Latest development in 'intelligent' wine barrels

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  • Friday 27 March 2009

The latest ‘intelligent barrel’ technology claims to tell winemakers when their wine has finished aging, and how often a top up is required – all thanks to an ‘intelligent band.’

The newest development follows announcements by leading barrel makers last year that their intelligent barrels could enhance specific flavours and characteristics, including red fruit, spices, tobacco leaf, freshness and tannin levels.

The news will fan flames of annoyance already simmering in France over the very existence of a so-called ‘intelligent barrel’.

‘It is really not very intelligent to say a barrel is intelligent,’ professor Denis Dubourdieu of Bordeaux University, told decanter.com.

Despite admitting such barrels offered consumers more fruit and less wood in their wines, Dubourdieu said a barrel would never be able to judge the particular soil and climate conditions of a vintage.

He also questioned their increased costs of €150 to €300.

About 100 of the new intelligent band barrels, made by Seguin Moreau, are currently on trial in Mendoza, Argentina.

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