Linking sensory properties and chemical composition of berries to wine

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The objective of this study was to compare the sensory properties of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with the sensory properties of the corresponding wines. Predicting wine style from tasting grapes is unverified and the study aimed to elucidate the relationship between the two parameters.

Project layout
- Grapes were harvested between 23-25° Brix from eight locations across South Australia
- Data was collected over two vintages
- Wines were made according to a standardised protocol
- Grapes and wines were evaluated by a trained sensory panel
- Basic chemical parameters of grapes and wines were also measured

Results
Berry sensory attributes did not consistently relate to wine style and profile whereas basic chemical measures of berries were a more reliable indication of wine sensory attributes. These measures include Brix, anthocyanins and chroma of grape homogenates. Further data collection will be necessary to determine if berry sensory attributes can consistently predict wine style.

Significance of the study
The sensory characteristics of wine heavily depend on the grapes used for vinification. Generally, picking decisions are made based on a combination of chemical analysis and tasting of berries. If there was a way to predict wine style based on certain berry characteristics, it would make it easier for winemakers to produce consistent wine styles. 

Reference
Linking the Sensory and Composition of Vitis Vinifera Cv. Cabernet Sauvignon Grape Berries to Wine
Jun Niimi, Paul K. Boss, David Jeffery, Susan E. P. Bastian (2017). Am J Enol Vitic. DOI: 10.5344/ajev.2017.16115

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