- SUB-TOPICS Of WINE EVALUATION-Aroma
- What is Aroma?
- Aromatic vs. Non-Aromatic Grapes
- Dried Herbs vs. Essential Oils
- Minerality In Wine
- Evaluating Oak Barrel Aging
- Other Topic In Wine Evaluation-Aroma
1) WHAT Is AROMA?
SMELL vs. SCENT vs. AROMAS vs. ODORS
- SMELL- Refers to One of Our 5 Senses.
- SCENT- Refers to Something We Smell.
- AROMA- Distinctive, Typically Pleasing Scent.
- ODOR- Distinctive, Typically Unpleasant Scent.
- BOUQUET- Characteristic Scent of a Wine of Perfume.
- Often Used to Describe a Wine’s Aromas When it Begins to Show Bottle Age.
- Often Used to Describe Smelled Derived From the Winemaking Process.
“Most Aroma Molecules Found In Wine Can’t Be Detected by Tasting the Grapes Themselves But They Emerge From Precursor Molecules During Fermentation.”
There Have Been Approximately 550 Volatile Components Identified In Grape and Wine. Nearly 50 Terpene Compounds In Grapes Have Been Identified, Many of These Components Contribute to the Aromas of Wine.
- Wine Aroma Components Can Be Classified Into Four Groups.
- Originating From the Grapes.
- Produced During the Crushing or the Grapes and Preceding Actions of Certain Enzymes.
- Produced During Fermentation.
- Produced During the Maturation of the Wine.
SCENT vs. FLAVORS
Biologically Speaking, the Only Difference Between Flavor and Scent is Directional of Imput. Olfactory Nerves in the Upper Nasal Cavity Recognize Smells, When Sniffed From/ Through the Nose. When Wine is Consumed Through the Mouth They Register as Flavors. The Nose is a More Powerful Recognition Tool But the Mouth Amplifies Them Greater Because of the Warming Effect of Body Heat of In Mouth.
- –Scent Descriptors– Bouquet, Nose, Fragrant, Perfume, Seductive
- Your Nose Can Smell and Identify +380 Different Aroma and Odors.
- 69% of Tasting is From Your Sense of Smell.
- You Can Smell Wine Otho-Nasally (Through the Nose) or Retro-Nasally (Through the Mouth).
PRIMARY AROMAS- Refers to Scents In the Wine That are Characteristic of the Grape Varietal and are Not Added by the Influence of Secondary Sources.
- Primary Flavors In Wine Are Attributed to Interactions Between Esters, Alcohols and Acids.
- To Enhance Primary Aromas of a Varietal Fermentation In Stainless Steel, Concrete or Neutral Oak Barrel is Suggested.
- –Examples– Fruit, Earthy, Petrol(Is Inherent to the Grape, But Can Also be a Tertiary Flavor That Can Develop In a Bottle Over Time.)
SECONDARY/ EXTERNAL AROMAS- Fragrances In the Wine That are Introduced by the Wine-Making Process, from Secondary Sources.
- –Examples– Fermentation, Yeast, Ethel, Lees, Acetate, Cream, Esters, Barrels, Yogurt
TERTIARY AROMAS- Scents That Develop Over Time From the Aging/ Maturation Process. As Wine Ages, Fruit Diminishes and Other Characteristics Come Forward From Bottle or Barrel Aging.
- –Examples– Leather, Tar, Cigar, Earthiness, Tobacco, Camomile
POST TERTIARY AROMAS- Scents That Develops Over Decades of Aging After Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Aromas Have All Died Off.
- –Examples– Beef Broth
- DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE~ ~Swirling Your Wine In the Glass.~
- “Vigorously Rotating the Wine In a Circular Motion In the Glass Agitates the Wine by Breaking the Surface Tension and Volatiles the Esters and Aroma Compounds and Mix Them with the Alcohol. When the Alcohol Hits Oxygen it Vaporized and Rises Out of the Glass or Gets Trapped Inside the Rim of the Glasses Bulb.”
- Draw In the Aromas Above the Glass, Then Move In For More Aggressive Sniff Inside Glass.
