Flavours of barrels


The lactons are the subgroup of esthers. The lactons get into the wine from the grape or can be generated through the fermentation or even from the wood barrels resolved. From the oak lactons, the 3-methyl-y-oktalacton is important. This have the fragrance of oak or coconut. Some y-nonalactons also have oak characters, so they participate in creating the oak fragrance.

The extracted tannins from the wood barrels play important roles in the formation of a sour and robust wine taste. This group is a rather puller in taste than the condensed and not hidrologized tannins. Their significance is bigger in the case of white wine, in which the concentration of flavours are lower and they usually do not contain notable amount of flavonoid-phenol. The extracted cinnamon-aldehide from oak barrels and the benzene-aldehides derivatives are added to the sour flavour of white wine not coming from flavonoids. Their fermentation and keeping in oak barrels mean other phenol sources. The change of hidroxy-cinnamon-acids into volatile phenols happen due to result of such enzyms, which come from yeast or lactic acid bacteria. The formulated derivatives give smoke, vanilla or clove-like fragrance components to the wine.

The most well-known is the benze-aldehide, which has almond fragrance. From the phenol-aldehide-s, the vanillin and syringe-aldehide have vanilla smell. These compounds are the lygnins decomposition products. The volatile phenol aldehides further sources could be the must or wine heating, during which the fructose wears a fragrance similar to chamomile. This process slowly could happen during for example a long lasting storing. When joining the barrels, the heating of staves might result the chamomile like smell.

Source: I. Eperjesi, M. Kállay, I. Magyar in Wine-making 1998. Agriculture Edition, Budapest

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