Toasted Aromatherapy – aromas from roasting


A matter of taste
Burning out the barrel has different phases. There is milky coffee colour, light coffee or even black as an expresso. At the latter mentioned type, the fibres open, then blister while inside the stoves tiny little cracks open, so the wine can get deeper into the fabric of wood. As a consequence, the bigger mutual area improves the concentration of materials in the wine. Against our expectations, experts of the half-century-long experience of barrique barrel making, found out that in the middle burned barrels can be found the most delicious spicy fragrances and aromas. Quite incredibly, sometimes a whole candy store or joiner workshop is included in a fragile, red wine filled glass. The palate tickling taste and smell aromas come from different compounds, which are the final products of the secret word of chemical reactions. The most strange is that, the furans result the roasted almond and nut smell, the flavoured aldehides decorate the flavour harmony with vanilla laces, lactons hang coconat on the ’aroma dress’, while the volatile phenols instead of evaporating stitch clove and black pepper on the cloth. In addition, if we feel it smoky then we can be sure about our adored red wine to be dressed in barrique. Obviously, this is a matter of taste because there are some who after hearing the word ’barrique’ would move on to an other planet, where red wines mature in happy unconcious states, not knowing a thing about the evil like appearance of anyhow burnt barrels.

Aromas from roasting

  • Spicy: Nutmeg, cinnemon, clove, sweet-root, anise, coconut
  • Smoky: Roast meat, bacon, burnt sugar, sardine
  • Oil nuts:Hazel-nut, walnut, almond
  • Roasted: Toast, coffee, roasted pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, grains, popcorn, crunchy
  • Creamy: Vanilla, milk, butter, hazel-nut cream
  • Sweet: Brown sugar, cognac, clody sugar, punch, chocolate, maple syrup, charamel, honey

Aromas from the oak

  • Ground flavour: Humus, mushroom, fallen leaves , parched grass, shoe cream, watered paper, skin, mustiness
  • Vegetal: Grass, dill, hay, mint, tobacco, wood
  • Wooden: cedar, lead, pine tree, resin, tar
  • Spices: Clove, cinnemon, coconut, vanilla, nutmeg

Aromas of red wine

Flower aromas
Peony: young wines by Bourdeaux, rose: barbera and nebbiolo, violet: ripe, heavy red wine, oversees syrah by the Rhone-valley , matured wines by Toscana.

Fruit aromas
The young red wine’s smell reminds of rather red fruits: a young pinot noir can be recognised well of its raspberry smell and its matured variety about black- cherry- like smell. Thick red wines’ smell many times echos canned fruit. Redcurrant is the characteristic aroma of the cabernet sauvignon, while the merlot more likely reminds of plum.

Vegetal aromas
The not totally matured cabernet’ smell can be like green pepper. Red wine’s, pressed from not fully matured grape, can smell like vegetables (like horse reddish). Young, concentrated wines and wines with remaining sugar remind very much of black tea. Tobacco smell signs can be found in the wine’s of the Rhone-valley.

Spice aromas
Spicy aromas refer to matured, first quality red wines. The vanilla flavour is the typical sign of maturing in new barrique. The matured barolo (?) has truffle smell. The red wines of Southern France and Southern Italy show rosemary and kakukkfű hints. Wines by the Rhone-valley, often have black pepper and sweet-root smell.

Wood aromas
These aromas characterise whine, which are matured in wood barrels. Red wines matured in barrique, often remind of cedar. Old and wrongly cared barrels give watery or mouldy smell of wood to the wine.

Nut aromas
Walnut and chestnut signs can be realised in the strengthened red wines. The coconut-walnut aromas straightly refer to maturing in American oak.

Roasting aromas
The roasting flavours are known to come from maturing in wood barrels. Barrique maturing gives charamel or chocolate aromas to the wine, for the matured wine it gives coffee flavour. Roasting aromas can emphesise the type character, too. On the syrah, we can feel chocolate smell, and in weaker quality wine we can identify burnt rubber.

Balsamic aromas

Balsamic signs also mostly refer to maturing in oak barrels. Eucaliptus smell especially signifies the matured cabernet.

Animal aromas
Animal aromas can be found in every big, matured red wine. These are very discreet ingredients which do not dominate significantly.

Aromas of white wines

Flower aromas
The aromas of white wines often resemble to some flowers. The young German riesling has apricot/peach flower or gorse smell. Chamilla and lime tree flower is present by the banks of Loire and by Bourdeaux.

Fruit aromas
Fruity wines raise fruity impressions in the nose already, so they remind of raspberry, blackberry, currant, gooseberry, peach, plum, quince and mango. Most white wines have mild lemon smell as well, and the sauvignon blanc is famous for its gooseberry aroma. The fragrance of apricot and peach, quince, almond and dried fruits can be felt from many white wines. The fragrance of great wines, made of chardonnay, can show nutmeg and butter signs as well.

Vegetal aromas
A significant wine making mistake is the intense grass smell, that is the result of the immatured grape. Strong cabbage, reddish, onion or garlic smells should rather come from pots than from the wine glass. Spinach or peperoni aromas characterize some sauvignon blanc.

Spice aromas
Especially the matured chardonnay and other sweet wines sometimes contain in incredibly complex ways the different spice aromas. Do not deny from yourselves this marvellous joy!

Yeast aromas
The young wine’s pleasant yeast aromas – yeast funghi or sour candy – disappear in one or two months.

Wood aromas
The wood and vanilla aromas are characteristic of those wines which are matured in small oak barrels (barrique). (Should you think about the freshly polished oak floor that roughly breathes vanilla flavour).

Smoky aromas
The wine made of chardonnay grape and matured in barrels remind of toast or roasted almond.

Balsamic aromas
They are characteristic of the oak- barrel- matured wines. Many sweet wines have honey taste and smell. If they are made of aszú grape, then in their fragrances sometimes little oily signs can be found.

Animal aromas
Those aromas of meat, wild animal and skin which characterize the red wines, do not appear significantly in the case of white wines. At the same time, the well matured sauvignon blanc can recall the unpleasent smell of cat wee.

Chemical aromas
The basic rule is that, wine should not contain such artificial aromas at all.

To make sure about the most suitable barrel for our wine, we should experiment with approximately 400.000 pieces of barrels during a 10-year-long period. However strange is that, we still can’t be relaxed about the match because wines have different vintages in the following years. Consequently, it is not possible to taste them through and as many people as many tastes, plus tasting appear as well. The Gods above, have taught us a lesson.

– Kalina Kádárüzem –
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