Acacia (F) Akazie (G) Acacia (I) Acacia (S)
The flowery autolytic aroma of a recently disgorged sparkling wine.
Methyl p-tolyl ketone
Fleur de pommier (F) Apfelblüten (G) Fiori di melo (I) Flor del manzano (S)
Youthful Riesling and Champagne.
anisic acid, amyl acetate
Oeillet (F) Nelke (G) Garofano (I) Clavel (S)
One of four olfactory defects known collectively as the ‘Phenol’ character, caused by an enzymic decarboxylation by yeast of two cinnamic acids.
Fleur de sureau (F) Holunderblüten (G) Fiore della bacca di sambuco (I) Flor del sauco del saúco (S)
Polite/low-key ‘cat’s pee’, this extreme form of herbaceousness can be found in a number of grapes when harvested underripe, particularly Sauvignon Blanc, but can also be Sémillon and Cabernets.
Floral, floraux (F) Blumenbukett (G) Sapore di fiori (I) Aflorado(S)
Generic flowery aroma, usually light and fresh.
Linaloöl, 2-phenylethanol, methyl 2-methylpropanoate, various aldehydes
Fleuri-fruité (F) Blumig-fruchtig (G) Fiorito-fruttato (I) Aflorado-afrutado (S)
In terms of development, this could be viewed as a few months more bottle-age than floral
b-damascenone, ethyl hexanoate
Géranium (F) Geranie (G) Geranio (I) Geranio (S)
Sorbic acid (preservative that prevents refermentation in sweet wine, but has no effect on its bacterial activity) without sufficient SO2 is prone to breakdown by lactic bacteria, causing strong geranium odour (2-ethoxy-3.5-hexadiene), although other compounds can produce a similar smell, such as those created during the oxidation of geraniol (old Asti).
Hexa-2,4,dienol, 2-ethoxy hexa-3,5-diene, glycyrrhyzin, geraniol dehydrogenase
Lavande (F) Lavendel (G) Lavanda (I) Espliego (S)
Australian Rieslings often have a lime and lavender character, the latter often attributed to the addition of pectolytic enzymes to free aromatic terpenes.
Lilas (F) Flieder (G) Lilla (I) Lila (S)
Found in some herbaceous reds and peppery Rhônes. Can be overpowering in Muscadine.
LILY OF THE VALLEY
Muguet (F) Maiglöckchen (G) Mughetto (I) Lirio del valle (S)
New World Gewürztraminer.
LIME TREE (LINDEN)
Tilleul (F) Lindenbaum (G) Tiglio (I) Tilo (S)
Magnolia (F) Magnolie (G) Magnolia (I) Magnolia (S)
Characteristic of a Muscadine grape variety actually called Magnolia, this distinctly floral aroma can also be found in wines made from other grapes.
Fleur d’oranger (F) Orangenblüten (G) Fiori d’arancio (I) Azahar (S)
Youthful dry Muscat
Anisic acid, limonene, citronellol
Pétale de rose (F) Rosenblatt (G) Petalo di rosa (I) Pétalo de rosa (S)
Rose oxide is partly responsible for the floral aspect of Gewürztraminer.
Cis-rose oxide, geraniol, nerol, irone, citronellol, citronellyl acetate, b-damascenone, 2-phenyl ethanol
Violette (F) Veilchen (G) Violetta (I) Violeta (S)
Found as part of a silky finish on a number of red wines, particularly Malbec and to a lesser extent Graves.
Pomme (F) Apfel (G) Mela (I) Manzana (S)
Ubiquitous in fresh, young white wines made from grapes that are not too ripe, though not necessarily unripe.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethyl n-butanoate, phenylethyl acetate, diethyl malonate, methyl-3-ethyl-butanoate, 1,5-dodecanolide
See also APPLE BLOSSOM, APPLE PEEL, GREEN APPLE, STEWED APPLE
Pelure de pomme (F) Apfelschale (G) Buccia di mela (I) Piel de manzana (S)
Pithy apple character.
Ethyl hexanoate, n-hexyl, n-butanoate, hexyl hexanoate
See also APPLE BLOSSOM, APPLE, GREEN APPLE, STEWED APPLE
Abricot (F) Aprikose (G) Albicocca (I) Albaricoque (S)
Classic varietal character of Viognier, but also found in Riesling, Champagne and others. Apricot kernel (noyau d’abricot) is a more complex version.
1,4-decanolide, amyl propanoate
Banane (F) Banane (G) Banana (I) Plátano (S)
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, also known as “Banana Oil” or “Pear Oil”, is characteristic of cool-fermented whites and red wines that have undergone carbonic maceration (e.g., Beaujolais Nouveau), whereas a more profound banana character found on the aftertaste of certain Alsace wines is the precursor to bottle-aged spiciness.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, 1-phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide
Mûre (F) Brombeere (G) Mora di rovo (I) Zarzamora (S)
Ripe Pinot Noir.
Ethyl caprylate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl butyrate, amyl propionate
Cassis (F) Schwarzea Johannisbeere (G) Ribes nero (I) Grosella negra (S)
Usually an attractive aroma, but can be mercaptan fault, in which case the blackcurrant will metamorphose into a garlic odour.
Ethyl acetate, ethyl formate, Mercaptohexan-1-ol
Myrtille (F) Heidelbeere (G) Mirtillo (I) Mirtillo (S)
Also known as bilberry or whortleberry, blueberry is much softer, more perfumed and less intensely flavoured than blackcurrant.
Agrume (F) Zitrusfrüchte (G) Agrumi (I) Citricos (S)
Part of the fresh complexity of many young white wines. Often more complex than a specific citrus fruit.
Limonene, citronellol, linaloöl
Canneberge (F) Preiselbeere (G) Ossicocco (I) Arándano (S)
Very much in the cherry-raspberry range of fruit flavours, cranberry can be found in cool-climate Syrah or herbaceous New World Merlot.
Groseille à maquereau (F) Stachelbeere (G) Uva spina (I) Grosella espinosa (S)
Classic varietal character of Sauvignon Blanc, particularly when grown in Marlborough, New Zealand. Requires 4MMP with ripeness and relatively high tartaric acid. Can be enhanced by yeast strains such as Zymaflore VL3.
4MMP (4-mercapto-4-methyl pentan-2-one)
Pomme verte (F) Grüner Apfel (G) Mela verde (I) Manzana verde (S)
Unripeness, usually in taste, as opposed to the pithy yet ripe fruit aroma of a Granny Smith apple.
