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Use of oak wood during malolactic fermentation and ageing: Impact on chardonnay wine character

González-Centeno, M.R., Chira, K., Teissedre, P.L.
Food chemistry 2019 v.278 pp. 460-468
Citrus, acidity, apricots, bitterness, malolactic fermentation, mouthfeel, oak barrels, odors, peaches, sensory evaluation, stainless steel, sweetness, tanks, toasting, vanillin, volatile compounds, wines, wood
Malolactic fermentation (MLF) and oak barrels aging are two oenological processes which modify wine composition and sensory characteristics. The effect of MLF-container (stainless steel tanks, barrels) and barrel toasting (T1, T2, T3) on ellagitannin concentration, volatile composition and sensory attributes of Chardonnay wines was evaluated.Barrel toasting had higher impact on ellagitannin content than MLF-container. When comparing both MLF-modalities, barrel-fermented wines exhibited greater amounts of vanillin and whiskey-lactones but lower concentrations of fruity aroma compounds.Regarding sensory analysis, greater citrus and floral aromas were perceived for MLF-tank wines, and higher nuts aroma for MLF-barrel wines. Using barrels as MLF-containers i) did not change the aroma perception defining Chardonnay character (peach, apricot and gun flint); ii) did not impact the aromatic intensity and persistence, sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel volume and/or bitterness; and iii) did not confer significantly higher overall woody aromas which might mask fruity, floral and mineral (gun flint) character.