terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 ‘TROPICAL’ POLYFUNCTIONAL THIOLS AND THEIR ROLE IN AUSTRALIAN RED WINES

‘TROPICAL’ POLYFUNCTIONAL THIOLS AND THEIR ROLE IN AUSTRALIAN RED WINES

Abstract

Following anecdotal evidence of unwanted ‘tropical’ character in red wines resulting from vineyard interventions and a subsequent yeast trial observing higher ‘red fruit’ character correlated with higher thiol concentrations, the role of polyfunctional thiols in commercial Australian red wines was investigated.

First, trials into the known tropical thiol modulation technique of foliar applications of sulfur and urea were conducted in parallel on Chardonnay and Shiraz.1 The Chardonnay wines showed expected results with elevated concentrations of 3-sulfanylhexanol (3-SH) and 3-sulfanylhexyl acetate (3-SHA), whereas the Shiraz wines lacked 3-SHA. Furthermore, the Shiraz wines were described as ‘drain’ (known as ‘reductive’ aroma character) during sensory evaluation although they did not contain thiols traditionally associated with ‘reductive’ thiols (H2S, methanethiol etc.).

Secondly, a survey of over 100 commercial Australian red wines across 10 different varieties supported the outcome of the foliar application trial.2 While all red wines contained 3-SH above the sensory detection threshold (60 ng/L, aqueous ethanol), no wines were observed to contain detectable concentrations of 3-SHA. As such, the acetylation of 3-SH to 3-SHA in red wine fermentations appears to be extremely limited.

Lastly, 3-SH and/or 3-SHA were spiked into four different varieties of red wine to understand the impact on sensory attributes.2 Traditionally lighter varieties (Pinot Noir and Grenache) had increased ‘red fruit’ and ‘lolly’ ratings at low concentrations of 3-SH and 3-SHA but changed to ‘tropical’ at higher concentrations. For Cabernet Sauvignon, 3-SH and 3-SHA additions resulted in increases to ‘blackcurrant’ and ‘tropical’ attributes, whereas Shiraz additions of 3-SH resulted in ‘sweaty’ and ‘tropical’ descriptors.

The ‘tropical’ thiol, 3-SH, was ubiquitous in Australian red wines although the acetylation to 3-SHA was not commonly observed. The impact of these thiols in red wines differed by variety, and their presence was increased by vineyard foliar application treatments. As such, vineyard management practises might hold the key to avoiding undesirable expressions of ‘tropical’ characters in red wine.

 

1. Cordente, A. G.; Curtin, C. D.; Solomon, M.; Kulcsar, A. C.; Watson, F.; Pisaniello, L.; Schmidt, S. A.; Espinase Nandorfy, D. Modulation of volatile thiol release during fermentation of red musts by wine yeast. Processes 2022, 10 (3), 502.
2. Hixson, J.; Bilogrevic, E.; Capone, D.; Nandorfy, D. E.; Francis, L.; Petrie, P.; Solomon, M.; Krstic, M. AWRI report: Enhancing tropical fruit flavour in Chardonnay and Shiraz through foliar nutrient sprays. Wine & Vitic. J. 2020, 35 (3), 30-33. 
3. Siebert, T.; Francis, L.; Pisaniello, L.; Melzer, S.; Bey, L.; Watson, F.; Espinase Nandorfy, D.; Cordente, T. Do varietal thiols matter in red wine? AWRI Tech. Rev. 2019, 243, 10-15.

DOI:

Publication date: February 9, 2024

Issue: OENO Macrowine 2023

Type: Article

Authors

Tracey Siebert1, Mark Solomon1, Lisa Pisaniello1, Damian Espinase Nandorfy1,2, Eleanor Bilogrevic1, Flynn Wat-Son1, Toni Cordente1, Leigh Francis1, Josh Hixson1

1. The Australian Wine Research Institute, Waite Precinct, Hartley Grove cnr Paratoo Road, Urrbrae 5064, Australia.
2. CASS Food Research Centre, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC, 3125, Australia.

Contact the author*

Keywords

red wine, ‘tropical’ aroma, thiols, sensory

Tags

IVES Conference Series | oeno macrowine 2023 | oeno-macrowine

Citation

Related articles…

INVESTIGATING TERROIR TYPICITY: A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY BASED ON THE AROMATIC AND SENSORIAL PROFILES OF RED WINES FROM CORBIÈRES APPELLATION

Volatile compounds play a significant role on the organoleptic properties defining wines quality. This particular role was exploited in several studies with the aim to differentiate wines from a more or less extensive production area, according to their sensory profile [1], as well as their chemical composition [2,3] (Di Paola-Naranjo et al., 2011; Kustos et al., 2020). Indeed, since aroma compounds development in grapes depends primarily on the environmental conditions of the vines and grapes (soil and climate), it is conceivable that these parameters craft the aromatic signature of the wine produced, in relation to its origin (Van Leeuwen et al., 2020). In this work, a general study on the aromatic and sensorial profile of wines produced in five sub-regions of the Corbières denomination, a renowned red grape varieties viticultural region in South France, was reported.

ASSESSING THE ROLE OF 27 KNOWN BITTER COMPOUNDS IN COMMERCIAL WHITE WINES COMBINING LC-MS QUANTIFICATION AND SENSORY ANALYSIS

The balance between the different flavours of a wine largely determines its perception and appreciation by the consumers. In white wines, sweetness and sourness are usually the two poles balancing the taste properties. The bitter flavour, on the other hand, is frequently associated with a loss of equilibrium and all white wines (dry and sweet, young and aged) are affected.
Several bitter compounds are already well-described in wines.

RED WINE AGING THROUGH 1H-NMR METABOLOMICS

Premium red wines are often aged in oak barrel. This widespread winemaking process is used, among others, to provide roundness and complexity to the wine. The study of wine evolution during barrel aging is crucial to better ensure control of wine quality.
¹H-NMR has already been proved to be an efficient tool to monitor winemaking process [1]. Indeed, it is a non-destructive technique, it requires a small amount of sample and a short time of analysis, yet it provides clues about several chemical families.

EVOLUTION OF CHEMICAL AND SENSORIAL PROFILE OF WINES ELABORATED WITH THEIR OWN TOASTED VINE-SHOOTS AND MICRO-OXYGENATION

The positive contribution of toasted vine-shoots (SEGs, Shoot from vines – Enological – Granule) used in winemaking to the chemical and sensory profile of wines has been widely proven. However, the combination of this new enological tool with other winemaking technologies, such as micro-oxygenation (MOX), has not been studied so far. It is known that micro-oxygenation is used in wineries to stabilizes color, improves structure or combining with oak alternatives products to achieve a more effective aroma integration of wines. For that, its implementation in combination with SEGs could result in differentiated wines.

INVESTIGATION OF MALIC ACID METABOLIC PATHWAYS DURING ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION USING GC-MS, LC-MS, AND NMR DERIVED 13C-LABELED DATA

Malic acid has a strong impact on wine pH and the contribution of fermenting yeasts to modulate its concentration has been intensively investigated in the past. Recent advances in yeast genetics have shed light on the unexpected property of some strains to produce large amounts of malic acid (“acidic strains”) while most of the wine starters consume it during the alcoholic fermentation. Being a key metabolite of the central carbohydrate metabolism, malic acid participates to TCA and glyoxylate cycles as well as neoglucogenesis. Although present at important concentrations in grape juice, the metabolic fate of malic acid has been poorly investigated.