Malic acid, acetaldehyde, hexanoate
See also APPLE BLOSSOM, APPLE, APPLE PEEL, STEWED APPLE
Citron (F) Zitrone (G) Limone (I) Limón (S)
Suggests a simple commercial quality unless part of a more complex aroma, such as citrus fruit or lemony-oak.
Citric acid, neral, limonene, citral, linaloöl
See CITRUS FRUIT, GRAPEFRUIT, LEMONY OAK, LIME, ORANGE
Melon (F) Melone (G) Melone (I) Melón (S)
Melon with tropical fruits can be part of warm climate Chardonnay character, but with apple and pear will simply be an amylic aroma.
Trans 2,4-nonadienal, Amyl or isoamyl acetate
Muscat (F) Muskatraube (G) Moscato (I) Moscatel (S)
The fresh, grapy aroma of the Muscat grape is an aromatic characteristic that can be found in wines other than those made from the Muscat itself.
combination of geraniol, linaloöl and nerol
Poire (F) Birne (G) Pera (I) Pera (S)
Amyl or isoamyl acetate , also known as “Banana Oil” or “Pear Oil”, is characteristic of cool-fermented whites and red wines that have undergone carbonic maceration (e.g., Beaujolais Nouveau).
Amy or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide
Ananas (F) Ananas (G) Ananas (I) Piña (S)
Often found in New World Chardonnay. Can be an indication of some botrytised grapes. Ethyl butanoate, ethyl caprylate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl butyrate, methyl 3-methylthiopropionate, amyl propionate
Framboise (F) Himbeere (G) Lampone (I) Frambuesa (S)
Herbaceous yet fruity, raspberry is classic youthful cool-climate Syrah. Also found in Pinot Noir (slightly warmer climate than cherry). In other varieties it may indicate an over-vigorous canopy.
Combination of ethyl acetate, ethyl formate and various acids and esters
Rhubarbe (F) Rhabarber (G) Rabarbaro (I) Ruibarbo (S)
Some yeasts (e.g., Lalvin 71B-1122) tend to produce a rhubarb-like fruitiness, particularly in wines that have undergone carbonic maceration.
Pomme en compote (F) Apfelkompott (G) Mela cotta (I) Compota de manzana (S)
More distinctive than the simple amylic apple aroma.
See also APPLE BLOSSOM, APPLE, APPLE PEEL, GREEN APPLE
Fraise (F) Erdbeere (G) Fragole (I) Fresa (S)
Classic ripe Pinot Noir. Hybrids Castor and Pollux also have a strawberry perfume, but can be quite cloying.
Furaneol, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, ethyl formate, ethyl hexanoate, methyl cinnamate
Fruits rouges (F) Sommerfrüchte (G) Frutti di bosco (I) Frutas del bosque (S)
Either more complex or less distinct medley of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, blackcurrant.
Ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate
Tomate (F) Tomate (G) Pomodoro (I) Tomate (S)
A ripe tomato taste can by found in some white (Sylvaner) and red (Merlot, Pinot Noir and various Italian) wines.
Fruits tropicaux (F) Tropenfrucht (G) Frutta tropicale (I) Fruta tropical (S)
Usually New World whites, particularly Chardonnay, but can be found in Old World wines, even Champagne (from Sézanne).
Asperge (F); Spargel (G) Asparago (I) Espárrago (S)
Exaggerated pyrazine character often found in Sauvignon Blanc, asparagus will only develop with age. In a wine without any pyrazine character, it will be dimethyl disulphide.
2-Methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine, dimethyl disulphide
Betterave (F) Rote Beete (G) and Barbabietola (I) Remolacha (S)
Earthy-vegetal character, usually a fault, with Pinot Noir the most likely recipient and geosmin (found in beetroot) the most probable culprit.
Geosmin, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 3- isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine, 2-ethyl-2,4-dimethylthiazole
Poivron (F) Paprikaschote (G) Peperone (I) Pimiento (S) AKA green pepper, sweet pepper, pimento and capsicum, this is the classic pyrazine derived character of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Also an indicator of canopy vigour in Cabernet Sauvignon. An earthy bell pepper aroma may seem like TCA, but can be a specific methoxypyrazine (2-methoxy-3-isopropylpyrazine).
Chou (F) Kohl (G) Cavolo (I) Col (S)
Cabbage is a mercaptan fault often found on unfiltered wines that have not been too hygienically made. Cooked cabbage is probably methional, which is responsible for most reductive faults, especially in white wines.
Methional, methionol, methanethiol, DES (dimethyl sulphide)
See BELL PEPPER
Chou-fleur (F) Blumenkohl (G) Cavolfiore (I) Coliflor (S)
A stronger smelling mercaptan fault than cabbage. The cooked cauliflower odour comes from acrolein and is the result of bacterial spoilage.
Céleri (F) Sellerie (G) Sedano (I) Apio (S)
A curiosity whenever it is found.
épi de maïs (F) Maiskolben (G) Pannocchia di granturco (I) Mazorca de maíz (S)
A corn-on-the-cob verging on asparagus character is a fixed-sulphur fault.
Concombre (F) Gurke (G) Cetriolo (I) Pepino (S)
Less ripe version of melon.
Ail (F) Knoblauch (G) Aglio (I) Ajo (S)
This aroma can develop from an exaggerated blackcurrant aroma that is also a fixed-sulphur or mercaptan fault.
DES (diethylsulphide), DEDS (diethyl-disulphide), ethanethiol, thiophene
Ailliacé (F) Knoblauchge-schmack (G) Sapore di aglio (I) Con sabor a ajo (S)
When taste as well as or rather than aroma, the fault is definitely mercaptan.
See BELL PEPPER
Champignon (F) Champignon (G) Funghi (I) Champiñón (S)
Should the mushroom aroma be fresh and savoury in a mature Champagne, it is an acceptable ageing characteristic, but if it is dry and musty, then it will be TCA. In a botrytised wine, a mushroom character may be due to unusually high level of 3-octenol.
TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), 3-octenol
Oignon (F) Zwiebel (G) Cipolla (I) s-ethylacetothioate Cebolla (S) A fixed-sulphur or mercaptan fault. Various possibilities, but DMDS if intense and if burnt.
DES (diethylsulphide), DMDS (dimethyldisulphide), ethanethiol, s-ethylacetothioate
Petit pois (F) Erbse (G) Piselli (I) Guisante (S)
The fresh, green pea aroma found in Sauvignon Blanc is closer to broadbean than it is to tinned peas or asparagus, but it will go that way with bottle-age.
