Concrete Tank Chronicles: Crafting Distinctive Mouthfeel with Science and Style

Concrete Tank Chronicles: Crafting Distinctive Mouthfeel with Science and Style
While some refer to them as Concrete Wine Tanks, to us, it's affectionately known as Freddie due to its striking resemblance to the planet Mercury. We utilize Freddie, our 2-ton concrete tank, to give some of our wines a different mouthfeel. 

Define "mouthfeel"

Mouthfeel refers to the tactile sensations experienced when wine is swirling around in your mouth. Think silky, smooth, velvety or rough. Acidity brings the zing, alcohol brings the heat, tannins can be rough and sugar can either be luxurious or thick and cloying.

The large size creates a natural temperature difference between the top and bottom of the tank. The sphere has no corners, perfect for internal movement.
Tooth & Nail Sphere Tank

Fermentation creates heat, heat creates convection currents, and that convection causes the lees to hover in the wine, with the wine moving around the lees on their own.

Define "lees"

In winemaking, sediment consists of various components like dead yeast cells, grape seeds, stems, pulp, and harmless tartaric acid crystals known as tartrates. These elements settle in the barrel or tank during and after fermentation. It's essential to remove the larger particles called gross lees, including seeds, skins, and stems, immediately after fermentation to avoid spoilage. However, the wine can undergo further aging on the fine lees, a process known as "sur lie" aging. Fine lees, composed of dead yeast cells from fermentation, can enrich the wine with added richness, complexity in flavor and aroma, and can even help in smoothing out excess tannins.

“The sphere lets the lees just vomit their delicious guts out.”
- Rob Murray, owner

This constant movement is like bâtonnage without the extra work.

Define "bâttonage"

Bâttonage is a French term for stirring up the lees while the wine ages and matures.

Destinata, Squad, and a few more of our wines have been aged in this sphere.