In tasting wine, it is very important to be able to appreciate the aromas that arise in the glass.
It is through these aromatic notes that we can obtain information on the grape, the influences of the valley from which it comes, the winemaking method or whether it is young or has spent a long time in the bottle. The fruity and floral notes are those that can be perceived in a first moment, but we also find aromas of rubber, chocolate, coffee, etc. The question is where do these come from and on what do they depend.
Grapes produce aromatic components in all their stages of growth and ripening. The same occurs in the winemaking process, including its keeping in casks and in the bottle. Wine’s aromas can be classified in three categories, depending on the stage in which they were synthesized.
The first is that of the primary aromas, closely related to the terroir. Each grape has aromas that characterize it and that are unique to the variety. The weather, the zone where cultivated and the composition of the soil influence it by giving a special seal to the fruit or the must. In this category the floral, fruity, vegetal and mineral aromas especially predominate.
The secondary aromas come from the alcoholic fermentation and depend on the type of yeast and the conditions for permitting the fermentation. Notable are the notes of caramel, yeast of toasted bread. The lacteous notes like butter and cheese are those that specifically come from the malolactic fermentation.
Lastly, the tertiary or “bouquet” notes are those obtained post fermentation. During its keeping in casks and maturing in bottle, the wine develops its last aromatic level. In this stage, the aromas are more complex, and include aromas of wood or firewood, nuts, various fruity and floral aromas, and notes of camomile, vanilla, chocolate, skin, leather, smoked honey, tobacco or coffee.