Classification of Common Wine Odours (L-Z)


LEMON

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - CITRUS
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: neral
3-carene
limonene
geranial
citral
linalool
a-terpinene


The lemon tree is a native of India. However, it is now widely grown in Mediterranean climates and can be found in Italy, Australia and California. The juice of the lemon is rich in citric acid, and has been used for centuries in cooking and as a flavouring agent. Citrus aromas and flavours can be found in Riesling, particularly from the Clare Valley & Eden Valley in South Australia,  Mount Barker in Western Australia & Tasmania. The flavours are often associated with limes, and even in less ripe examples with grapefruit. Citrus characteristics are also found in botrytis effected Semillons, (the wines of Barsac and Sauternes  display honeyed citrus flavours) and especially botrytis effected Riesling where it can take on a honeyed, lemon butter flavour. Citrus characteristics may also be found in some early picked Chenin Blanc as well as methode champenoise with a high proportion of Chardonnay.  Associated characteristics include apricot, grapefruit, honey, lime, pear, rose petal & toasted honey.



LIME (CITRUS AURANTIFOLIA; MEDICA ACIDA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - CITRUS
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: citrus: (t)-(4r)-limonene
fresh: et-3-hydroxyyhexahoate
fresh: a-phellandrene


The West Indian lime is regarded as the finest of the citrus fruits. The lime is grown in most sub-tropical climates. Several varieties are grown in Europe and its juice is considered to be more delicate that that of its close relative, the lemon. Lime aroma and flavour is most commonly found in cool climate Rieslings. Associated characteristics include floral, grapefruit lemon, pear rose petal, spice, tropical fruits & unripe pineapple.



LIQUORICE (GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRE)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: SPICES
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No Chemical Compound Assigned


Liquorice is classified as a herb, and has its origins in Southern Europe and Asia. Liquorice grows well in most climates, and although it is slow growing, it is a long lived plant with deep tap roots. The plant has bright green leaves and violet hanging flowers. The Liquorice is extracted from the wood rhizome of the plant. Liquorice aroma is found in a wide variety of red wines, particularly those grown in warmer climates and from very ripe fruit. The flavours of liquorice can be found in Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Grenache, Pinot Noir and in ripe red wines from California  and Brunello's from Tuscany. It is often associated with flavours of ripe plums, stewed fruits and violets and can also be associated with the flavour of liquorice allsorts - a kind of liquorice candy. Associated characteristics include black pepper, blackberry, blackcurrant, cedar, cherry, chocolate, confectionery, mint, plum, smoky, spice, stewed fruits, toasted oak, vanilla & white pepper.



LOQUAT (ERIOBOTRYA JAPONICA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - STONE
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No Chemical Compound Assigned


The loquat fruit is found on a medium sized tree which has broad, dark green leaves. The fruit is orange yellow in  colour, about the size of an apricot, with several large dark brown / black stones. It is generally not eaten raw as the acid can be quite high, so care must be taken to protect the fruit from birds for it to reach optimum tree ripeness. The loquat is generally used in cooking. The flavour of loquat occurs in some botrytised Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc wines, late harvest Rieslings and on rarer occasion in warmer climate Riesling and Sauvignon Blancs. Associated characteristics include apricots, honeyed citrus, ripe gooseberries & tropical fruits.



LYCHEE (NEPHELIUM LITCHI)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - TROPICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No Chemical Compound Assigned


The lychee is the fruit of a Chinese tree called the Soapberry, and is also cultivated in India. The outer skin of the lychee is hard, brittle and reddish brown. However, the inside is white, translucent and very sweet. Lychees are stoned and are often sold in tins where they can take on Muscat like aromas. The aromas and flavours of lychee are most often found in Gewurztraminer and less frequently in some cool climate Rieslings. Associated characteristics include citrus, honey, lime & spice.



MELON (CUCURBITCEAE)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGINGENUS
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - TROPICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: 2,4-nonadienal


Melons are true fruits, not vegetables as commonly thought. Melons are generally regarded as dessert fruits, although it has become increasingly popular to serve them as a starter to a meal and even for breakfast. The most common melons are the cantaloupe(Cucumis melo cantalupensis)which has its own origins in Cantalupo in Italy. The cantaloupe has a watery rind and the flesh is usually dark orange or green. The aromas and flavours of melon (cantaloupe) can often be found in ripe Chardonnay wines, and may even be present in botrytis Sauvignon Blanc. Associated characteristics include almond, apricot, biscuit, butterscotch, cashew, citrus, fig, grapefruit, nut, peach & yeast lees.



