Red wines containing high concentrations of Phenolics require frequent exposure to air in the first year, and less exposure in the second year. Topping in the first year is at least once a week and more often or for longer than one year if it is necessary to soften polyphenols. During aging Sulfer Dioxide levels are maintained at relatively low levels, between 15 and 20 mg/liter free. Higher levels of Sulfer Dioxide interfere with the polymerization of phenols. Red wines are racked from barrel to barrel or from barrel to tank and back to barrel. This gives the wine a thorough aeration, removes sediment, and minimizes the need for multiple filtrations.
In the second year the wines are tightly bunged and only require topping to insure the barrels are full. The wine receive 20 to 22 months of barrel age depending upon when maceration was completed. For Syrah the aging is usually 10 months longer, or 32 months total.