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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Dec 28;53(26):10006-11.

Effect of screwcap and cork closures on SO2 levels and aromas in a Sauvignon Blanc wine.

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Kumeu River Wines, P.O. Box 24, Kumeu, New Zealand.


The development of a Sauvignon Blanc wine sealed under screwcap and cork was undertaken using different fill heights and initial levels of free SO2 (20, 25, and 30 mg/L) over 2 years. More SO2 was lost for wines under cork over the first 3 months, corresponding to a higher level of dissolved oxygen at bottling. From this time wines under cork and screwcap lost SO2 at a similar rate and retained dissolved CO2 equally well, indicating that both types of closure presented a similar effective barrier to gas movement. After 2 years in the bottle, the different treatments retained similar levels of the volatile thiols 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA) and 3-mercaptohexanol (3MH) responsible for fruity aromas, with initial SO2 levels having no effect, but the thiol concentrations were 18-23% lower under cork, which may be due to absorption of volatiles into the cork. Levels of polyphenols such as caftaric acid and the absorbance at 420 nm were the same for wines under cork and screwcap, whereas some indication was given that more oxidation occurred with a lower level of initial free SO2. Although the different treatments were not readily distinguished by a sensory panel, the data for individual wines showed a positive correlation between passion fruit descriptors and levels of 3MHA and 3MH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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