- Take a Long Smell While Rolling the Rim of the Glass Under Your Nostril From One Side of Your Nose to the Other.
- Close Your Eyes While Smelling. (Lose of One Sense Will Enhance Another Sense)
- One Side of Nose is Usually Superior to Other.
- Try to Get a Little Wine In Your Nose(A Few Drops), This Will Enhance Your Aroma Assessment.
- Without Ability to Smell Only the Structure of a Wine Will Be Perceived(Sweetness, Tannins, Alcohol Level, Mouthfeel)
“Some Aromas Are So Slight That the Chemical Sensory Detection Thresholds In the Wine Are as Little as 1 Part Per Million.”
Passive Inhalation– Using Nose to Inhale a Wine Scents.
Active Inhalation– Using Nose and Mouth to Inhale a Wine Scents.
- Opens the Olfactory and Retro-Nasal Pathways to Incoming Aromas.
- Take One Big Sniff, or a Series of Several Small Sniff, Make Wine Zone Personal.
- Smell From Outside the Glass Inward. Start With the Nose One Inch From the Glass and Work Your Nose In the Bottom of the Glass Over a Series of Smell. Floral Smells Live at Top of Glass, While Aroma Will Accumulate Inside the Bulb.
- Earth, Others Stronger Aroma Come and Overpower the Olfactory Bulb.
- Once You Smell Too Much You Can’t Go Back.
- When Smelling a Wine Pick Up On “Other” Scents First…Terpene, Pyazines and Then Circle Back to Fruit and Earth.
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “If an Aroma is Smelled From a Glass Does It Need Time to Be Regenerated to Be Smelled Again In Full?”
- “Wine Needs a Little Time to Generate and Release Its Aroma. This Can Be Accelerated by Swirling the Wine In the Glass and Helping It Give Up its Aroma Faster. Over an Extended Period of Time the Wine Will Release or Give Off Most/ All of Its Aroma and the Wine Will Not Contain Any Smells.”
OLFACTORY SENSORY SYSTEM– Cranial Bulb Located Above Nose, Between Eyes.
- Olfactory Epithelium- Organ Which Converts Volatile Aroma Compounds Into the Electrochemical Signals We Perceive as Aromas. The Olfactory Bulb is Responsible For Odor Perception, Odor Memory, Interpretation of Smell and Taste Based On Experience and References. What We Taste In Wine is Retro-Nasal. Wine Goes Down Throat, Volatilizes, Turns Into Gas and Rises Up Into Nose, and That’s What We Smell and Taste.
- There Are 400 Types of Olfactory Receptors, But We Don’t Know Which Volatile Aroma Compounds Activate the Majority of Them.
- Women Are Generally Better Tasters, Largely Because They Posses a Larger and More Condensed Bundle of Nerves(Up to 50% More) In Their Olfactory Bulb. This is Due to a Genetic Evolution Over Time.
- DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE~ ~Actively Develop Your Palate.~
- “Smell Everything Around Your, Wine Coaxes Us to Think About Smells Which Develops Our Olfactory Bulb and Our Sense of Smell.”
“What Does the Aroma From This Wine Remind You of?”
GUSTATORY SENSORY SYSTEM– Responsible For Our Sense of Taste, Allows Perception of Various Flavors From Substances In Food and Drink. Molecules That We Taste Are Sensed by Cells In Our Mouth Which Send Information to Brain.
TRIGEMINAL SENSORY SYSTEM– Responsible For Sensation In the face and Motor Functions Such as Biting and a Chewing.
- All Three Sensory Systems Operate Within the Limbic System to Process Sensory Information to Complete the Perception of Aroma and Flavors
- Limbic System-
- QUANTITIVE METHODS Of EVALUATING SMELLS
- Assessing Concentration/ Quantity
- Odor Intensity
- Odor Quality
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Is the Ability to Smell Something You Can Learn to Be Good at?”
- “Just Like Athletes Aquire the Ability to Excel at a Particular Sport or a Musician Spend Years Studying Music Theory and Practicing an Instrument Wine Professional or Wine People Who Desire to Have Aptitude at Blind Tasting Can Learn to Develop There Sense of Smell.”