MERCAPTAN

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: CHEMICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: Methyl & Ethyl Mercaptans & Sulfides


Mercaptans are objectionable odours that occasionally find their way into a wine. They are fixed sulphides and have a distinct onion or garlic like aroma. Young wines have a yeast aroma as they start out , which tends to disappear after the first racking. Sometimes an odour will remain after the first racking and this is most likely due to the presence of hydrogen sulphide, and this occasionally produces mercaptan, which is difficult to remove.  However, with wine technology being of a very high standard in Australia, it is most unusual to encounter mercaptan odours.



MINT (MENTHA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: PLANTS - CULTIVATED
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: mint 2-methyl pentan-3-one
Peppermint methyl salicylate
Peppermint 1, 8-cineole


There are over a dozen varieties of mint. The most commonly used are:

Spearmint mentha
Applemint mentha rotundiflora
Horsemint mentha longifolia
Black peppermint mentha piperita rulgaris
Lemon mint mentha citrata
Red mint mentha rubra
Pennyroyal mentha pulegium


Mint has been grown in the gardens of ancient Egypt as well as in Japan for at least 2000 years. It is considered to be one of the best medicinal plants and is used as a tonic, stimulant and antispasmodic. It is a perennial plant and is considered to be one of the most cooling and refreshing of the herbs. The leaves are used to make mint teas, and in ancient Greece, mint was considered to cool the blood and refresh the brain. The aroma and flavour of mint is found in Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines from specific districts and may also be found in some Gewurztraminers. Coonawarra Cabernets, for example, often have a mint aroma and flavour, as do central Victorian Shiraz'.  The aroma and flavour of spearmint has  been found in some McLaren Vale Shiraz wines as well as wines from Mansfield in Victoria. Associated characteristics include blackberry, blackcurrant, chocolate, liquorice, plum, spice, truffle.



MOULDY

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: EARTH
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: musty : tridecanol
musty : p-cymen-8-ol
musty: 1-terpinen-4-ol
musty: isoborneol


Mouldy aromas may develop in wine due to mouldy fruit being processed or form due to poor handling of winery equipment, particularly oak casks. Mould may develop in casks that have been poorly cleaned and/ or poorly drained and thus under warm conditions mould is produced which if undetected can be transferred into the wine. Filling empty barrels with water in between vintages is no guarantee of avoiding mould, as bacterial and fungal growth may also occur in water and be transferred eventually to the wine. Cleanliness is therefore paramount, and in most Australian wineries activities are carried out with meticulous attention to detail and hygiene. The use of new oak each season, in spite of the high cost of barrels, is a further insurance against the occurrence of mould.



MULBERRY (MORUS NIGRA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - SOFT FRUIT/BERRY
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: earthy: a-caryophyllene alcohol
earthy: b-caryophyllene alcohol
possible sweet: ethyl 2 mepropanate


It is thought that mulberries originated in Persia, although they have been grown in Europe for centuries. The most common mulberry is the black variety which grows on a medium sized tree. The colour of mulberries is inky purple and they have a remarkably high level of acidity, and therefore must be very ripe before they are eaten. Like the blackcurrant that grows in Burgundy, some suspicion has been aroused about their potential use in winemaking - particularly when acid and colour are required. Mulberry aromas and flavours are often found in Merlot. Associated characteristics include blackcurrant, raspberry, spice, truffle.



MUSHROOM

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: CULTIVATED VEGETABLES
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: 1-octen-3-ol
1-octen-3-one


Mushrooms are edible fungi, of which over 2000 species have been identified world wide. Mushrooms are rich in minerals and vitamins. The aroma of mushroom is present in some earthy style Rhone wines, older reds,  Shiraz and even Chablis and methode champenoise wines. The characteristic is often associated with the smell of truffles which can be found in red wines with a high proportion of Merlot.  Mushroom flavours are also associated with some wines from Burgundy and Beaujolais, and even the sweet wines of Sainte Croix du Mont have been said to possess a mushroom note. Associated characteristics include biscuit, earth, mulberry, truffle, vanilla & yeast lees.



