Sensory and chemical drivers of wine minerality aroma

Karien O'Kennedy - 17 May 2018

French and Spanish researchers conducted a study on Chablis wine produced from grapes from the left and the right banks of the Serein river. All the wines were from the 2013 vintage. All eight wines were produced in exactly the same way by the same producer in stainless steel tanks and aged for one year in the bottle before analysis. The wines were chemically as well as sensory analysed. Tasters were also asked to give the wines a minerality score.

Wines from the left side of the river scored higher in minerality than wines from the right side. These wines also had higher levels of methanethiol (MeSH, a negative sulphur compound) that have a masking effect on fruity and floral characteristics. The wines from the right bank had higher concentrations of norisoprenoids, responsible for fruity and floral characteristics. It also had higher copper concentrations, which could be the factor responsible for lower MeSH.

The research was done on a small set of wines and on one vintage. Further research is needed on more wines and more vintages to determine MeSH’s exact role in minerality perception. Read more

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