LOSING OUR SENSE Of SMELL And TASTE
ANOSMIA- The Loss of the Sense of Smell, Either Total or Partial.
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Do We Lose Our Sense of Smell as We Age?”
- “The Number of Taste Buds and Nerve Ending Decrease as We Age and So Does Our Sense of Smell and Taste. This Natural Phenomenon Increases In People Over the Age of 65. In Some Studies It Has Been Shown That You Can Keep Your Taste and Smell Lessen the Depletion of Them by Smelling A lot and Often to “Keep Them In Shape.”
SENSATION vs. PERCEPTION
- SENSATION- Perceived by Receptors Located in the Nostris of the Nose Which Relay Aromas Directly From the Nerve to the Brain.
- PERCEPTION– Involves the Brain, Which Scan and Analyze Sensations and Works to Discribe What We Are Smelling.
FLAVOR COMPOUNDS- Substances In Wine That Can Be Smelled or Tasted.
- There Are Up to 1,000 Aromatic Compounds Possibly Found In Wine.
ORDER COMPOUNDS ACCUMULATE IN GRAPES: Tartrate, Tannin, Hydroxycinnamates, Methoxpyrazine, Malate, Glucose, Fructose, Anthocyanin, Flavor Compounds.
SUGGESTIVE AROMA ASSOCIATION– The Act of Telling Someone Drinking Wine What Scents and Flavors Are In the Wine and What to Look For.
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Do Scents of White Flowers Smell of White Wine and Do Scents of Colored Flowers Smell of Red Wine?”
- “Generally the Smell of Violet Will Be Smelled On Red Wines and the Smells of White Blossom Will Be Found On White Wines.”
HOW DOES WINE SMELL LIKE SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS?
- All Grapes of the World Get Their Primary Flavors or Varietal Characteristics as it Grows and Develops On the Vine. Each Grape Create Their Own Flavor Profile Based On the Grapes Genetic Composition or “Make-Up”. Although There Are Some Variation, These Characteristics Are Fairly Typical of Wines Made From These Grapes Regardless of Where the Grapes are Grown.
- Unfermented Wine Smell Only of Grape Juice, All the Flavor and Characteristic of the Grape/ Wine is “Locked-Up” Inside the Grape Itself. It’s the Yeast (Though Fermentation) That Activates or “Unlocks” the True Essence of the Finished Wine. Wine Possesses Hundreds of Aroma and Flavor Compounds That Interact to Created Thousands of Smell and Flavors.
- Grapes Are a Unique Fruit In That They Contain Natural Chemical Compounds That Are Found Within Themselves as Well as Other Fruits, Vegetables, Organic and Inorganic Things of This Earth. Yeast Through Fermentation Releases These Chemical Compounds.
- Stereoisomers- Different Configuration of the Same Chemical Compounds In Different Things.
- –Examples– -Zinfandels/ Syrah Contain the Same Chemical Compounds Found In Black Pepper and Give Both Their Spiciness.
- Chardonnay Contains Malic Acid, Which the Same Acid Found In Green Apples and Gives Both Their Tartness.
- Some Aromas and Flavors Can Be Steered or Coaxed to Come Out In a Wine. Wild Yeast Will Give Off Certain Aromas and Flavors In a Wine Where as Cultured Yeast Will Give Off Completely Different Aromas and Flavors.
- –Example– In Chardonnay Certain Yeast Can Give Off Tropical Fruit Aromas and Flavors While Other Yeast Give off Distinctly Citrus Aromas and Flavors. There are Hundreds of Available Yeast to Use In Wine Making and It’s Up to the Wine Makers Experience and Knowledge of These Yeast to Make a Finished Wine.
- Some Aromas and Flavors Brought Out or Added After the Fermentation are Complexed. Malolactic Fermentation/ Convention, Sur-Lee Aging, Oak Aging.
“Grapes Are a Very Delicate Fruit and Very Impressionable to Viticultural and Vinicultural Procedures.”
INTENSITY–(Aromatic)– Assessing the Power or Volume of the Aromas as a Whole, Not to Be Confused With Describing Any Quality/ Type of Aromas.
- As Wine Ages it Loses Aromatic Intensity But Gains Aromatic Complexity.
