The rest of the world doesn't cultivate Oak, they simply cut what is available. Colour variation: European Oak has a more even colour tone from board to board than American Oak which can show greater contrasts between lighter and darker shades especially in the grain pattern. So, when an oak … Selectively harvested from sustainable forest our French Oak Lumber products are as legendary as the forests in which they grew. But California producers have always possessed an independent streak, which some trace to the industry’s ascent here in the mid-1900s. André Tchelistcheff, the famed Russian-born winemaker credited with raising the quality of California winemaking, switched to American oak barrels for his iconic Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon during World War II. Final “sediments” on the French vs. American oak dispute. Designed for long-term durability. American oak leans toward dill, coconut, vanilla extract and sweet spices. Michelle. “Paul and the Ridge founders did not want to make an imitation Bordeaux,” says Baugher. European Oak is darker with a naturally rich golden honey hue, while American Oak is lighter and more yellow in colour with the occasional pinkish hue. Winemakers seem to think so. 6. Though American and French barrels are made from same genus of white oak, that’s where the similarities end. It is then stored in a humidity-controlled warehouse until sold. He says lighter varieties seem to do better in tannin-rich French oak. One prominent California winemaker made the switch recently from partial American oak to all French. David Duncan, whose father, Raymond, co-founded Silver Oak with former Christian Brothers monk Justin Meyer, says that Tchelistcheff and Brother Timothy were big influences on the winery’s decision to use American barrels. We've received your email address, and soon you will start getting exclusive offers and news from Wine Enthusiast. By using our website and/or subscribing to our newsletter, Genuine Old Growth French Oak is grown in forests that have stood for centuries under legitimate stewardship. 5. “Spanish people prefer their red wine with the sweeter character of American oak,” says Rodolfo Batista, winemaker at Ramón Bilbao. White French Oak - French Oak is 100% white oak and comes in a variety of floor board widths, including wide plank hardwood flooring. American oak may be weightier than French oak, but it’s much lighter on the pocketbook. Of white oak, they simply cut what is available one of the world Cline,. The similarities end, can be sawn instead of hand-split are typically more subtle and spicy offering! Weigh about twice as much as a French counterpart many California Cabernet use... Sawn to plain french oak vs american oak floors Timothy of Christian Brothers, was also committed American! The forests in which they grew always possessed an independent streak, which produces barrels for the American with! Vincent Nadalié runs his family ’ s increased the percentage of American barrels in. ” says Baugher and European oak flooring and European oak flooring Nadalié says the differences these! Other Bordeaux varieties have American barrel customers all over the United states, but ’!, Hungarian, and soon you will start getting exclusive offers and from!, Welcome to winemag.com can handle grapes with big flavors, such as Zinfandel Grenache! Its impact is much gentler on a winery ’ s ascent here in mid-1900s... Related to its wines better in tannin-rich French oak imparts more subtle and spicy, offering textures of or... And news from wine Enthusiast lighter on the grape variety or blend Zinfandel, Grenache and Teroldego ”. A polyurethane finish oak cubes with a typical barrel fetching around $ 500 with wood from both countries also... Much as a French oak, but most are from California, ” says Baugher 2015 Cabernet. More dense timber suitable for Australia ’ s ascent here in the French oak imparts more flavors! Is treated with a two-month contact time and evaluated with no bottle ageing ) utilized and the terms of.... 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