Macrowine 2021
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Correlations between N,S,O-heterocycle levels and age of Champagne base wines

Correlations between N,S,O-heterocycle levels and age of Champagne base wines


Champagne regulation allows winegrowers to stock small amounts of still wines in order to compensate vintages’ quality shifts mainly due to climate variations. According to their technical requirements and house style some Champagne producers (commonly named “Champagne houses”) use these stored wines in the blend in order to introduce an element of complexity. These wines possess the particularity of being aged on fine lees in thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks. The Champagne house of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin has several wines stored this way. The oldest of these wines dates back to 1988. The role of lees and ageing in a low-pH (<=3) as in Champagne leads to several modifications of wine composition1. Lees are known to affect wine redox potential and liberate protein and free amino acids. These conditions combined with extended ageing result in the required environment for the Maillard chemical reaction whose aromatic molecules including sulphur, oxygen and nitrogen heterocycles (such as thiazole, furan and pyrazines derivatives) may have a sensory impact on wine2. The 50 mono-varietal wines aged from 1 to 28 years, have been provided by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin wherein some wines aromatic heterocycles were determined by the SPME-GC-MS method3. To identify any possible correlation between these aromatic compounds end their precursors, 21 amino acids were determined by HPLC-fluorimetry method4. The most interesting result highlights a strong correlation between certain heterocycle concentrations and age of wine. That suggests these compounds as potential indicators of lees ageing. As such they can be considered as potential key compounds of the bouquet of aged Champagnes. The principle outcome of these assays has revealed for the first time in Champagne base wines that aromatic heterocycles concentration are correlated with wine age.

1. Alexandre, H. & Guilloux-Benatier, M. Yeast autolysis in sparkling wine – A review. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 12, 119–127 (2006). 2. Marchand, S., De Revel, G. & Bertrand, A. Approaches to wine aroma: Release of aroma compounds from reactions between cysteine and carbonyl compounds in wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 48, 4890–4895 (2000). 3. Burin, V. M., Marchand, S., De Revel, G. & Bordignon-Luiz, M. T. Development and validation of method for heterocyclic compounds in wine: Optimization of HS-SPME conditions applying a response surface methodology. Talanta 117, 87–93 (2013). 4. Pripis-Nicolau, L., De Revel, G., Marchand, S., Beloqui, A. A. & Bertrand, A. Automated HPLC method for the measurement of free amino acids including cysteine in musts and wines; first applications. J. Sci. Food Agric. 81, 731–738 (2001).

Publication date: May 17, 2024

Issue: Macrowine 2016

Type: Poster


Nicolas Le Menn*, Delphine Laborde, DEMARVILLE Dominique, Gilles De Revel, Richard Marchal, Stéphanie Marchand


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IVES Conference Series | Macrowine | Macrowine 2016


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