- –Intensity Scale– Low | Medi- | Medium | Medi+ | High/ Pronounced
- DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE~ ~Smell Your Wine Starting at You Navel, Then Your Chest, Then Your Nose.~
- “A Real ‘Intense’ Aromatic Wine Can Be Smelled if You Hold the Glass at Your Waist. A “Good” Aromatic Nose Can Be Smelled With Glass to Your Chest. If Your Can Smell a Wine Under Your Nose the Wine is Lacking.”
“Most Aromas and Flavors of a Wine are Derived Through the Grape, Some Aromas Compounds are Derived By Yeast Through Fermentation. The Remaining are Formed After Fermentation, or During the Aging Process.”
2) TERPENES– Group of Chemical Compounds/ Molecules Present In Skins of Certain Vitus Vinifera Varietals That Are Responsible For the Distinctive Floral and Spice Aromatics Scents of Wine.
- For Terpenes to Develop Their Full Aromatic Potential, Minimal Vinification is Needed. Fermented In Steel, No Barrel Time to Retain Acidity, Enhance Fruitiness.
- VARIETALS WITH ELEVATED TERPENES
- WHITE= Albarino, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, Muscat Blanc A Petite Grain, Moscophilero, Moscato, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Scheurebe, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes, Vermentino, Viognier
- RED= Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Schiava, Syrah
Terpene Derivatives Are present In 6 Forms
- Petrol Smells- TDN. (1,1,6-Trimethyl-1,2-Dihydronaphthalene) TDN. Is Prevalent In Terpene-Rich Wines Exposed to a Lot of Sunshine
- Aromas: Floral (Rose), Mandarin Orange, Coriander
- GRAPES WITH MONOTERPENES/ TERPINES
- WHITE= Albariño, Gewurtztraminer, Muscat Blanc, Riesling, Torrontes, Viognier
- RED= Schiava
METHOXPYRAZINE/ Pyrazine– Aromatic Organic Compound That Smells of
- Aromas- Vegetable, Grass, Herbaceous, Pea, Green Bell Pepper, Elderflower Chocolate, Coffee, Mint, Sweet Basil, Green Olive, Tarragon
- Off Aromas- Asparagus Water, Steamed Green Pepper
- 3-Alkyl-2-Methoxypryazine (MP.’s) The Main MP.’s Found In Wine Are…
- 3-Isobutyl-2-Methoxpyrazine (IBMP.)
Found In Capsicum/ Pepper Family, Characterized by…Green Peas, Bell Pepper, Tomato Leaf, Asparagus
- 3-Isopropyl-2-Methoxypyrazine (IPMP.)
Found In , Characterized by…Coffee, Earth, Potatoes, Hazelnuts, Chocolate
- 3-Sec-Butyl-2-Methoxypyrazine (SBMP.)
- 3-Ethyl-2-Methoxpyrazine (ETMP.)
- GRAPES WITH METHOXPRYAZINE/ Pyrazine
- WHITE= Sauvignon Blanc
- RED= Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot
- VITICULTURE– PRACTICES– Pyrazine In Wine Can Be Degragated/ Controlled/ Ripened Out of a Wine With Proper Pruning and Canopy Management/ Leaf Covering, Yields, Extended Ripening and Proper Picking Decisions.
- Pyrazine Flavors In Grapes Can Be Ripened Out by Extended “Hang-Time”.
- Pyrazine Degradation Happen Towards the End of the Grape Growing Ripening/ Cycle, In Cooler Climates Wine Will Show More Pyrazines.
- Pyrazine Are Generally Extracted From the Skins of Grapes Within the First 24 Hour During Maceration, Before Fermentation Begins.
- Aromas- Lychee, Rose, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lees Smell
- GRAPES WITH TERRAZINE
- WHITE= Muscat Blanc, Gewürztraminer
- RED= Garnacha, Shiraz
THIOLS– AKA=Mercaptans. Strong Smelling Unpleasant Organic Sulfur Compound. Mercaptans Are Often Encountered In Wines Suffering From Reduction as Well as In Very Old White Wines.
- Sulphur Containing Compounds That Are Present and a Odorless Precursor In Ripe Grapes.
