Monferace a new “old style” for Grignolino wine, an autochthonous Italian variety: unity in diversity

Monferace project is born from an idea of 12 winegrowers willing to create a new “old style” Grignolino wine and inspired byancient winemaking techniques of this variety (1). Monferace wine is produced with 100% Grignolino grapes after 40 months of ageing, of which 24 in wooden barrels of different volumes. Grignolino is an autochthonous Italian variety cultivated in Piedmont (north-west Italy), recently indicated as a “nephew” of the famous Nebbiolo (2) and is used to produce three different DOC wines. The Monferace Grignolino is cultivated in the geographical area identified in the Aleramic Monferrato, defined by the Po and Tanaro rivers, in the heart of Piedmont and the produced wine is characterized by a high content of tannins, marked when young, that evolve over the years. Its color is generally slight ruby red and garnet red with orange highlights with ageing. Sensory analysis on 10 Monferace wines (2019 vintage) was assessed after about 11 months of ageing in wood. A trained panel carried out the wine sensory descriptive analysis (sensory profile) as previously described (3, 4), derived from the ISO norms. The wines were evaluated using ISO (3591-1977) approved glasses in an ISO (8589-2007) tasting room, served in a randomized order and identified with a three-digit code. The descriptors of the wines were defined during a preliminary tasting session. The quantitative measures of the chosen attributes were acquired using FIZZ (Biosystems, Couternon, France). The data were subjected to statistical analysis (5). 
All the wines were characterized by 16 attributes: color (garnet red, orange highlights), odor (rose, violet, nutmeg, pepper, blackberries, cherries, jam/marmalade, dry herbaceous, oak) and taste (acidity, bitterness, astringency, structure (body) and taste-olfactory persistence). Some attributes were not quantitative statistically different (ANOVA and Tukey test, p=95%): acidity, bitterness, astringency. 
All the other attributes discriminated the wines with different intensities, from 2 groups in the case of rose, nutmeg and dry herbaceous to 6 groups for oak. The panel identified one more specific odor attribute in wine 2 (vanilla) and wine 7 (smoked-roasting). 
Each wine had a specificity: wine 5 had the highest intensity for rose, wine 10 for fruity attributes (blackberries, cherries), wine 2 for oak together with vanilla, wine 6 for dry herbaceous, wine 7 for smoked-roasting, wine 3 for pepper. Wines 8 and 9 had the lower intensities for many attributes and the profile of wine 1 was very similar to the average profile of all the 10 wines. 
These preliminary results showed the unity of sensory attributes among wines with a specificity for each product and remarked that Monferace is a very interesting wine style for Grignolino variety. 

Authors: Cravero Maria Carla1, Bonello Frederica1, Asproudi Andriani1, Lottero Maria Rosa1, Gianotti Silvia2, Ronco Mario2 and Petrozziello Maurizio1

1CREA, Research Centre for Viticulture and Enology
2Associazione Monferace 

*corresponding author: mariacarla.cravero@crea.gov.it

References:

1-https://monferace.it/en/ (Accessed on 28th January 2022)
2-Raimondi, S., Tumino, G., Ruffa, P., Boccacci P., Gambino G. & Schneider A., 2020, DNA-based genealogy reconstruction of Nebbiolo, Barbera and other ancient grapevine cultivars from northwestern Italy. Sci Rep 10, 15782. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-72799-6 
3-Cravero MC, Bonello F Tsolakis C., Piano F., Borsa D., 2012, Comparison between Nero d’Avola wines produced with grapes grown in Sicily and Tuscany. Italian Journal of Food Science, XXIV, (4): 384-387. 
4-Bonello, F., Cravero, M.C., Asproudi, A. et al., 2021, Exploring the aromatic complexity of Sardinian red wines obtained from minor and rare varieties. Eur. Food Res. Technol., 247, 133–156. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-020-03613-w
5-XLSTAT® software, version Sensory, 2020, 2.2, Addinsoft, New York.

Keywords: sensory analysis, Grignolino, wood ageing, Monferace

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