A CHÂTEAU AT THE HEART OF THE RIBERA DEL DUERO
The wine cellar is surrounded by more than 60 hectares of vineyard in 14 lands within a radius of 2 km of the best Tempranillo at an average height of 800 metres above the sea. This height and the excellent quality of the soils of this valley, between Pesquera de Duero and Piñel de Abajo, ensure that the grapes they used are of the best quality.
Moreover, a wine cellar has been built in the landscape for the creation of great wines, with selection tables to elaborate the grapes with the best quality. Barrels and French oak casks are used to elaborate the wines by land or plot. That’s how all the wines from Bodega Trus have a very individual personality, typical of the area where the vineyards are.
The wines from Trus are a sign of quality and enjoyment in each and every bottle. A paradise at the centre of the Ribera del Duero that helps us understand the success and fame that this Designation of Origin has all over the world.
It is designed for the reception of the grapes and their subsequent fermentation in casks of 25,000 litres. The harvest is manually made with boxes. Immediately, the grapes are moved to the cellar. On this plant, the grape is selected “cluster by cluster” and it is placed in casks with the best possible care, in favour of gravity, without crashing the grape and avoiding any type of suffer and crash of any machine that could end in the breaking of seeds.
Here there are 600 French oak barrels of 225 litres where the wine starts ripening, capturing the polyphenols of the wood with the careful contribution of the oxygen. The wine starts enriching with flavour and aroma.
This is a room especially designed to reach the best asepsis possible. A set of glassblower and a filling machine, characterised by the precision of the filling, with an afterwards dragging before corking, with inert gas and always a cork stopper (natural, not synthetic) in order to eliminate the oxidations of the wine in the bottle.
This is a wide plant where our wines rest and sleep in big cages, from the bottling to the dressing. It is our enologist’s choice to let the wines age in bottle for a long time in order to achieve the best roundness and complexity (reservas for 3 years and crianzas no less than 1 year).
AGEING IN OAK
Oak is part of the viticulture for more than 2000 years. At the beginning, it was only used to transport the beverage, replacing other containers which were more fragile and heavy, like the amphoras.
Why oak? Oak was the type of wood that proved to be the most suitable for contain and age the wine.
There are two subspecies of oak of real importance for the viticulture: French oak and American oak.
The ageing of wine on a typical oak barrel of 225 litres implies two phenomena.The first one is the oxygen filtration through the micropores of the wood with the reactions that triggers that micro oxygenation. With this system, the wine is softened, turns velvety and it is not as piercing on palate because its components start a slow process of oxidation, evolution and polymerization.
The other phenomenon is the incorporation to the wine of a wide range of aromatic compounds, typical of the wood. These are the tannins of the wood. Here is where we’ll see the difference between the French oak and the American oak. The first one brings notes of chocolate, tobacco and cocoa; the second one brings notes of custard, vanilla and coco (generally speaking).
Both processes give the wine more complexity, refinement, tastes and aromas. They need to have the necessary structure, alcohol, acidity and balance.
Another model for ageing wines is the oak cask. It is a container with a capacity from 2,000 to 30,000 litres or more. In our case, we usually use casks of 2,000 litres, produced by the best French barrel-makings. With these tanks, the interaction between wood and wine requires more time, since the relation between surface and volume is lower. In general, we obtain wines more respectful with the most.
AGEING IN CONCRETE
The peak on the use of concrete in wine cellars was from 1940 to 1960. During these years, big concrete tanks were built with a bung hole in the lower side. The inside was plastered with cement and was finished with tartaric acid. This covering makes the concrete unassailable from the components of the wine.
In our case, the incorporation of concrete has been through ovoid containers.
The concrete allows the micro oxygenation through the pores. The physical principle that justifies the oval form is that the wine is subjected to an intern movement due to the differences in temperature that provoke fluids flows (some kind of natural battonage). The tannins become rounded in a natural process due to the oxygen supply. This ageing on concrete cancels the contribution of tannins and aromas from the barrel. The result is a pure wine (more varietal character) and a palate more glyceric.
These are the main characteristics of these casks:
1) Natural insolation. The heat conductivity of the concrete is ten times lower than the one of the stainless steel to reach the same thickness, but obviously the thickness used for the concrete is larger than the one used with the stainless steel, it is then when the difference is further aggravated.
The concrete tank is 350 times more insulating than the stainless steel tank, and this is, without a doubt an advantage in any of the productive processes of the wine.
The concrete obtains an stabilizing effect in the wine’s temperature, avoiding peaks that are harmful to the yeast. Inside of a concrete tank everything is more gradual, softer, without sudden changes, which is appreciated during the fermentation, but also in the storage or in the aging.
2) Microporosity. The concrete is a porous material due to its elaboration process and the materials with which it is composed. The concrete used in our tanks guarantees the air tightness, at the same time that provides them with microporosity, allowing a certain permeability to the flowing of oxygen.
The process called microoxygenation is the one making the wines evolve in a different way and to endure the time, obtaining results similar to the ones get with oak barrels, but keeping a purest flavour.
3) Neutral material. When we use an oak barrel to age a wine, not only do we obtain a microoxygenation of that wine, but also the wood relinquishes its tannins and its aromatic values during all the aging process unable to stable it.
The concrete of the tanks does not contain tannins, and the scent that it may get to transfer to the wine is soft and mineral, therefore we can achieve a natural microoxygenation inside of a tank made of a very neutral material.