Aims: The first aim of this investigation was to determine whether red- and black-berry fruit aromas were specific to red wines. The second aim was to study their contribution to the red Bordeaux wine concept.
Methods and results: In experiment 1, red wines were presented to expert assessors in dark, then in clear glasses. Assessors selected wines where they detected specific red-/black-berry aromas and then rated the perceived intensity. Results showed a statistically significant impact of visual input on both detection and intensity rating of red-/black-berry aromas in red wines. As part of experiment 2, both red and white wines were rated using dark glasses only. Globally, red-/black-berry aromas were shown to be more specific to red wines. Finally, in experiment 3, red Bordeaux wine experts assessed the degree to which 21 wines (9 red Bordeaux wines, 8 red wines of various origins and 4 white wines) corresponded to their own red Bordeaux wine concept, and then evaluated the intensity of 4 fruity descriptors they had detected in these wines. The results revealed that the expert assessors shared coherent olfactory concepts of red Bordeaux wines, which enabled them to distinguish the red Bordeaux from the other wines presented.
Conclusions: The existence of a red-/black-berry character specific to red wines was demonstrated. Moreover, it was shown for the first time that red Bordeaux wines tend to have their own sensory space. The distinctive character of these wines was found to relate to « black-berry » and « jammy-fruit » olfactory descriptors.
Significance and impact of the study: This study clarified our knowledge of the fruity olfactory descriptors specific to red wines in general and red Bordeaux wines in particular.
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