Pomme de terre (F) Kartoffel (G) Patate (I) Patata (S)
The aroma and/or taste of potato peelings is usually blamed incorrectly on TCA, but is usually geosmin (which is responsible for the earthy taste of beetroot) or a pyrazine. Cooked potato is a fixed-sulphur fault.
Geosmin, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, methional 3-methyl-1-propanol
See BELL PEPPER
Truffe (F) Tartufo (I) Trüffel (G) Trufa (S)
Is it part of the complexity of a fine wine or a sulphur fault?
Végétal (F) Vegetal (G) Vegetale (I) Vegetal (S)
Although this doesn’t sound very attractive in a wine, a vegetal character can be either positive or negative.
Poivre noir (F) Schwarzer Pfeffer (G) Pepe nero (I) Pimienta negra (S)
Classic Syrah. Probably a pyrazine character plumped-up by grape ripeness. Various pyrazines?
See also WHITE PEPPER
See CURRANT LEAF
Camphre (F) Kampfer (G) Canfora (I) Alcanfor (S)
Prematurely aged reds.
Cannelle (F) Zimt (G) Cannella (I) Canela (S)
Cinnamon notes can be found in both red (particularly Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon) and white (Gewürztraminer, French Sauvignon Blanc) wines.
Feuille de groseille (F) Johannisbeer-blatt (G) Foglia del ribes (I) Hoja de la grosella (S)
High-vigour and/or underripeness, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
Mercaptopentan-2-one, various pyrazines
Eucalyptus (F) Eukalyptus (G) Eucalyptus (I) Eucalipto (S)
Supposedly found on Australian reds from grapes grown within the immediate vicinity of eucalyptus trees, but can be found on many New World reds, particularly California Cabernets.
Herbacé (F) Krautig (G) Erbaceo (I) Herbáceo (S)
Overt herbaceousness is a sign of underripeness or an over-vigorous canopy, although an understated herbaceousness can add an attractive dimension to some wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, Petit/Gros Manseng, Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc etc).
Menthe poivrée (F) Pfefferminze (G) Menta piperita (I) Hierbabuena (S)
Stronger, hotter version of mint, peppermint is less common, but can be found in some Australian Shiraz.
Menthone, menthol, menthyl acetate
Poivré-herbacé (F) Pfefferig-krautig (G) Pepato-erbaceo (I) Pimienta-herbácea (S)
A less severe form of stalky, this characteristic can be found in some whole-bunch fermented reds such as Pinot Noir and even Champagne.
Hexanol, hexenals, various pyrazines
Epicé (F) Würzig (G) Piccante (I) Picante (S)
Although a generic term, spicy is a very specific wine characteristic that is intensified by bottle-age, while tannins from the skins give the spice its hot, tactile impression on the finish. Principally Gewürztraminer, but also Pinot Gris. Eugenol is found in bay leaves, cloves and allspice.
Cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, 4-vinyl guaiacol, anethole, methyl salicylate, hexenals, various pyrazines and terpenes.
See specifically CINNAMON, CLOVE, GINGERBREAD, SMOKY-SPICY
Feuille de tomate (F) Tomatenblatt (G) Foglia del pomodoro (I) Hoja del tomate (S)
The distinctive aroma of deliberately oxidised Sauvignon Blanc juice prior to fermentation
Poivre blanc (F) Weißer Pfeffer (G) Pepe bianco (I) Pimienta blanca (S)
The powdery-dry taste perception of white pepper is most famously found in top Grüner Veltliner from Austria’s Wachau.
This is by far the largest section, and happens to contain most faults and unwelcome aromas.
Amande (F) Mandel (G) Mandorla (I) Almendra (S)
Unless a minor part of a complex aroma, almond can be a rather simplistic and boring wine aroma.
Acetoin, acetophenone, benzaldehyde, furfural, 5-methyl- furfural
See specifically BITTER ALMOND
See Explanatory notes.
Pansement adhésif (F) Heftpflaster (G) Cerotto (I) Tirita (S)
The distinctive odour of Band-Aids or sticking plasters (sometimes referred to as surgical bandages or hospital smell) is a naturally occurring volatile phenol defect caused by an enzymic decarboxylation by yeast.
Goût de bière (F) Bierartig (G) Gusto di birra (I) Acervezado (S)
A yeasty beer-like odour can be the result of insufficient racking.
Hydrogen sulphide near threshold of detection level
Amande amère (F) Bittermandel (G) Mandorla amara (I) Almendra amarga (S)
The benzaldehyde responsible for the bitter almond character is found naturally in wine, particularly those that are sparkling or made by carbonic maceration. Natural levels, however, are not detectable by the human palate. When it is, it will be due to a non-wine source, such as an incorrectly applied epoxy resin lining inside a fermentation vat.
Pané (F) Brot (G)Crosta di pane (I) Pan (S)
Bready is a sign of a little post-disgorgement ageing on a good quality Champagne, but is not an autolytic character per se.
Diacetyl, undecalactone, p-tolymethyl ketone
Chewing-gum (F) Kaugummi (G) Goma masticare (I) Chicle (S)
More banal than peardrops, this amylic aroma is the product of carbonic maceration in red wines or too cool fermentation in whites. Should never be allowed in a fine wine and a boring character in even the cheapest plonk.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide
Allumette brûlée (F) Verbranntes Streichholz (G) Fiammifero bruciato (I) Cerilla quemada (S)
The relatively fresh smell of free as opposed to fixed sulphur, this aroma suggests a recently bottled wine. It should dissipate after a few swirls of the glass.
Caoutchouc brûlé (F) Gummi (G) Gomma bruciata (I) Caucho quemado (S)
Almost always a bad mercaptan fault. 2-Mercaptoethanol, thiophene-2-thiol, Verbrannter DEDS (diethyldisufide), 2-furanmethanethiol
See also RUBBER
Beurre (F) Butter (G) Burro (I) Mantequilla (S)
Diacetyl is a by-product of malolactic and also happens to be used by the food industry to make margarine taste more buttery (because diacetyl is the dominant aromatic molecule found in butter itself).
Diacetyl, ethyl lactate, acetoin
See also BUTTERMILK, BUTTERSCOTCH
Petit-lait (F) Buttermilch (G) Latticello (I) Suero de manteca (S)
Far too dominant malolactic (see BUTTER).
Diacetyl, ethyl lactate, acetoin
Caramel au beurre (F) Buttertoffee (G) Caramella di zucchero e burro (I) Dulce de azúcar terciado con mantequilla (S)
Although commonly associated with big oak-aged Chardonnays that have undergone (arguably excessive) malolactic and lees stirring, an overt butterscotch aroma can also be found in other varieties and wines that have never touched oak.
