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Flextank and the Flexstave System of Fine Winemaking

FlexStaves: Initiation, Cellar Activities and Duration.

Flextank has partnered with one of the leading cooperage companies in the world to provide a proprietary staves system under the brand name FlexStaves that are designed to work in conjunction with our tanks.  Available to winemakers is a portfolio of different staves bundles types that are used to make a wide range red and white wines.

Each pack of FlexStaves is one barrel equivalent and serves to mirror aging in traditional oak barrels. So instead of putting wine into oak, winemakers can achieve greater control but putting the desired amount of oak into the wine. This system extends new barrel oak by exposing the maximum amount of wine to the maximum surface of the oak. And unlike barrels, once a desired profile is achieved, the oak to be easily removed.

Stave Usage Recommendations:

Flextank-image
White wines:

Integration of oak begins with addition at primary fermentation. This can maximize texture and promote mouthfeel.

Flextank-image
Red wines:

Integration of oak and tannin begins with addition before Malolactic. This can maximize texture and promote mouthfeel.

FlexStave Flavor Profiles

Texture & Low Aroma

A unique and proprietary blend of seven staves in one complete bundle designed in partnership with a world leading cooperage specifically for use in Flextanks.

You will find the pallet offers creamy butterscotch, creme brulé and soft balanced tannins. Suited for rounded full Chardonnay, Merlot and GSM blends (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) and Pinot Noir. Very thick French oak staves to obtain a very gradual extraction of oak compounds.

Up to 8 months for maximum extraction and minimal integration, with the winemaker’s choice to use up to 24 months for full maturation.

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Flextank-image
Flextank-image

Tight Grain Barrel

A unique and proprietary blend of fourteen staves in one complete bundle designed in partnership with a world leading cooperage specifically for use in Flextanks.

This special blend of tight grain staves enacts mild aromatic expression that brings freshness to your wine with hints of vanilla-cream, much like those found in crème brulé.

GSM, Bordeaux cool weather Syrah. California style Chardonnay show exceptional with this special blend of staves.

Expect up to 12 months for maximum extraction and minimal integration, with the winemaker’s choice to use in contact for up to 24 months.

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Tannin & Toast

A unique and proprietary blend of fourteen staves in one complete bundle designed in partnership with a world leading cooperage specifically for use in Flextanks.

Triple spectrum toasting for fine red wine production. Aromas of spices, hint of sage and laurel. Smokey coffee gives to licorice and bread crust. The pallet brings it together with ample tannins of elegant texture.

Best with extracted Cabernet, lush Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and other big reds are suited for this impressive stave blend.

Expect up to 8 months or more for maximum extraction, with the winemaker’s choice to use in contact for up to 24 months for desired style.

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Flextank-image
Flextank-image

French Oak Vanilla & Toast

A unique and proprietary blend of fourteen staves in one complete bundle designed in partnership with a world leading cooperage specifically for use in Flextanks.

This is a dynamic and broad-spectrum French barrel stave blend. Custom toasting brings rich smoothness with spice, coffee, hints of laurel and sage with mid pallet tannins of elegance and powerful results.

Winegrapes suggestions are Cabernet, Syrah, Petite Syrah, and more big bodied reds. Expect up to 8 months for maximum extraction, with the winemaker’s choice to use in contact with wine for up to 24 months for desired style.

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American Medium Plus Toast

A unique and proprietary blend of fourteen staves in one complete bundle designed in partnership with a world leading cooperage specifically for use in Flextanks.

Mature Missouri oak with a higher impact. Offering vanilla, and brown sugar tones with hint of cinnamon and baking spices. Notable sweetness on the pallet. Best suited for bigger wines giving the winemaker a nice aromatic intensity, complexity, combining a higher toast with pedigreed wood origins. Often used with rich Zinfandel and warm region styles of Syrah and robust Bordeaux blends.

Up to 6 months or more for maximum extraction. Winemaker may choose to use in contact for 24 months for desired style.

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Flextank-image
Flextank-image

American Medium Toast

A unique and proprietary blend of fourteen staves in one complete bundle designed in partnership with a world leading cooperage specifically for use in Flextanks.

Mature Missouri oak, med-wide grain with a natural balance of lactones. The pallet offers front and mid mouth sweetness. Aromas include coconut and dill. Aromatic intensity, complexity, combining toasts and wood origins. Structure and sweetness on the palate.

Well suited for Chardonnay, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Merlot aiming for aromatic intensity and complexity.

Up to 6 months or more for general extraction, with a maximum of 24 months for desired style.

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Setup:

Each stave bundle pack is tied together with a stainless steel strap. Each bundle has the same level of oak to wine contact as compared to using a new 59 gallon barrel. The number of bundles used is a function of tank size and the percentage of new barrel equivalent the winemaker desires. As the staves absorb the wine, they sink into the tank over time. Bloom during extraction is normal, mixing prior to sampling is essential.

Cellar Recommendations:

  1. Preform all normal barrel operations for the Flextank system.
  2. Leave no headspace.
  3. Perform regular chemical tests.
  4. So2 as needed.
  5. Strictly monitor of microbiological conditions.
  6. Rack as needed.

Recommended Time of Contact:

Minimum 4-8 months, to be monitored by tasting. To achieve barrel results, longer aging is often needed.

Additional notes:

  1. Always off-gas a fresh fermentation. Venting might be necessary.
  2. On first fill, Flextanks will have a resting and settling period. The tank will stretch during this period, about 1-2 weeks.  This will allow the tank to achieve equilibrium with the volume of liquid. Because of Flextanks’ engineering NO additional liquid is passed through the walls and topping is rarely needed. Topping will occur in the case of sample replacement or oak removal.  In this case, add wine as needed.
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How much oak should I use?

Each pack of FlexStave is one barrel equivalent. 225 liters, 59 gallons. So, in a 300 gallon stacker you will need 5 packs for a 100% new barrel experience.

Will adding FlexStave to my wine add micro-Ox?

Yes, about 3-4 mg/L/year. This is notable to the total with your Flextank Micro -Ox.

Is there a way to weight down the FlexStaves?

No, Flextank is a barrel replacement and always should be topped off. When this is followed your FlexStaves are 100% submerged. Bloom or stratification is normal in any vessel and mixing to obtain the true sample is part of good cellar practice.

Will FlexStaves sink to the bottom in time?

Yes, expect about 4-8 months for this to occur. Your pack will come with a Stainless steel band to gather them. You will need a harvest rake or other sanitary device to pull them out. Otherwise, drain and remove on regular racking.

If I find after several months or less the wine has enough oak, can I remove and reuse?

Only if you are going to transfer into wine ASAP. Microbial populations will take over spoil any oak product in the cellar. In general, FlexStaves are one time use.

I have been using your Oak “Wine Stix” Can I still get them?

Yes, we will continue to offer the Wine Stix products.

Still Have Questions? Give Us A Call! 1-360-450-2694

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