MUSTY

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: CHEMICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: tetrachloranisole isoborneol p
pentachloranisole
musty: p-cymen-8-ol
musty: 1-terpinen-4-ol


Musty odours are formed by fungi from impurities in the preservative that is used to treat wood staves. These preservatives(pentacalorphenol) should therefore be avoided. Musty characteristics are a rare occurrence in contemporary Australian wine.



NECTARINE (PRUNUS PERSICA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - STONE
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: possible peach: r-d-decalactone
peach: d-octalactone
peach: g-decalactone


The nectarine is one of the oldest variety of peach. The fruit is smooth skinned, and has a firm flesh ranging in colour from pale yellow to yellow. Nectarines are used in cooking, confectionery and jellies. The aroma and flavour of nectarines is often associated with ripe Chardonnays or ripe Sauvignon Blanc, but are also associated with Californian Chenin Blanc. Associated characteristics include melon, nuts, peach, pear, spice, tropical fruits & yeast.



OLIVE (OLEA EUROPE)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: VEGETABLES - CULTIVATED
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: dimethyl disulfide


There are approximately 35 species of olive trees. The earliest records of their cultivation dates back to an Egyptian inscription from the 17th century B.C. The olive tree, although widely grown around the Mediterranean, is now also grown in Australia, New Zealand, California etc.. Commercially available olives are either green or black. Green olives are picked before they are ripe and treated differently from black olives. The aroma of olives is often found in unripe Cabernet Sauvignon, and was prevalent in both cool climate Australian and Californian Cabernets in the 1980's; that is, until wine makers and consumers both came to the same conclusion that it was an undesirable trait. Associated characteristics include capsicum, green bean, green tea, herbaceous, leafy & tea leaf.



ORANGE (CITRUS SINENSIS CITRUS AURANTIUM CITRUS BERGAMIA CITRUS RECTICULATA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - CITRUS
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: methyl octanoate
2-undecanone
2-decenal
(Z,Z)-2,4-decadienal


There are about 80 different varieties of orange. However, they can all trace their origins back to one or two varieties: Sweet China orange, (citrus sinensis)and the Seville bitter orange(citrus aurantium). The bitter orange was first cultivated in India and brought to south west Asia by the Arabs, and ultimately found its way to Africa and Spain. Oranges are rich in citric acid and possess a high degree of anti scorbutic properties.  Orange blossoms are used in the perfume industry as is the highly scented peel of citrus bergamia. The flavour of oranges is found in old Maderia as well as some Rutherglen Muscats. Associated characteristics include honey, raisin, rancio & toffee.



PASSIONFRUIT (PASSIFLORAEDULIS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUIT - CULTIVATED - TROPICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No Chemical Compound Assigned


Passionfruit is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas. The fruit is usually encased in a hard skin and the fruit 'jelly' is filled with black seeds. The skin has to be cut open, and should be shrivelled in order for the 'jelly' centre to be sweet. The passionfruit is very aromatic. The aroma and flavour of passionfruit is found in some Sauvignon Blancs and can range from unripe to ripe in flavour. Passionfruit characteristics may also be found in some Rieslings. Associated characteristics include citrus, guava, herbaceous, lime, ripe and unripe gooseberry, ripe and unripe pineapple, tropical fruits & vegetal.



PEA (PISUM SATIVUM)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: VEGETABLES - CULTIVATED
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine


The origin of the green pea remains unknown, although some suggest Asia as its native home. The pea is widely cultivated except in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The use of the pea has been traced to the Bronze Age, and it was known in Ancient Greece and Rome. Wild peas were used in Britain and cultivated varieties were grown by 1597. Most varieties of pea are grown for the seeds within the pods. However, other varieties are also suited for preparation in the shell. The aroma and flavour of peas, more often canned pea, is an undesirable attribute in a wine. It is like the aromas of green bean and tea leaf, which form part of a group of vegetal aromas and flavours that do nothing to enhance the quality of red wine.



PEACH (PRUNUS PERSICA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - STONE
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: R-d-decalactone
d-octalactone
g-decalactone


The peach is a native of China, but was introduced into Europe some 2000 years ago. There are many varieties, all characterized by their downy skin. The texture of peaches varies from soft to firm, as does their size and colour. Peaches are widely used for deserts as well as  making confectionary, jams & jellies etc. The aroma and flavours of peach are often associated with Chardonnay, and as with the wide variety of peaches grown, Chardonnay can express the same variety of aromas. Peach aromas may also be found in ripe Sauvignon Blanc and some botrytised wines. The flavours can be infused into spirits and liqueurs. Associated characteristics include butterscotch, citrus, fig, grapefruit, melon, tropical fruits, vanilla & yeast lees.