Diacetyl, ethyl lactate, acetoin
Cire de bougie (F) Kerzewachs (G) Cera della candela (I) Cera de vela (S)
Candle-wax is an overused descriptor, although this can probably be excused because of the abundance of candles found in some cellars. The aroma they leave behind is most distinctive (unlike lanolin, an overused descriptor for descriptor referring to an odourless substance!).
Ethyl caproate, ethyl caprylate
Bonbon (F) Bonbon (G) Confetto (I) Bombón (S)
Another amylic aroma. See PEARDROP.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide
Barbe à papa (F) Zuckerwatte (G) Zucchero filato (I) Algodón de azúcar (S)
A candyfloss dimension to one or more summer fruit aromas can be found in some rosé, blush or New World blanc de noir wines when they have a certain residual sweetness.
Caramel (F) Karamell (G) Caramello (I) Caramelo (S)
Can be dominant diacetyl (see BUTTER), but also the aroma of various by products of oak-ageing and/or lees-stirring. Certain volatile lactones (4-hexanolide) have a caramel taste. Maltol and cyclotene have a caramel-type burnt-sugar aroma and are two of the substances created during the toasting of oak barrels. Another by-product of barrel-toasting, dihydromaltol has a roasted-caramel aroma.
Diacetyl, ethyl 4-hydroxybutyrate, maltol, cyclotene, furaneol, 4-hexanolide, dihydromaltol
Carton (F) Karton (G) Cartone (I) Cartón (S)
A dry, dusty-papery cardboard odour can be picked up by glasses stored in cardboard boxes. The glue-ridden smell of wet cardboard is supposedly a mercaptan fault, but as yet unidentified. Between these extremes the smell of cardboard can be a TCA fault.
Cèdre (F) Zedernholz (G) Cedro (I) Cedro (S)
A purely subjective term for the bouquet associated with the bottle-maturity of a wine previously stored or fermented in oak, often-used oak. A classic claret character.
Poussière de craie (F) Kreidestaub (G) Polvere del geso (I) Polvo de yeso (S)
A chalk dust aroma and/or taste is on the increase in many styles, although its causes are unknown, but dusty as church/cellar is TCA.
Fromage (F) Käse (G) Formaggio (I) Queso (S)
A generic cheesy aroma can be an acetate of a mercaptan, a lactone derived from ethanol (alcohol) and butyric acid (responsible for “cheesy” feet) or a bacterial fault.
S-ethylacetothioate, 4-butanolide, hexan-2,3-dione, nonanoic acid
Chocolat (F) Schokolade (G) Cioccolato (I) Chocolate (S)
Usually found in big, dark, dense red wines, usually of a relatively high pH, but is also a characteristic of mature Champagne. 2,6-dimethylpyrazine
Noix de coco (F) Kooksnuss (G) Noce di cocco (I) Coco (S)
The coconut aroma so prevalent in American oak derives from so-called “whisky lactones” found in all types of oak. The fermentation lactone 4-nonanolide (d-nona-lactone) also has a strong coconut aroma.
3-methyl-4-octanolide, 4-nonanolide, methyl nonanoate
Café (F) Kaffee (G) Caffe (I) Café (S)
A common oak-derived character (particularly but not exclusively when medium-toast oak chips have been used). Also part of the complexity of a fine quality, mature Champagne.
Bouchonné (F) Korkig (G) Sapore di tappo (I) Acorchado (S) Originally believed to be the result of penicillin or aspergillus mould in the cork, but these infections are extremely rare. Various chloroanisoles are now deemed responsible, with TCA the main culprit. Initially thought to be exclusively the unwanted by-product of sterilising corks with chlorine, TCA has since been identified at source in cork oak trees, in oak barrels, wooden pallets and wooden roofs. Since TCA is highly volatile and can be methylated from TCP (2,4,6-trichlorophenol) it is possible to find a “corked” wine sealed with a screw-top.
TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), TeCA (2,3,4,6-tetrachloroanisole), 1-octene-3-one, 1-octene-3-ol, 2 methylisoborneol, geosmin
DIRTY DISHCLOTH OR FLOORCLOTH
Lavette sale (F) Schmutziger Spüllappen (G) Strofinaccio per i piatti sporco (I) Sucio bayeta (S)
In a young white wine that threatens to fall apart, this is a characteristic of Untypischer Alterungs (UTA) or Atypical Ageing (ATA), a phenomenon associated with vine stress during drought conditions. This restricts nitrogen up-take, increasing a plant hormone called indole acetic acid (IAA), which breaks down into aminoacetophenone and unpleasant smelling indoles. High levels of UV irradiation in the vineyard can have a similar effect. ATA can also have a naphthalene-like (mothball) smell.
Aminoacetophenone, various indoles (skatole being the worst offender)
See CHALK DUST
Terreux (F) Erdig (G) Terra (I)Con sabor a tierra (S) An earthy character is not clean, thus an imperfection. It is not a “goût de terroir”, which in its true sense means expressive of its terroir or complete growing environment, not tasting simplistically of earth!
Geosmin, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 2-ethyl-2,4-diimethylthiazole, TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), 3- isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine
See also BEETROOT, POTATO
See ROTTEN EGG
Pierre à fusil (F) Feuersteinartig (G) Selce (I) Pedernal (S)
Along with minerally, the taste or aroma of flint is commonly attributed to the soil, but most probably a combination of varietal characteristics and pyrazines from early harvesting or too much vigour.
Foxé (F) Fuchs-geschmack (G) Odore di volpe (I) Zorro (S)
The very distinctive, highly perfumed character of certain indigenous North American grape varieties can be cloying to unconditioned palates.
Methyl anthranilate, 2-amino-acetophenone, ethyl-2-mercaptopropionate, ethyl-3-mercaptopropionate
Odeur de gaz (F) Geruche de gas (G) Odore di gas (I) Olor a gas (S)
The smell of domestic gas is a rare and most unpleasant reductive fault. Domestic gas actually smells of nothing, but a methyl mercaptan is added so that leaks can easily be detected.
Chèvre (F) Ziege (G) Capra (I) Cabra (S)
A goaty taste is an unclean flabbiness that initially starts on the finish of a young wine and works its way forward all the way to the nose in bottle. This seems to occur in white wines rather than red, when the wine has a low acidity, high pH and a low natural alcoholic potential, and the taste gives the impression that the grapes might have been affected by ignoble rot.
