A red wine was matured in contact with 4 g/L of oak wood chips from Portuguese (Quercus pyrenaica Willd.), French (Quercus petraea L.) and a mixture (50:50) of this two oak wood species, during 13 weeks, in order to evaluate the effects of these different oak wood chip species (specially Portuguese oak wood) on the phenolic composition evolution of the wine and in their sensory properties. In general, for the phenolic compounds studied, it wasn't possible to detect remarkable differences between the control wine (aged without oak wood chips) and the wines aged in contact with the two oak wood chips species used. However, for non-flavonoid phenols, the presence of oak wood chips contributed to an increase of these compounds in red wines. The influence of oak wood chips in anthocyanins evolution were similar for all wines, except for malvidin-3-glucoside, which decrease was more evident for the wine aged in contact with oak wood chips. The oak wood chips species and the chips concentration used in this study, didn't affect the proanthocyanidin contents in the wines during the time considered.
Sensory results showed that, the wines aged in contact with Portuguese and French oak wood chips and the mixture of this two oak wood species, differed significantly from the control wine in several sensorial characteristics. The wines aged in contact with wood chips showed a higher punctuation values for intensity, toasted, wood and vanillin aroma, taste intensity and global appreciation. This positive effect was more evident for wines aged with Portuguese oak wood chips. Probably this results, suggest that the Portuguese oak wood samples species (Quercus pyrenaica Willd.) used could be considered suitable for barrel production because it has a positively effect in sensorial red wine attributes. Thus with this study we tried to contribute for understand the Portuguese oak wood role in red wine characteristics.
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