A chemometric approach to the evaluation of the ageing ability of red wines

Aleixandre-Tudo, Jose Luis ; Toit, Wesseldu (2020-08-15)

CITATION: Aleixandre-Tudo, J. L. & du Toit, W. 2020. A chemometric approach to the evaluation of the ageing ability of red wines. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 203. doi:10.1016/j.chemolab.2020.104067

The original publication is available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/chemometrics-and-intelligent-laboratory-systems


One of the most important quality attributes of red wines is its ability to withstand and ageing process. The multidimensionality of the ageing ability concept, which includes a combination of colour, taste, mouthfeel, and aroma was reported in previous studies. Phenolic compounds are largely or partially involved in most of these wine attributes and have been proposed as potential candidates to evaluate the ageing ability of red wines. The phenolic and colour properties of a large number of wines were measured during a barrel and bottle ageing process of 24 months. To our understanding, a wine that needs the longest time to reach optimal phenolic quality is considered a wine with higher ability to age (concentration assumption). Moreover, a wine that is able to maintain its optimal phenolic quality for longer will also be a wine with high ageing ability (stability assumption). Based on the formulated assumptions a scoring system was used to identify those wines with theoretically high ability to age. As expected, these wines contained initial high levels of tannins, total phenols and anthocyanins, including high polymeric pigment presence and enhanced colour properties. Interestingly, high ageing ability wines showed a smaller change in the colour properties over time which might be indicating slower pigment formation rates. In addition, a chemometric attempt was undertaken to explore an ageing index based on initial phenolic content. The evolution of the index over time using a multi-block approach showed stability for the index values, in line with the short term stability of tannin and total phenol levels. Finally, promising results were obtained as two thirds of the wines were correctly classified when a validation task between the ageing index and the score values was attempted.

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