Decanoic acid (capric acid), octanoic acid (caprylic acid), hexanoic acid (caproic acid)
Noisette (F) Haselnuss (G) Nocciola (I) Avellana (S)
Part of the complexity of a mature white Burgundy and Champagne. Roasted hazelnut is the aroma of 2-acetylthiazole, first identified in wine as recently as 2000.
Undecalactone, 4-methylthiazole, trimethylpyrazine, 2-acetylthiazole, diacetyl
Miel (F) Honig (G) Miele (I) Miel (S)
Classic bottle-aged characteristic of many white wines, especially Riesling, Sauternes, Champagne. A youthful honeyed-fruit character can sometimes be found in young wines (See WAX & HONEY).
Phenylacetic acid, phenethyl acetate, cinnamic acid, 2-phenylethanol
Cheval (F) Pferd (G) Cavallo (I) Caballo (S)
The horsey odour (also referred to as stables, sweaty-saddle and barnyard) is a volatile phenol defect caused byBrettanomyces, otherwise known simply as ‘Brett’.
Confiture, Trop cuit (F) Marmeladig (G) Marmellata (I) Mermelada (S)
Usually found in red wines from a warm/hot growing region , but can be from a cool area in an exceptionally hot vintage. Jammy is seldom found in a fine wine, whatever its origin.
Cuir (F) Leder (G) Pelle (I)Cuero (S)
Part of the complexity of many fine reds, especially with some age, but it should never dominate at the expense of fruit. It can sometimes be a dry, almost tactile, impression of ethanol (alcohol) just beginning to peep through the fruit.
Réglisse (F) Lakritze (G) Liquirizia (I) Regaliz (S)
A concentration of flavour often found in sweet white wines that have been made from grapes that have shrivelled due to passerillage (sun-dried) as opposed to botrytis.
Goût de lumière (F) Luftton (G) Gusto di luce (I) Gusto de luz (S)
This characteristic is more reductive than oxidative, thus closer to “rancio” and maderised than to “sherrified”.
Macaron (F) Makrone (G) Maccherone (I) Macarrón (S)
A complex, biscuity version of coconut often found in well-cellared old Champagne.
Possibly 4-nonanolide with acetal
Maderisé (F) Madeirisierent (G) Maderizzato (I) Amaderado (S)
More reductive than “sherrified”, maderised is however equally unwelcome in unfortified wine.
See Explanatory notes.
MALT Malté (F) Malz (G) Malto (I) Malta (S)
An unwelcome rather than unpleasant wine aroma, the most common occurrence of malty is on a sparkling wine that has either had too long on its lees or has undergone a less than ideal autolysis.
3-methylbutanol; 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4-pyrone (maltol)
Fumier (F) Dung (G) Letame (I) Abono (S)
It was once thought that “great Burgundy smells of shit” (Hanson, 1982), but this is now considered to be totally unacceptable. Indeed, so unhygienic must the winemaking have been that it probably requires all the vile smelling compounds below!
Methanol, methional, methanethiol, DES (diethyl sulphide), thiophene, acrolein, DMS (dimethylsulphide) 2-methylthio-ethanol, DEDS (diethyl-disulphide), 4-methythiobutan-1-ol
Guimauve (F) Marshmallow (G) Caramella soffice e gommosa (I) Bombón de merengue blando (S)
A toasted marshmallow aroma can be found on inexpensive wines aged in American oak.
Pâte d’amandes (F) Marzipan (G) Marzapane (I) Mazapán (S)
Sometimes found in youthful Champagne and Chenin Blanc, although also capable of cropping up in many other white wines.
See Explanatory notes.
Métallique (F) Metallisch (G) Metallico (I) Metálico (S)
Unless actually contaminated by a metal, this distinctive aroma will be the result of a volatile sulphur compound.
Ethyl methionate, Oct-1-en3-one (metallic-mushroom), Oct-1-en-3-ol (metallic-mushroom), 4-(methythio)butan-1-ol (metallic-herbal)
Lacté (F) Milchig (G) Lattiginosa (I) Lechoso (S)
Usually derived from acetoin, which is produced either as a by-product of alcoholic fermentation or from the reduction of diacetyl. Sour milk is ethyl lactate from bacterial spoilage.
Acetoin, 5-nonanolide, 1-methylbicyclo (3.3.0) 2,4 dithiaoxaoctane
See also BUTTERMILK
See DIRTY DISHCLOTH OR FLOORCLOTH
Moisi (F) Modrig (G) Ammuffito (I) Mohoso (S)
This has a more damp perception than musty. Although both could be due to infected corks or staves, mouldy could also be due to mould build-up following overfill bottling.
See also CORKED, MUSTY
Souris (F) Maus (G) Topo (I) Ratón (S) This relatively rare odour was once attributed to the conversion of cinnamic acids into ethyl phenols by Brettanomyces, but this is now known to be responsible for the more common barnyard, stables, horsey, sweaty-saddles smells. Although the presence of Brettanomyces cannot be ruled out in a few cases, Lactobacillus not Brettanomyces is the cause of mousiness, and acetamide not cinnamic acid its target. Substances that cause mousiness can only occur in the presence of ethanol (alcohol) and lysine.
Goût d’évent (F) Muffig (G) Odore di stantio (I) Enmohecido (S)
This has a drier perception than mouldy. The difference as in a dry-musty church and a damp-mouldy cellar. Although both could be due to infected staves, mouldy can also come from grapes affected by botrytis (more likely to be grey rot than brown).
See also CORKED, DUSTY, MOULDY
Vernis à ongles (F) Nagellack (G) Smalto per unghie (I) Quitaesmalte (S)
At the extreme end of the peardrop aroma spectrum, the smell of the solvent used in nail-polish and nail-polish remover can be detected on the most carbonic-maceration-intensive Beaujolais Nouveau at five paces.
Ethyl, amyl or isoamyl acetate
Goût de noisette (F) Nussig (G) Di noce (I) De nuez (S)
Possibly acetal from autolysis if Champagne, but also a common component in many fine white wines, particularly mature.
See specifically BRAZILNUT, HAZELNUT, WALNUT
Chêne (F) Eiche (G) Quercia (I) Roble (S)
This term is so generic as to be meaningless. Try to qualify the type of oakiness, such as creamy-oak, coffee-oak, lemony-oak, spicy-oak, sweet oak and vanilla-oak. They will probably be caused by a combination of vanillin, diacetyl and whatever is responsible for the qualifying aroma. Oak defects: With the exception of TCA, most are caused by insufficient toasting, which fails to remove the various carbonyl compounds that are responsible for off-odours such as mouldy, rancid, vegetal and fresh-sawdust (usually caused by trans-2-nonenal, sometimes with 3-octen-1-one, trans-2-octenol, 1-Decanal).