- During Fermentation Yeast Renders Thiol Volatile and Can Provide Distinctive Varietal Aromas
- Mercaptans- Organic Sulfur Compound Composed of Alkyl Group & Thiol Group.
- Are Able to Subtly Change Their Form Depending On the Wine Environment They Are In.
- Aromas- Grapefruit, Black Currant, Cat Piss, Passion Fruit, Lemon Grass, Green Olive
- GRAPES WITH THIOLS
- WHITE= Colombard, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino
- RED= Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
GEOSMIN– Organic Compound From Bacteria.
- Aromas- Mushrooms, Beets, Potting Soil
- GRAPES WITH GEOSMIN
ROTUNDONE– Terpene Found In Grape-Skins.
- Naturally Occurring Chemical Compound Which is Cause of Pepperiness. Usually Found In Certain Varietals Grown In Warmer Climates and Usually Dissipate With Increase Temperatures During the Prolong Ripening Period.
- Aromas- Black Pepper Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil
- VITICULTURE– Prevalent In Cooler Climate/ Higher Elevations. Can Be Elevated With Longer “Hang Time”.
- GRAPES WITH ROTUNDON
- WHITE= Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Gewurtztraminer
- RED= Cabernet Sauvignon, Duras, Fer, Gamay, Garnacha, Graciano, Mondeuse, Mourvedre, Negrette, Pelaverga, Petite Sirah, Pineau d’Aunis, Pinot Noir, Prunelard, Schioppettino, Syrah, Vespolina, Zinfandel
- Aromas- Vanilla, Coconut, Hazelnut, Caramel, Apple
- GRAPES WITH LACTONES
SOTOLON– Lactone/ Aroma Compound, Responsible For Premature-Aging Flavor In White Wines.
- Aromas- Cumin, Curry, Maple, Tobacco, Molasses, Burnt Sugar
- GRAPES WITH SOTOLON
- WHITE= Vin Jaune, Sherry
Aromatic Compounds That Form by Combination and Reaction Between Acids and Alcohol. There Are Two Distinctly Different Groups of Esters. The Esters Predominately Produced During Fermentation and the Esters Formed During the Aging or Maceration Process. (Ethyl, Acetate)
- Esters Contributes to a Wines Aroma, Flavors and Adds Complexity.
- Esterification- Reaction of Alcohol with Acid That Produces Esters/ Water.
“Different Yeasts Produce Different Combinations and Amounts of Acids and Alcohols. The Wine- Makers Choice of Yeast Can Lead to the Production of Different Esters.”
- ESTERS CAN BE GOOD OR BAD
- Ethyl Acetate– Nail Polish Remover, Result From Volatile Acidity
- Isoamyl Acetate– Bananas
- Phenethyl Acetate– Rose
- Monoethyl Succinate– Fruity Aromas
- Butyl Esters– Petroleum
- Ethyl Acetate– Nail Polish Remover, Result From Volatile Acidity
HYDROLYSIS- Chemical Reaction Where Ester is Split Into Acid and Alcohol Components and Glycosides Into Their Sugar and Aglycone Part.
“Esters Formation is Reversible, Esters Can Come Together and Then Fall Apart Over Time Leading to the Decline of the Wine.”
DIACETYL- Product of Esters From Malolactic Fermentation, Buttery Smell Perception Threshold In Varietals Varies-
- Chardonnay-(.2 mg./ L.)
- Pinot Noir-(.9 mg./ L.)
- Cabernet Sauvignon-(2.8 mg./ L.)
“There Are Numerous Specific Chemicals In Wine That Have Been Identified and Associated With a Wines Aromas and Flavors.”
4) AROMATIC vs. NON-AROMATIC GRAPES
AROMATIC GRAPE VARIETALS– Wines, Usually White and Defined by Dominant Floral Aromas Caused by Special Aroma Compounds Found Naturally In Grape.
- VITICULTURE– Aromatics Compounds In Grapes Build Over Growing Season Usually In Cooler Climates and Are Enhanced by Extended Hang Time. This Allow For the Development of Aromas and Flavors Over Time While Letting the Grape Maintain its Acidity.