PEAR (PYRUS COMMUNIS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - APPLE/PEAR
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: butyl acetate


The pear tree is a native of temperate European countries and can be found to the west of Asia as far as the Himalayas. The author Pliny mentions 39 varieties of Pear know to the Romans, who are also credited with introducing the pear to England.  Pears vary widely in colour and shape, some are suited to eating, whilst others are firmer in texture and more suited to canning. The aroma and flavour of pear manifests itself in cool climate Rieslings and Chardonnays, and is often associated with complimentary flavours of peach, melon and tropical fruit in Chardonnay, and lemon, lime and rose petals in Rieslings. In riper vintages a hint of pear may be found in methode champenoise, but it is a little unusual, since the base wines are picked a little on the unripe side, not allowing for peach flavour development. Associated characteristics include biscuit, cashew, citrus, floral, grapefruit, green pear, lime, melon, peach, rose petal & tropical fruits.



PINEAPPLE (ANANAS SATIVUS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - TROPICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: propyl butyrate
propyl propanoate
methyl hexanoate
ethyl acetate


The pineapple is not regarded as a fruit, but classified asSorosis. The formation of a pineapple is due to the union of originally separate flowers of which the fleshy supporting bracts consolidate the whole into a pulpy, succulent and fragrant mass. It is a native of tropical America, but has since been acclimatised to Asia, Africa and Australia. Scientists have been developing various clones of the pineapple and a now low acid variety has been launched. Fresh and canned pineapples and pineapple juice are widely used throughout the world, with an excellent liqueur also produced from the fruit. While not especially common, the aroma and flavour of ripe and unripe pineapple can be found in some cool climate Rieslings, as well as Chardonnay and occasionally Sauvignon Blanc.  Associated characteristics include citrus, floral, grapefruit, lime, peach, pear, ripe and unripe gooseberry, ripe and unripe passionfruit, spice & tropical fruits



PLUM (PRUNUS DOMESTICA)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - STONE
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: benzylbutanoate


The plum is a true stone fruit and is widely cultivated. The plum has been written about for over 2000 years and there is evidence thatprunus institiaor the Damascus plum predates it. Plum stones have been found in the ancient ruins of Asia. There are many species of plum, some are suited for drying into prunes, others better suited to cooking and making cordials, wines, spirits and liqueurs. The greengage and myrobalan species are esteemed for their aromatic qualities and produce exceptional plum brandies.
The aromas and flavours of plums can be found in many red wines. There is a range of ripeness that is experienced, with some Barossa Shirazes, for example, displaying very ripe plum aromas and flavours, whilst others take on the nuances of blood plums. Plummy characteristics can be found in Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir, and can be also associated with stewed fruit (in Shiraz) and liquorice (Shiraz and Cabernet) and even some raspberry notes in Grenache. Associated characteristics include all-sorts, black currant, black pepper, blackberry, cedar, liquorice, prune, rasberry, spice, stewed fruits, vanilla & white pepper.



QUINCE (CYDONIA RULGARIS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - APPLE/PEAR
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No Chemical Compound Assigned


The quince is a small tree, which is native to the Mediterranean region as well as being a native in the Caucasus. The quince was cultivated in Europe before the Christian era, and was brought to Rome by the Greeks, who called it the 'Golden Apple' and considered it to be a symbol of love and happiness. Quinces cannot be eaten raw, and are usually cooked or combined and cooked with other fruits. The aroma of quince is found predominately in the wines of the Loire Valley and especially in Chenin Blanc. The honeyed quince smell is very apparent in Vouvrays and in the botrytised wines of the Coteaux du Layon, Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux (Loire Valley).  Associated characteristics include baked apple, caramel, citrus, Granny Smith apples, green apples, honey, Jonathan apples, pear, prune, raisin & toffee.



RASPBERRY (RUBUS IDAEUS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - SOFT FRUIT/BERRY
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: raspberry ketone


Surprisingly there are red, white and yellow examples of cultivated raspberries, although the red form is the most popular. