Mac backs the vat

Saltram is not the only winery buying large maturation vats. The trend is quite a wide one. Yarra Valley winemaker Mac Forbes approached the doyen of Austrian coopers, Franz Stockinger, who is Angelo Gaja’s main supplier. “He insisted on sitting down with me and tasting and talking before he would sell me a barrel,” says Forbes. “He opened a couple of dozen bottles with me. I think he wanted to gauge my commitment, and see whether I’d thought it through properly. He sold me one 1200-litre cask.”

Forbes fermented riesling in it this year, and hopes to buy more. “It completely changes the texture,” he says. Certainly, a high-acid 2012 riesling tasted much better balanced out of the cask than it did from stainless steel.

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