Icone Barrel


Oak wood remains a natural material, and the variability is real and notable.

Two trees, identical in appearance and growing side by side in the same forest, may have completely different chemical characteristics, and thus produce barrels with very different sensorial impacts on wine.

SEGUIN MOREAU has invested significant resources in scientific research and development to understand oak’s chemical composition and its impact on sensory components in finished wine.

The cooperage tests rough oak staves and segments those with specific makeup of the compounds that will benefit particular wines, lending finesse and predictability. The staves are re-tested throughout the aging cycle to ensure their exclusive suitability for the ICÔNE program.

SEGUIN MOREAU’s ICÔNE Concept, an exclusive oak selection process, is a method of chemical analysis of wood’s extractable substances to identify oenological potential.

The end product is a barrel of the utmost consistency and quality—precisely targeted to particular types of barrel aging and achieving specific and reproducible elegant results.

The Details of the Program:

  • 12 years of fundamental research in SEGUIN MOREAU’s in-house laboratory
  • 4 years of global applied research
  • In more than 200 wineries worldwide
  • Comprising more than 10,000 analyses of oak wood
  • More than 3,000 barrels

SEGUIN MOREAU’s Research and Development Manager Andrei Prida and his team have studied at the molecular level of oak barrels and the chemical reactions that determine a wine’s aroma and flavor quality. This cutting-edge research has helped the cooperage identify which chemical compounds lead to certain aroma and flavor profiles.

Barrel-aged wine is a complex mixture, and its olfactory perception is a result of interaction of the flavors. To determine the role of oak-derived flavor compounds, Prida studied the correlation between the flavor impact that chemical compounds such as tannins and phenolics impart and the actual flavor attributes winemakers seek for their wines. See “Impact of Oak-Derived Compounds on the Olfactory Perception of Barrel-Aged Wines,” in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 61:3:408-413 (2010), as well as a Q&A with Prida: in pdf format here.