Macrowine 2021
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Oak wood seasoning: impact on oak wood chemical composition and sensory quality of wine

Oak wood seasoning: impact on oak wood chemical composition and sensory quality of wine


Oak wood selection and maturation are essential steps in the course of barrel fabrication. Given the existence of many factors involved in the choice of raw material and in natural seasoning of oak wood, it is very difficult to determine the real impact of seasoning and selection factors on oak wood composition. A sampling was done to study the evolution of oak wood chemical composition during four seasoning steps: non matured, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. For this sampling, three selection factors were taken into account: age, grain type and the Polyphenolic Index measured by Oakscan®. Besides extractables (~10%), three polymers constitute the main part of oak wood: cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignins. These compounds may undergo hydrolysis or chemical reactions during cooperage processes, especially during heat treatment, which release some aromatic compounds or aromatic precursors having a genuine sensorial interest on wine aged in barrel or in contact with oak products. To date, no studies revealed a link between the proportions of these compounds in oak wood and the chemical and sensorial impact in wines ageing with oak wood. Our study showed that the proportions of these compounds evolved significantly during oak wood seasoning and the results highlighted the impact of selection factors. Respectively, extractables, lignins, hemicelluloses and cellulose proportions were mostly for non matured, 12 months, 18 months and 24 seasoning months. The development of a test plan with a Merlot wine from a second oak wood sampling, using similar modalities as the previous test plan allowed the evaluation of oak wood seasoning impact on the chemical composition of a wine ageing with oak wood pieces. Results showed a lowering of 8% in ellagitannins content of wine between 12 and 24 months modalities. An impact on volatile composition in wine has also been established: furanic aldehydes were positively correlated with a long maturation time (18 and 24 months), whereas phenolic aldehydes were positively correlated with a shorter seasoning time (12 months). Our results highlighted also the impact of selection factors on wine chemical composition. Sensorial analysis on this Merlot wine led to significant differences detected by the panel between 12 and 24 seasoning modalities, but not between 18 and 24 months modalities with triangular tests. Sensorial profiles were also established to attempt to associate the differences detected to one or more descriptors. For this test, results highlighted the difficulty for the panel to make a significant difference between 12 and 24 months modalities. However they contribute to explain the differences demonstrated with triangular tests for some seasoning modalities: toasted, bitterness, astringency, roundness and sweet perception.

Publication date: May 17, 2024

Issue: Macrowine 2016

Type: Poster


Alexandra Le Floch*, Michael Jourdes, Nicolas Mourey, Pierre-Louis Teissedre, Thomas Giordanengo


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IVES Conference Series | Macrowine | Macrowine 2016


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