Chemical and volatile composition of three italian sweet white Passito wines
Aims: This study was designed to gain knowledge of three Controlled Denomination of Origin (DOC) Italian sweet white Passito wines (Caluso Passito DOC, Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà DOC and Passito di Pantelleria DOC) produced in several areas of Italy from grapes dried with different systems and vinification techniques.
Methods and results: Physico-chemical and chromatic characteristics, sodium, potassium, gluconic acid, glucono-γ-lactone, acetaldehyde, sorbitol, laccase, organic acids and semi-quantitative free volatile profile were determined on these wines. Caluso Passito DOC wines presented higher contents of organic acids (above all, malic acid), main metabolites from noble Botrytis cinerea (laccase, glycerol, gluconic acid and benzaldehyde) and low contents of total polyphenols. Among the volatile components, normal fatty acid ethyl esters (ethyl hexanoate and ethyl octanoate), branched-chain esters (ethyl 2-methylpropanoate, ethyl 2-methylbutyrate, ethyl 3-methylbutyrate) and benzaldeyde characterized this Passito wine. Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà DOC wines showed the lowest total acidity with a lower amount of malic acid and a higher content of polyphenols. This wine was characterized by some predominant acetates (isoamyl acetate), alcohols, benzaldehyde and an isoprenoid, Β-damascenone. Passito di Pantelleria DOC wines presented higher amounts of ashes resulting in higher pH values compared to the other two Passito typologies. Due to its production from aromatic grapes, it showed several varietal components such as terpenes, while ethyl esters/acetates and alcohols were less represented.
Conclusion: This survey provides information allowing the characterisation of three Passito dessert wines at high commercial value.
Significance and impact of the study: This study provides oenological information to be utilised to protect and valorise the Controlled Denomination of Origin sweet wine production and contributes to the preservation of traditional and terroir productions and their commercialization.
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