Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 10/01/2017

Discovering wine aromas: citrus notes


The aromas of citrus fruits, which are easy to recognize in white wines, remind us of summer. Let’s learn about the most common ones and how these notes are expressed in wines

There is no just one single fruit that represents the citrus family. There are many citric flavors and they are present in wines. Some are very acidic and refreshing, while others have a sweeter or slightly bitter profile. If we organize them from the freshest to the more intense, the list could be: lime, lemon, key lime, bergamot, orange, mandarin, tangerine, pomelo, grapefruit, pink grapefruit, blood orange.

citrus viognierWhen you have a citrus fruit in your hands, try to recognize and become familiar with the scent of its delicious and juicy pulp, but also smell the shells and especially some of its preparations like lemon pie, lemon meringue, cake with orange, etc.

And what about citrus aromas in wines? Notes or in other words aromatic components that we can recognize in wines are carried by molecules. For example, a tangerine flavor molecule is present in the tangerine -in higher proportion than in other fruit- but also in some wines.

The mentioned aromatic family of citrus fruits is very easy to find in several white varieties and each has a distinctive profile. Here I present you the most famous white grape varieties and citrus notes that can be recognized in these wines

Aromas-citricos Eng

But as we learned in other posts, winemaking and terroir also influence the final bouquet of the wine. For example, in the coastal valleys of Chile, like Casablanca, or Limarí, the aromas of wines are always fresher and marked with a touch of lemon, key lime, pomelo, as in the case of Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc.

On the other hand, the wines aged in oak barrels, such as Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay, are not only marked by spices and toasted wood tones, but also develop notes of orange color fruits, sweeter and more complex than lemon, including grapefruit, orange and tangerine.

As you know, white grapes are not only used to produce dry white wines. An example of another style is the sparkling wine Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut. I remind you that sparkling wines have a special method of production, which allows the winemaker to obtain bubbles in wine by a second fermentation. The main strain of our sparkling is a Chardonnay that presents aromas of lemons and yellow grapefruit.

citrus notes chardonnay

Several times I have confessed that I love rosé wines and especially Casillero del Diablo Rosé. That is correct; we can also find citrus notes in rose wines. Although they are made from red varieties, such as Shiraz, they are vinified as white wines, with a very short maceration time of the grape juice with grapes skins. So in rosé wines we can recognize citrus notes like pink grapefruit, red orange, tangerine and bergamot.

The citrus notes family also brings interesting pairings with food. We can easily take advantage of it in various recipes. Today I present you a very easy to prepare dish, where lemons are protagonists and are complemented by the notes of wine: roasted chicken with lemons and Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection White. Enjoy.

pollo al limon

 Roasted chicken with lemons

Ingredients for 4 persons

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of grape-seed oil
  • 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh yellow lemon, cut into slices


  1. Preheat the oven to 220 °C
    In a bowl whisk together the garlic, oil, lemon juice and herbs. Set aside.
  2. Pour this mixture into a baking dish and place the chicken breasts on top of it in an even layer.
  3. Use a pastry brush to brush the mixture of oil and herbs all over the chicken breasts until they are completely coated on both sides. Then sprinkle each chicken breast evenly with salt and pepper and add slices of lemon.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Then remove from the oven and again paint the chicken thoroughly with the oil mixture.
  5. Bake again for 5 minutes, remove and brush. Bake again for 5 minutes, and repeat these steps until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink (chicken bake for 25-30 minutes total).
  6. If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature, check the thickest part of the chicken breast and it should be at 70 °C.
  7. And if you want the chicken to be a little more crisp and golden on top, you can turn the oven on a higher temperature for the last 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the chicken to prevent burning.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and paint each chicken breast thoroughly with oil mixture once again.
  9. Cover baking pan with foil and let the chicken stand for 5 minutes. Serve with baby potatoes and / or cooked asparagus.