See also CEDARWOOD
OZ CLARKE’S T-SHIRT
Tee-shirt de Oz (F) T-Shirt von Oz (G) Maglietta di Oz (I) Camiseta de Oz (S)
Found in the bottom of Oz Clarke’s locker three weeks after a game of squash, the T-shirt was double-bagged and sent to a laboratory for sensory analysis.
Deadly combination of TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), 2-methylisoborneol and geosmin
Bonbon de poire (F) Birnenbonbons (G) Peardrop (I) Periforme (S)
More banal even than pear plain and simple, this will or should be very cheap, probably more carbonic maceration than cool-fermented (thus a red wine rather than white) and probably more likely to be ethyl acetate than anything else and heading towards the nail- varnish aroma.
Amyl or isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, phenylethyl acetate, 1,5-dodecanolide
Essence (F) Benzin (G) Benzina (I) Gasolina (S)
Anyone who has siphoned fuel from a car will know that the classic bottle-aged aroma of Riesling has nothing in common with either the smell or the taste of petrol (kerosene or gasoline), yet once experienced the so-called petrol aroma is one of the easiest recognised and least argued about wine characteristics.
Pop-corn (F) Popcorn (G) Popcorn (I) Palomitas de maíz (S)
Found in Banyuls, Port and some Bordeaux.
Rancio (F) Rancio (G) Rancio (I) Rancio (S)
The characteristic of French Grenache-based VDNs and various Australian fortifieds, the tradional “rancio” character is caused by heat-generated volatile sulphur compound.
Oeufs pourris (F) Faule Eier (G) Ouvo marcio (I) Huevosto putrefactos (S)
The smell of rotten or hard-boiled egg is usually due to fermentation of nitrogen deficient musts, which causes certain enzymes release sulphurous gas.
H2S (hydrogen sulphide)
Caoutchouc (F) Gummi (G) Gomma (I) Goma (S)
Almost always a bad mercaptan fault.
Carbon disulphide, 2-methylthio-ethanol, ethanethiol
See also BURNT RUBBER
Vin de Xérès (F) Sherry (G) Sherry (I) Jerez (S)
Unless in Sherry or another deliberately oxidised fortified wine, a sherrified aroma will almost always be due to a level of acetaldehyde that is excessive and unstable in a wine with less than 17% alcohol. There are however, other compounds that can in certain circumstances cause a sherrified aroma, suchas the lactone sotolon in a botrytised wine.
Acetaldehyde, acetal, sotolon (4.5-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-2-furanone), 4-carboethoxy-4-butanolide
Mouffette (F) Skunk (G) Moffetta (I) Mofeta (S)
Once smelt, the highly resinous skunk odour is never forgotten. It’s a bit like the spray of a tomcat, only several orders higher and in a wine it is a very bad mercaptan fault.
Fumé (F) Rauchig (G) Affumicato (I) Ahumado (S)
A complexity that may be varietal (e.g. Syrah, Baco Noir), but is more likely to be a volatile oak phenol such as guaiacol or one of its derivatives, particularly if heavily toasted and has not been racked, fined or filtered.
Fumé-pain-grillé brûlée (F) Rauchig-toastig-verbrannt (G) Affumicato-tostato-bruciata (I) Afumado-tostado-quemado (S)
Complex aromas created by volatile phenols formed in wine from the breakdown of new oak lignin.
Guaiacol and various guaiacol phenols (allyl or isoeugenol; ethyl, methyl, propyl and vinyl), syringol, methyl syringol
Savonneux (F) Seifig (G) Sapore di sapone (I) Jabonoso (S)
An impression of soapiness can just be a youthful characteristic of a white wine that will develop nicely. This is particularly applicable to unready Riesling, but can also apply to Chenin Blanc and other grape varieties. Too distinctive soapiness is an olfactory fault.
Caprylate, caproate, ethyl caprate
Stilton (F) Stilton (G) Stilton (I) Stilton (S)
Not as rare as you might think, all the compounds below are found in wine and also happen to be the most important contributors to the aroma and flavour of blue cheeses.
Diacetyl, 2-methylpropanal, 3-methylbutanal, ethyl butanoate, ethyl hexanoate, methional, dimethyl trisulphide, Heptan-2-one, 2-nonanone
Moîte (F) Schweißig (G) Sudato (I) Sudado (S)
An unattractive human-like sweatiness can be produced by a number of compounds.
Butanoic acid (butyric acid), pentanoic acid (valeric acid), octanoic acid (caprylic acid), hexanoic acid (caproic acid), 2-methylbutanoic acid, 3-butanoic acid
Selles moîtes (F) Schweißige Sättel (G) Selle sudate (I) Silla de montar sudada (S)
This odour was considered to be a varietal characteristic specific to Shiraz grown in the Hunter Valley until it was widely declared to be a defect. For quite some time it was thought to be a mercaptan fault, but the sweaty saddles odour (also described as barnyard, stables or horsey) is now known to be a specific volatile phenol defect caused by Brettanomyces.
Goudron (F) Teer (G) Catrame (I) Alquitrán (S)
Possibly a varietal characteristic (Nebbiolo), but it is more probable that the wine has been matured in heavily toasted oak and possibly not racked, fined or filtered.
See Explanatory notes.
Pain-grillé (F) Toastig (G) Tostato (I) Tostado (S)
In cask-fermented or oak-aged wines, toastiness is caused by volatile phenols formed from the breakdown of oak lignin, whereas in wines that have never been in contact with oak toastiness is also a bottle-aged aroma (as in stainless-steel fermented Champagne, Chardonnay, Sémillon, etc). Toastiness can also occur in young botrytised wine that have never seen oak (caused by a non-wood lactone known as sotolon).
Sotolon (4.5-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-2-furanone), guaiacol and various guaiacol phenols (allyl or isoeugenol, ethyl, methyl, propyl and vinyl), syringol, methyl syringol
Tabac (F) Tabak (G) Tabacco (I) Tabaco (S)
Often found in mature reds, particularly clarets.
3-oxy-a-ionol, b-damascenone, hydroxy-b-damascenone
Caramel (F) Toffee (G) Caramella (S) Caramelo (S)
Less creamy than caramel, more oxidative.
