When working with a new wine barrel, the size of the barrel generally determines how long the wine can be safely stored before it becomes over-oaked. As barrels get smaller, the surface area of the wood that is in contact with the wine grows proportionately larger. This means that you will have a higher percentage of oak compounds being released into a smaller volume of wine. And, much like using two tea bags to make a single cup of tea, the rate it can become overpowering will be much faster than when using a single bag!
To avoid over-oaking your wines, we recommend the following timelines:
(Note: While these are good guidelines to build on, you will need to ultimately rely on your own tastes and preferences to make the final decision for when a particular wine needs to be racked from its barrel).
MoreInfo! About Oak!: