Comparison of consecutive harvests versus blending treatments to produce lower alcohol wines from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes: Impact on wine volatile composition and sensory properties.Food Chem. 2018 Sep 01; 259:196-206.FC
This study extends previous work on Cabernet Sauvignon wines of lowered alcohol concentrations produced by pre-fermentatively substituting proportions of juice from an overripe crop with "green harvest wine" or water to adjust initial sugar concentrations. Resulting wines were assessed for their volatile compositions and sensory characteristics to evaluate the suitability of this winemaking approach to managing wine alcohol concentrations in warm viticulture regions. Wines from water or green harvest wine substitution were also compared to wines of similar alcohol content produced from earlier harvested grapes. Implementation of water substitution in particular resulted in minor alterations of wine volatile composition compared to the control, and positive aroma and flavour characteristics were preserved. However, overripe sensory attributes such as 'hotness' and 'port wine' were conserved whereas they were absent in wines of similar alcohol level made from earlier harvested grapes, thereby emphasising the relevance of grape (over)maturity when producing lower alcohol wines.