From a local to an international scale: sensory benchmarking of PDO wines. Quincy and Reuilly PDO wines (Sauvignon blanc) as a case study (France)
In a collective marketing strategy, the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) can be used as a quality indicator. To highlight terroir specificities, it is useful to know how the wines are positioned on the local, national or international market from a sensory point of view. This is especially true for a comparison of varietal wines (e.g. Sauvignon blanc). We focus on the case of two closed Loire Valley PDO (France): Quincy and Reuilly. Three distinct tastings were organized. Firstly, at the local level comparing the 2 PDO (11 and 9 wines, 17 professional assessors); secondly at a regional level adding 3 closed PDO: Menetou-Salon, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé (3 wines per PDO, 16 assessors) and thirdly at an international level comparing these 5 PDO with Sauvignon Blanc wines coming from South Africa, New Zealand and Chile (1 to 3 wines per PDO, 19 assessors). All the wines were from the 2019 vintage and were considered to have a traditional elaboration process without contact with oak. A sensory descriptive analysis was performed using an aroma wheel allowing to combine a Check-All-That-Apply methodology, often used in sensory benchmarking, with a hierarchical structuration of the attributes. The aim is to facilitate data acquisition in a professional context without common training, to consider the hierarchical relationships among the attributes during the data analysis and to be able to characterize wines with a large range of sensorial variability. We use univariate, multivariate and clustering analyses. Similarities and differences between Quincy and Reuilly PDO wines and other Sauvignon blanc wines were identified. Specific attributes can distinguish the two PDO and different proximities exist with other local PDO, while clear differences were observed compared to international wines. Our study contributes to propose and discuss a method to do a wine sensory benchmarking highlighting sensory specificities linked to origin.
Issue: Terclim 2022
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typicity, CATA, sensory identity, terroir, origin, tasting