Spring Mountain's winemaker believes that the characteristics of the grape; its complement of aromas and flavors are central in importance to his wines. He wants to preserve those characteristics of the wine that originate in the vineyard, as it is these characteristics that make his wines distinct from all others. From the barrel he is looking for smooth middle palate flavors with elegant toasty and vanilla like aromas that complement the grape aromas and flavors in his wine. He avoids barrels that impart flavors that dominate the wine: greenness, excessive smokiness, bitterness and astringency.
Central to this philosophy is his practice of not buying all of our barrels from a single supplier or from a single forest. He looks for dense oak and quality construction. Often his purchases are medium toast, COF, French Oak, made in France; but he is open to any wood source that will impart the desired effect on his wines.
He strives for complexity by aging in barrels produced from a small group of coopers that he has selected and cultivated to bring him their best barrels.
In general, he uses 50% new barrels for each vintage.
Click here to read about barrel caves.