Vanille (F) Vanille (G) Vaniglia (I) Vainilla (S)
Probably vanillin from new oak, although is also found in cork. Various vanillin based compounds also have vanilla aromas, and a hint of vanilla can be due to unrelated compounds present in wines that have seen no oak or cork. Ethyl vanillin has a stronger vanilla aroma and is known in the flavouring industry as Bourbonal. Spicy-vanilla is usually less obvious, more complex than plain vanilla and probably due to one or more of the last three compounds listed below. DDMP has a vanilla-sugar aroma and is a product of Maillard Reactions during the toasting of oak barrels. DDMP is also found in soya beans and is generated when baking cookies (enhancing their aroma).
Vanillin, vanillyl acetate, acetovanilloneethyl vanillate, methyl vanillate, guaiacol, furylacetone, 4-ethylguiacol, DDMP (2,3-dihydro-2,5-dihydroxy- 6-methyl-4-H-pyran-4-one)
See also OAK
Vinaigre (F) Essig (G) Aceto (I) Vinagre (S)
This is the classic volatile acidity or “VA” fault. Cooking a sweet & sour sauce is the quickest way to learn this aroma. A tiny amount of VA adds to the fruitiness of a wine and even relatively high levels are deemed acceptable for certain styles (botrytis wines, Canadian ice-wines etc), but the recognition of VA at whatever level can spoil the pleasure of an otherwise very attractive wine. Some winemakers deliberately elevate VA levels to “lift” the fruit aroma, which is excusable on an inexpensive wine, but a danger sign for wines that are expected to age.
Acetic acid, ethyl acetate
See Explanatory notes.
WAX & HONEY
Cire & miel (F) Wachs & Honig (G) Cera & miele (I) Cera y miel (S)
A youthful honeyed character with an impression of wax is caused by ethyl esters of fatty acids, the concentrations of which reduce with ageing.
Ethyl hexanoate, ethyl octanoate, ethyl decanoate
Chien mouillé (F) Nasser Hund (G) Cane umido (I) Perro húmedo (S)
So-called “wet dog” or “wet wool” is a heat-generated volatile sulphur fault involving the Retro-Michael reaction of methional, which is thermally unstable and evolves rapidly into acrolein and methanethiol, which are responsible for the so-called “wet dog” odour and a stronger cooked cauliflower smell.
Levuré (F) Hefig (G) Di lievito (I) Levadura (S)
Complex yeast-derived aromas such as those created during autolysis of a fine Champagne are very desirable, but not actually yeasty, which is unwelcome in any wine, including Champagne.
See also BREAD
This is purely for reference, so there’s no need to get bogged down here unless you want a user-friendly explanation of one of the following terms:
YEAST AUTOLYSIS, MAILLARD REACTION, MERCAPTANS, OTHER VOLATILE SULPHUR COMPOUNDS, PYRAZINES, TERPENES and VOLATILE PHENOLS.
Full yeast autolysis is unwelcome in most wines, but it is essential for Champagne. After remuage, Champagne may undergo a further period of ageing before the sediment is removed. The benefits of yeast-contact are derived from autolysis, which is the enzymatic breakdown of dead yeast cells. This occurs several months after the second fermentation, lasts for between four and five years, although up to 10 years is possible, and it:
- Releases reducing enzymes that inhibit oxidation, thereby reducing the need for sulphur dioxide. Absorbs certain essential yeast nutrients, which is the main reason why the dosage does not cause Champagne to referment. Increases amino acids and other nitrogenous matter, which are the precursors to the inimitable ‘champagne’ character, including the acacia-like aroma and finesse noticed in a recently disgorged Champagne and the complex bottle-aromas built-up after disgorgement (see Maillard Reaction). Produces acetal, which possibly adds a biscuity or brandy-like complexity. Produces mannoprotein MP32, which reduces tartrate precipitation.
After autolysis has finished, if a sparkling wine is kept on its lees, it merely remains fresher than the same wine disgorged at an earlier date, but the longer it is kept in this state, the more rapid the evolution after disgorgement. This is because the older a sparkling wine gets, the more sensitive it becomes to the sudden shock of exposure to the air during the disgorgement process.
Commonly associated with part of the raisining effect that darkens dried fruit, the importance of Maillard Reaction (MR) in the development of wine aromas is only just in the process of being discovered. It is, for example, an integral part of the toasting process in barrel-making and thereby contributes to many of the aromas closely associated with oak and lees-ageing. However, the most interesting aspect of MR under study at the moment is its importance in the marrying of the dosage of a sparkling wine. MR is now recognised as being responsible for many of the most complex aromas that develop after disgorgement. It involves a reaction between the sugar from the dosage and the amino acids created (and modified) during autolysis. We already know that some of the by-products of MR are responsible for toasted-roasted-vanilla post-disgorgement aromas, but precisely which amino acids are the precursors to specific aromas has yet to be established. Most of the results so far point to cysteine as a major precursor, but much work has still to be done.
Generally perceived as foul-smelling compounds, but like most groups of odoriferous compounds, mercaptans (thiols) can be good as well as bad. Some are even essential to what we believe to be the varietal character of certain grapes (e.g., 4MMP). Mercaptans’ positive qualities may be due to the type of mercaptan, the level at which it is found, mitigating effects of other odoriferous compounds or a combination of any of these factors.
|Type of mercaptan
The most common mercaptans in wine are methyl mercaptan (methanethiol) and ethyl mercaptan (ethanethiol). These are typically foul-smelling compounds. Methanethiol, for example, has the smell of stagnant water and is an active compound in the odour of halitosis, while ethanethiol has a raw onion stench. However, some mercaptans are responsible for extremely pleasant wine aromas. For example 4MMP or 4-mercapto-4- methyl-pentan-2-one is generally acknowledged as the compound responsible for the varietal character of Sauvignon Blanc (although not without a good dollop of pyrazine and ripe acidity), while mercaptohexanol can be redolent of blackcurrant, grapefruit or passion fruit, and thiophene-2-thiol (first detected in wine in 2000), 2-furanmethanethiol and 2-furfurylthiol can all have roasted coffee aromas.
Depending on the level found, some foul-smelling mercaptans can turn out to be a positive asset to the complex aromas found in wine. Thiophene-2-thiol, for example, can smell simply burnt, which may or may not be off-putting, but at higher concentrations the odour becomes more like burnt rubber, which is definitely diabolical. Yet at lower concentrations thiophene-2-thiol can also conjure up the wonderful aroma of freshly roasted coffee. Concentration is, however, subject to personal threshold levels, which can vary by a factor of ten in the general populace (much greater than this between those who are almost anosmic – no sense of smell – and those with highly sensitive olfactory perception). Furthermore, since some odoriferous compounds have an absolute threshold 1000 times lower in water compared to wine, there is obviously a vast difference between perception levels of the same compound in, say, a light white wine and a full-bodied red.