- VINICULTURE– Generally- Fermented In Stainless Steel, Some Malo-Blockage, +Acid, Usually Smells of Fruit, White Flowers.
- AROMATIC GRAPE VARIETALS
- WHITE= Albarino, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, Muscat Blanc A Petite Grain, Moscophilero, Moscato, Muscat, Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes
- RED= ?
NEUTRAL WHITE WINES– Grape Varietals That Are Relatively Bland and Not Very Aromatic by Their Nature. These Grapes Generally Contain Little Pyrazine or Terpenes. Although These Varietals Are Considered Neutral They Tend to Lend Themselves to Being Enhanced by Secondary Sources Such as Sur Lie Aging or Oak Aging Regiment.
- VITICULTURE– *Generally– Warmer Climates
- These Neutral Aromatic Grapes Generally Transmit Terroir Better.
- VINICULTURE– *Generally– Good Ageability, Possess Good Texture, +BODY
- NEUTRAL/ SEMI-ARAMATIC GRAPE VARIETALS
- WHITE= Aligote, Arneis, Chardonnay, Colombard, Cortese, Folle Blanc, Muscadele, Melon de Bourgogne, Pic Poul, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Semillon, Trebbiano, Vermentino
5) DRIED HERBS vs. ESSENTIAL OILS
Dried Herbs and Essential Oils Are Both Derived From Plants, the Difference is Dried Herbs Usually Contain Pieces of Actual Plant In Dried Form and Essential Oils Are Concentrated Essences of the Plant In Oil Concentration.
HERBACEOUS- Wine That’s Characterized by Grassy, Herb, Cut Grass or Green Leaves.
- The Younger the Grape-Vine the Greater the Vine Vigor Thus the Earlier the Grapes Develops and Are Picked. This Leaves the Wine with a Heightened Methoxpyrazine In the Form of Herbaceous Aromas.
- Outcome When Sauvignon Family Wines Don’t Ripen and Pyrazine Don’t Ripen Out
NATIVE ENVIRONMENT AROMA- A Scent Infused by Grape/ Vine From Something In the Vineyards Close Proximity.
- –Example– Eucalyptus Tree, Smoke, Salinity
EARTHY- Aromas and Flavors In Wine Can Range From Dry Leaves, Mushrooms, Tree Bark, Smoke, and Dirt.
EMPYREUMATIC- Smells Refer to Fire, Burnt or Toasted Aromas.
- –Example– Cocoa, Toasted Bread, Coffee, Tobacco, Caramel
6) MINERALITY & WINE
MINERALITY- The Assumption That Material From the Soil is Abstracted From the Vines Roots and Deposited In the Grapes and Brought Out During Vinification and Perceived at Consumption.
MINERAL- An Element or Chemical Compound That’s Normally Crystalline and That Has Been Formed as a Result of Geological Processes.
Although Subjective and Contentious, Minerality In Wine is Universally Understood to Be Good and a Positive Thing. It Refers to a Group of Non-Fruit, Non-Herb, Non-Spice Aromas and Flavors. Minerality is More of a Sensation Than a Taste or Smell, Although Some Would Argue You Can’t Actually Smell or Taste Minerality. Sensations of Minerality Are Delicate and More Nuanced and Will Make You Salivate. Minerality Can Be Diminished by Over Oaking or Extremely Fruit Extracted Wines. Minerality Seems Show Better With a High Acid Wine
- Some Research Has Showed That the Minerality “Sensation” is Derived From the Presence of Certain Sulphur Compounds Produced by Yeast In Combination With High acidity.
- When Talking About Minerality Try to Qualify a Wine With a Second Descriptive Word or In the Context of Something Else…Chalky-Minerality, Salty-Minerality or Sense of Minerality.
- Liquid Minerals– Describes Both a Texture and a Flavor Found Common to Certain Varietals.
