Exploration into the Influence of Malolactic Fermentation Parameters and Pre-fermentation Juice Treatment on Chardonnay Mouthfeel Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zw12z8068

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  • Mouthfeel is one of the most important quality parameters of Chardonnay wines. Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is an important process in wine production, and influential to wine mouthfeel, with the reduction in acidity being particularly important for cool climate wines that generally have higher acidity such as Chardonnay. MLF is typically induced by the addition of Oenococcus oeni after the completion of the alcoholic fermentation (AF) but can occur concurrent with AF by inoculating O. oeni simultaneously with the fermentative yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We investigated the effect of MLF inoculation timing as well as the temperature of MLF and the presence of the non-Saccharomyces yeast Torulaspora delbrueckii on Chardonnay wine mouthfeel. Chardonnay wines were produced in 2014 with AF and MLF inoculated for simultaneous or sequential fermentations, and temperatures 15 and 21°C, with or without the addition of T. delbrueckii. Mouthfeel attributes of the wines produced were assessed by a winemaker panel, using Napping® and Ultra-flash profiling. Significant differences in mouthfeel perception were found based on timing and inoculation conditions, as well as between temperatures. Treatment type and temperature also effected the chemical composition of finished wines. Additionally, there are many interactions that occur between taste and aroma that may impact mouthfeel perception. This led us to investigate whether the aroma fraction of Chardonnay wine should be considered when investigating relationships between chemical composition and sensory perception of mouthfeel. Chardonnay wines were determined to have mouthfeel differences by altering the fermentation temperature of the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation as well as the timing of MLF and the presence of a non-Saccharomyces yeast during AF. Napping® and Ultra-flash-profiling were conducted using a panel of white winemakers. Each procedure was conducted twice: once with retro-nasal aroma and once without retronasal aroma. Napping® results showed that retronasal aroma impacted mouthfeel perception. Ultra-flash profiling displayed similar descriptive terms used with and without retronasal aroma, but terms were not consistently used for the same wine treatments with and without retronasal aroma. It is unclear if these differences are due to interactions or due to associated learning. These results suggest that for some mouthfeel terms the volatile fraction is playing a role and to establish relationships with chemical composition and mouthfeel perception it is important to consider both the volatile and nonvolatile wine fractions. We then investigated the impact of pre-fermentation juice treatments on mouthfeel characteristics of Chardonnay wine. Chardonnay grapes were harvested from Oregon State University’s vineyard in September, 2015. After destemming and pressing the juice was subjected to various treatments. These treatments included high, medium, and low turbidity level, as well as hyper-oxidation, two-hour skin contact, and two-hour skin contact + hyper-oxidation. All treatments went through alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. Total phenolics and hydroxycinnamic acids differed between skin contact and hyper-oxidation treatments. Wines that underwent hyper-oxidation contained the lowest total phenolics. Hyper-oxidation following skin contact reduced total phenolics but retained more than the hyper-oxidation treatment. Sensory analysis using citation by frequency procedure showed that all treatments modified the mouthfeel of finished wines. However, chemical analysis did not fully elucidate the cause of these differences. Pre-fermentation juice treatments can be utilized to develop stylistic differences in finished Chardonnay wine. The combined findings of this research demonstrate the usefulness of various enological practices to influence the sensory qualities of a Chardonnay wine, as well as emphasizing the importance of retro-nasal aroma’s influence on the mouthfeel experience of Chardonnay wine.
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