Macrowine 2021
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Macrowine 9 Macrowine 2021 9 Chemical diversity of 'special' wine styles: fortified wines, passito style, botrytized and ice wines, orange wines, sparkling wines 9 Identification and quantification of molecular ellagitannins in cognac eaux-de-vie by a mass spectrometry method: barrel toasting and aging impact

Identification and quantification of molecular ellagitannins in cognac eaux-de-vie by a mass spectrometry method: barrel toasting and aging impact


AIM: Ellagitannins are the main oak wood phenolic compounds that contribute to wine and spirits organoleptic quality (color, astringency, bitterness)(1-3). Given the lack of knowledge regarding their composition and evolution in spirits, the objectives were to follow their extraction kinetic in Cognac “eaux-de-vie” matured in barrel representing different toasting and to observe their evolution and structural modifications during aging.

METHODS: Eight different toasting levels were used for studying the impact of the toasting on ellagitannins composition. Two verticals (1978-2018) of “eaux-de-vie” samples coming from two terroirs were analyzed in order to observe ellagitannins evolution during aging. The above analyses were conducted using HPLC-Triple Quadrupole mass spectrometer (4) and the unknown compounds were identified by UPLC-Q-TOF, purified by preparative HPLC prior to 1D/2D-NMR analysis.

RESULTS: A general trend between the toasting levels and the individual ellagitannins content and composition was observed. Indeed “Eau-de-vie” aged in light toasted barrel has 40% higher castalagin content than in high toasting. During spirit aging, native ellagitannins content decreases over time. After two years, only castalagin remains quantifiable, suggesting that they undergo transformations leading to the formation of new compounds. Among them, whisky tannin B and A ([M-H]- ion peak at m/z 977.0896 and m/z 675.0834 respectively), resulting from the ethanol/castalagin or castalin reaction as well as some ellagitannin oxidation products like dehydrocastalagin and dehydroroburin D were identified for the first time in Cognac “eaux-de-vie” samples. The kinetic of the above compounds is in progress and the influence of both aging and barrel toasting is being researched.


This work brings new insights on the Cognac ellagitannins content and how these molecules are influenced by aging and barrel toasting. Tastings will be performed to understand the organoleptic impact of these compounds.


Publication date: September 15, 2021

Issue: Macrowine 2021

Type: Article


Mathilde Gadrat, Joel Lavergne, Catherine Emo, Pierre-Louis Teissedre, Kléopatra Chira,

1. Unité de recherche Œnologie, EA 4577, USC 1366 INRAE, ISVV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux INP, F33882 Villenave d’Ornon France 
2.   Courvoisier SAS, 2 places du château, 16200 Jarnac, France ,
Unité de recherche Œnologie, EA 4577, USC 1366 INRAE, ISVV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux INP, F33882 Villenave d’Ornon France 

Contact the author


cognac, ellagitannins, mass spectrometry, toasting


Related articles…

Drought tolerance of varieties in semi-arid areas: can the behavior of Tempranillo be improved by varieties of its own lineage?

Tempranillo is the most widely grown red grapevine variety in Spain, currently representing 42% of the total number of red varieties and 21% of the total vineyard area. Due to the economic importance that this variety represents in Spanish viticulture, in some areas where it is traditionally grown, there is a special concern about the viability of the future growing of this variety is being compromised by the climate change effects.

Residual copper quantification on grapevine’s organs

Copper is listed among the active substances candidates for substitution (Regulation EU 2015/408). Yet still, because of the lack of valid alternatives, the European Commission recently confirmed its usage authorization by limiting the maximum amount to 28 Kg per hectare in 7 years, i.e. an average of 4 kg/year (Reg. EU 2018/1981).This restriction is due to copper accumulation in soils and surface waters both caused by a steady application, especially on perennial crops (Riepert et al., 2013). The aim of this work is to determine if treatments with reduced copper dosages are able to reach different grapevine’s organs, with particular focus on the core of bunches, and if these small amounts can ensure the respect of the legislative prescription, without compromising the phytosanitary conditions of the vineyards, thus grape yields.

Terroir et variabilité microclimatique : pour une approche à l’échelle de la parcelle

The climatic component is one of the elements of the zoning of viticultural potential, alongside the geological and pedological components (Morlat, 1989; Lebon et al , 1993). Many climatic indices have thus been defined to estimate the potential for wine production at the scale of a region or a country (Carbonneau et al ., 1992). The main climatic variables used are temperature and radiation. We note in particular the indices of Branas, Huglin and Ribereau-Gayon (Huglin, 1986). However, few studies have been undertaken on the spatial variability of microclimatic conditions at the scale of a vineyard, a valley, or even a municipality.

Red wine astringency and the influence of wine–saliva aggregates on oral lubrication

Oral tribology receives growing attention in the field of food sciences as it offers great opportunities to establish correlations between physical parameters, such as the coefficient of friction, and sensory perceptions in the human mouth.

Effect of foliar application of urea and nano-urea on the cell wall of Monastrell grape skins

The foliar application of urea has been shown to be able to satisfy the specific nutritional needs of the vine as well as to increase the nitrogen composition of the must. On the other hand, the use of nanotechnology could be of great interest in viticulture as it would help to slow down the release of urea and protect it against possible degradation. Several studies indicate that cell wall synthesis and remodeling are affected by nitrogen availability.