- –Minerality Descriptors– Chalk, Concrete, Crushed Rock, Flinty, Gravely, Gunflint, Iodine, Limestone, Salinity, Slate, Petrichor, Wet Stone
- WINE HIGH IN MINERALITY
- Chablis, France- Chardonnay | Mosel, Germany– Riesling
- Sicily, Italy- Catarato | Sancerre, France- Sauvignon Blanc
- Wachau, Austria– Riesling | Santorini, Greece- Assyrtiko
- Sardina- Vermentino | Switzerland– Chasselas
NOTES ON MINERALITY
- The Use of the Term Minerality Can Be Vague and is More of a Metaphor Than a Suggestion That There Are Actually Minerals In the Wine.
- The Vine and the Grapes Are Not Made From Matter Derived From the Ground and Soil. They Are Almost Entirely Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen Derived From Water, Air and Sunlight.
- Minerals Are Generally Tasteless and Odorless.
- Recent Experiments Have Concluded Different Minerals Have Various Smells, Tastes and Perceptions.
- The Myth of Minerality In Wine? This Identifys Five Characteristics In Wine That Correlate to an Enhnced Perception of Minerlity.
- 1) Acidity
- 2) Reductive Phenomena and SO2
- 3) Compounds Producing Stony/ Smoky/ Notes
- Gun Flint Aroma Commonly Associated Wiht Chablis/ Sancerre/ Pouilly-Fume
- This is From Thiols and Related Sulfur Compounds.
- Gun Flint Aroma Commonly Associated Wiht Chablis/ Sancerre/ Pouilly-Fume
- 4) Compounds Producing Saltiness.
- 5) Absence of Fruitiness and/ or Wine Flavor.
- Minerality Can Be a Sign of Volatile Sulphur Compounds or Reduction.
- **Refer to “TERROIR/ Geology & Soil” For Additional Information.
TASTING MINERALITY IN WINE
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY?–“CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE!” “Minerality In Wine!”
- NO…“Various Experiments Have Concluded That Grape-Vines Don’t Absorb Minerals From the Soils and Therefore You Can’t Detect Minerality In the Wine.”
- YES…“As Rocks Decompose They Breaks Down and Release Their Properties Into Soils. Grape-Vine Roots Soaks Up the Minerals and Pass it On to the Grapes. The Vines Roots Are In the Soil and Absorbing Minerals Over the Entire Growing Cycle. Just as We Can Perceive Minerals In Mineral Water the Same is True For Mineraltiy In Wine.”
GENERAL OUTCOMES Of GRAPES GROWN IN DIFFERENT SOILS
- SANDY SOILS- *General Effects On a Wine– Light Fresh Style Wines
- LIMESTONE SOILS- *General Effects On a Wine– Pronounced Acid Style Wines
- STONY SOILS- *General Effects On a Wine– Heavier Style Wines
- CLAY SOILS- *General Effects On a Wine– Richer Style Wine, Rounder, Plump
- LOESS SOILS- *General Effects On a Wine– Lighter, Elegant
- GRANITE SOILS- *General Effects On a Wine– Linear, Angular, Mineral
- MINERALS IN WINE
- Calcium | Magnesium
- Magnesium | Phosphorus
- Potassium | Sodium
HIGH PH./ LOW PH. SOILS
- High PH. Soils Result In Low PH. Wines, and Low PH. Soils Result In High PH. Wines.
- Soil Change the PH. In a Wine, and Different PH. Levels Are Detectable In Wine In Weight and Texture.
“The Suggestion of Minerality is More of a Metaphor and Less of a Statement That There Are Minerals In the Wine.”
7) EVALUATING OAK BARREL AGING
- Barrels Contribute to Wines Richness, Complexity, Aging Potential, $$$
- Oak Barrels Have Finite Amount of Volatile Compounds and Non-Volatile Polyphenols to Contribute to the Wine Over Life of a Barrel
- Wines Ability to Extract Flavors, Body, Tannin, From the Oak Barrel Decreases Greatly After First Use.
- Putting a Wine Through Oak Treatment Softens Tannic Wines and Make Them More Approachable or Easier to Drink at a Younger Age.
- **Refer to “CONTAINERS/ Oak Barrels” For Additional Information.
