Effect of oxygen exposure during fermentation on volatile sulfur compounds in Shiraz wine and a comparison of strategies for remediation of reductive character

M. Z. Bekker, M Day, H Holt, E. Wilkes, P Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background and Aims: Oxygen (O2) plays a fundamental role in the establishment of wine style and aroma. The effect of O2 treatment during fermentation on the formation of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) and the subsequent impact on the sensory profile of wine was investigated. Traditional VSC remediation strategies were also evaluated. Methods and Results: Shiraz wines were treated with O2 at several levels during fermentation by sparging rotary fermenters with three types of gas mixtures (40% O2, 21% O2 and N2). The controls were not sparged with any gas and were subsequently subjected to three remedial treatments (aerative racking, early- and late-Cu2+ addition). Wines were analysed for VSCs, fermentation products, concentration of residual metals, as well as their sensory profile. Non-oxygenated ferments and wines contained a higher concentration of VSCs and a lower concentration of fermentation products and differences in the concentration of metals. Volatile sulfur compounds responsive to O2 treatment were identified and a relationship between O2 dose and concentration on VSC formation was demonstrated. The 'early-Cu2+ addition' remediation strategy proved the most effective in reducing the impact of 'reductive' aromas in non-oxygenated wines. Conclusions: The risk of producing a wine with high VSC concentration that negatively impacts wine aroma as well as with a low concentration of fermentation products associated with positive red fruit aromas was decreased by treating wines with O2 during fermentation. Significance of the Study: This work specifically examines important aspects of O2 treatment during fermentation in relation to 'reductive' aroma characters and the overall impact on the wine's sensory attributes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-35
    Number of pages12
    JournalAustralian Journal of Grape and Wine Research
    Volume22
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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