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Associations between the Sensory Attributes and Volatile Composition of Cabernet Sauvignon Wines and the Volatile Composition of the Grapes Used for Their Production

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posted on 23.03.2011 by Ciarán G. Forde, Agnieszka Cox, Emlyn R. Williams, Paul K. Boss
The sensory properties of wine are influenced by the chemical composition of the grapes used to produce them. Identification of grape and wine chemical markers associated with the attributes perceived by the consumer of the wine will enable better prediction of the potential of a parcel of grapes to produce wine of a certain flavor. This study explores the relationships between Cabernet Sauvignon grape volatile composition and wine volatile profiles with the sensory properties of wines. Twenty grape samples were obtained from nine vineyard sites across three vintages and wines vinified from these parcels using controlled winemaking methods. The volatile composition of the grapes were analyzed by SBSE-GCMS, the wines were analyzed by SPME-GCMS, and these data sets were compared to that obtained from the sensory analysis of the wines. Statistical treatment of the data to account for vintage and region effects allowed underlying relationships to be seen between wine sensory attributes and wine or grape volatile components. The observed associations between grape or wine volatile compounds and wine sensory attributes has revealed target compounds and pathways whose levels may reflect the biochemical effects on grape composition by differing growth conditions during berry development and ripening. The compounds identified in this study may be useful grape or wine markers for potential wine sensory characteristics.

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