- RED WINES THAT SEE NEW OAK
- RED= Cabernet Sauvignon/ Napa, Priorat, Bordeaux/ Blend, Shiraz/ Australia, Pinot Noir/ Burgundy Grand Cru
- –Oak On Red Wine Descriptors– Vanilla, Clove, All-Spice, Nutmeg, Mocha, Milk, Chocolate, Dil, Eucalyptus, Cedar Box, Sweet Tobacco, Smoke, Oak, Leather, Tea
- WHITE WINES THAT SEE NEW OAK
- WHITE= Chardonnay/ California, Bordeaux/ White, Chablis/ Grand Cru, Rhone White
- –Oak On White Wine Descriptors– Vanilla, Creme Brûlée, Oak, Smoke, Nut-Meg, Clove, Cinnamon, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Honey
FRENCH OAK FLAVORS- Cinnamon, Clove, Vanilla, Backing Spice
AMERICAN OAK FLAVORS- Dill, Coconut, Vanilla
“While Not Recommended it’s Possible to Cover Up a Wines Mistakes or Viticulture Short-Comings With Oak Treatment.”
- AROMA COMPOUNDS ASSOCIATED WITH OAK
- Lactones- Coconut, Dill, Mocha
- Eugenol- Spice, Clove, Smoke, Cinnamon, Nut Meg
- Furfural & 5-Methylfurfural- Dried Fruit, Burned Almond, Caramel
- Guaiacol & 4-Methulguaiacol- Cigar, Charred, Smoke, Tea Leaf
- Vanillin- Vanilla Component Found In Oak Barrels
- Syringaldehyde- Vanilla
- **Refer to “WINE STYLES/ Oak Barrel Aging” For Additional Information.
- SMOKINESSS IN WINE EVALUATION
- Smokiness In Wine Can Come Through In 4 Ways, Be Sure to Mentally Evaluate Each Before Making a Decision On Which Way a Wine is Smokey.
- 1) Primary Aromas- From the Grape Itself. (Syrah, Zinfandel Are Naturally Smokey)
- 2) Secondary Aromas- The Use of Oak Barrels. (Especially Chard Barrels Will Infuse Smokiness.)
- 3) Tertiary Aromas- As Wine Aging it May Develop Smokiness or Cigar Box Aromas.
- 4) External Forces- Smoke Taint From Fires Effecting the Grape Growing Areas.
8) OTHER TOPICS IN WINE EVALUATION
BOTRYTIS CINEREA Fuckeliana– Naturally Occurring Fungus That Grows or is Induced to Attack and Colonize On the Grapes.
- VARIETALS POSITIVELY EFFECTED By BOTRYTIS
- WHITE= Chenin Blanc, Devin, Furmint, Gewurztraminor, Harslevelu, Koverszolo, Muscat, Muscadelle, Optima, Ortega, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Scheurebe, Smarg(Grüner Veltliner), Zeta
- RED= **Red Grapes Are Negatively Effected By Botrytis and Result In Offensive Orders.
- BOTRYTIS EVALUATION
- Sight: Golden
- Aroma: Saffron, Ginger, Honey, Roses, Boiled Cabbage
- Palate: Sweet/ +BODY, Apricot, Beeswax, Vanilla
- Structure: Medi Tannins, +ABV., Medi+Acid
- FOOD PAIRING… Foie Gras | CHEESE PAIRING…
- **Refer to “WINE STYLES/ Sweet Wine/ Botrytis” For Additional Information.
“When Evaluating Residual Sugar Ask Yourself…Is Sweetness From Botrytis or Climate, or Viticulture Practice?”
RANDOM AROMAS DETECTED IN WINE
PETRAL- Diesel or Gas Aroma Found In Some Riesling.
- Attributed to- 1, 1, 6, -Trimethyl-1,2-Dihydronapthalene TDN.
FOXY- A Wild, Musty or Animal Aroma.
- This Foxy Aroma Which is Accepted To a Certain Point Can Be Found On Many American Species and Hybrid Grape Vine.
- Attributed to- Methyl Anthranilate
- Acute- Human Nose Starts to Fatigue After Around Six Second of Intense Smelling and a Pause May be Needed Between Sniffs.
- Chronic- Noses Ability to Smell Diminished After Prolong Smelling Over an Extended Period of Time. (Remedy- Coffee Beans/ Take a Break)
**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.