In today’s interesting piece of news, the price of new French oak barrels has just hit record prices – now hitting $2,000ea (which is 30-40% higher than just three years ago).
That’s off the back of low supply thanks to coronavirus-affected shipping delays and, incidentally, building for the Paris Olympics (among other reasons).
What does that mean for Australia?
Largely, it means a price (and supply) squeeze for hard-pressed producers. Alternatively, look for the possible inclusion of Hungarian (oak), which is often compared with French wood, and has already gained fans at Yalumba.
Then again, maybe this is the year when amphorae become mainstream. Or concrete eggs, for that matter (although Tony Bish’s French oak eggs might be out of the question).
But ultimately, you shouldn’t be surprised to see less new oak in your 2022 vintage wines…