Could someone please explain what "neutral" oak is?

Thanks much.
Original Post
Oak barrels loose the ability to impart flavor after about 3 years of use. Each year after the first, the barrel will impart less influence on the wine until it becomes "neutral" and will not do anything more than allow for microoxidation.
You can have the barrels re-toasted and shaved but it's cost prohibitive. The best way is to utilize staves. Innerstave will put in new, toasted pieces into the barrel and you're good to go again. The only problem is the flavor. Innerstave cannot match the flavor of a good new barrel.

Another issue is, with time the pores of the barrel close up and you loose the micro-oxidation effect. Bacteria can also build up in the barrels.

Remember the old Italian and Spanish wines that were very funky? It's because they used barrels for years (5-15) and the microbial instabilities were passed from vintage to vintage.
all said bevor Wink,

i want to add a term i beleve parker said/wrote:

there is never to much wood in the wine, there's only to less wine in it.

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