OTHER VOLATILE SULPHUR COMPOUNDS
All sulphur compounds, including mercaptans, are divided into two basic categories: “light” (boiling point below 90ºC) and “heavy” (boiling point above 90ºC). Both can be foul smelling. There are exceptions, but as a rule of thumb, “light” volatile sulphur compounds have a much lower perception threshold (usually less than one part per million or ppm) than “heavy” ones (mostly between 50 and 1200 ppm). The only important exceptions to this rule as far as wine is concerned are the “light” dimethyl sulphide etc (5ppm) and “heavy” dimethyl disulphide (2.5ppm). However, since dimethyl sulphide has the aroma of quince and truffle and dimethyl disulphide quince and asparagus, it could be argued that their presence contributes positive notes to the complexity of a wine, thus the overlapping of their thresholds is somewhat academic.
As far as the most unpleasant smelling sulphur compounds are concerned, it requires only the tiniest quantities of a “light” compound to taint a wine. They are usually produced by yeast metabolism after fermentation in wines aged on their lees, but can be removed during the winemaking process (most recent method by introducing fresh lees – Lavigne, 1996). “Heavy” reduction faults are far less common, largely due to the much higher concentrations required, thus these compounds have rarely been studied. They are also produced by yeast metabolism, but they do not increase after fermentation. When they do occur, however, the wine will be ruined because of their low volatility.
|“Light” sulphur compounds Acrolein“Wet dog”
Carbon disulphide Rubber
Diethyl disulphide Raw onion, garlic, burnt rubber
Dimethyl sulphide Quince, truffle
Ethanethiol Onion, rubber
Hydrogen sulphide Rotten eggs
Methanethiol Stagnant water, halitosis
Carbon disulphide Rubber
|“Heavy” sulphur compounds <font “verdana,arial”=”” size=”1″>Benzothiazole <font “verdana,arial”=”” size=”1″>Rubber
Dimethyl disulphide Quince, asparagus
Ethyl methionate Metallic
2-Mercaptoethanol Burnt rubber
Methional Pungent cooked cauliflower
Methionol Boiled cabbage
Methionyl acetate Mushroom
Methyl-2-tetrahydrothiophenone Natural gas
One of the most important groups of aromatic compounds, especially methoxypyrazines, which have typically green, leafy, grassy characteristics through to bell-pepper, green pea and asparagus. They become less abundant as grapes ripen and are considered a vital element of the varietal character of Sauvignon Blanc (see 4MMP in MERCAPTANS above). Dimethylpyrazines are more chocolaty, roasted nuts and can even be raw potato, although ethyl-n-methylpyrazines are even more earthy.
Also called terpenoids. isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) is the five-carbon isoprenic unit from which all terpenes are built Thus they are all multiples of five units (5, 10, 15, 20 etc) and each group is named after its number of carbons: hemiterpenes (5), monoterpenes (10), sesquiterpenes (15) and so on up to caratenoids (40), after which they are lumped together as polyisoprenoids.
Although terpenes have been found in most grape varieties, it is the higher concentration of these compounds found in varieties such as Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Riesling and various German crosses that makes them so aromatic. There are more than 400 naturally occurring terpene compounds in the plant world, but only about 40 have been found in grapes or wine and relatively few of these are important components of aroma. For example, the characteristic aroma of Muscat, the most terpene-laden grape variety, is due to a combination of just three terpenoid alcohols: geraniol, linaloöl and nerol, and of these geraniol is considered most important. All but one of the most important terpenoid compounds for wine aromas are montoterpenes:
| Limonene Used by the fragrance industry, limonene is one of the basic elements of aroma in bergamot and both orange oil and lemon oil, but is closer to orange than lemon. Can also be very resinous.
Myrcene The most herbal-resinous of simple hydrocarbon wine terpenes, myrcene is found in star-anise, coriander, hop, ginger, cinnamon,nutmeg, cardamom, bay leaves, basil, rosemary, sage, peppermint, spearmint, bell pepper, black pepper and grapefruit.
These are the most commonly found terpene compounds in wine and are present in increasing quantities in grapes as they ripen.Citronellol Found in garden rose, geranium, ginger, black pepper, basil, peppermint and cardamom. Also plays a supporting role to citronellal in the aroma of Lemon Eucalyptus.Eugenol The most herbal aroma of all terpenoid alcohols, eugenol is found in bay leaves, cloves and allspice.Farnesol Whilst all the other terpene compounds important to grape and winearoma are monoterpene compounds, farnesol is a sesquiterpene alcohol (i.e., 15 carbon atoms). Farnesol is found in Linden Oil andis a constituent of garden rose aroma.
Geraniol Found in nutmeg, ginger, basil, rosemary, sage, cardamom and grapefruit, geraniol is one of the three terpene compounds principally responsible for Muscat aroma.
Hotrienol Has the aroma of Linden or Lime Tree, but levels higher than 30 ug/lindicate premature ageing, probably due to poor storage conditions.
Linaloöl Also spelt linalol, it is found in lavender, bergamot, jasmine, basil, rosemary, sage, star-anise, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, coriander, cardamom, ginger, black pepper and mandarin. This is one of the three terpene compounds principally responsible for Muscat aroma.
Nerol Found in orange blossom, ginger, basil, cardamom, mint and mandarin, nerol is one of the three terpene compounds principally responsible for the Muscat aroma.
Citronellal Found in ginger, black pepper, geranium and peppermint, citronellal is however overwhelmingly lemony-resinous in character, representing a minimum of 82% of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil.
Geranial Found in cinammon, clove, ginger, basil and peppermint.
Generally considered to be faults, although ethyl-4-guaiacol and to a lesser degree vinyl-4-guaiacol can contribute attractive elements of aroma to a wine’s bouquet, and this positive effect may vary from grape variety to grape variety (e.g.,vinyl-4-guaiacol is perceived as a defect in Kerner, yet it is thought to contribute in a positive sense to the varietal character of Gewürztraminer). Almost one-third of all French wines tested have had volatile phenols above the level of perception, so they cannot always be bad. The amount of ethyl and vinyl phenols present in a wine is increased by harsh methods of pressing (particularly continuous presses), insufficient settling, particular strains of yeast and, to a lesser extent, increased skin-contact. Some yeasts, such as Zymaflore VL1, are specifically designed to produce a wine without any phenol off-flavours, although they are, rather confusingly, known as Poff (for phenol off-flavour) strains.
Ethyl-4-phenol Stables, horsey, sweaty-saddles
Vinyl-4-phenol Band-Aid (sticking plaster)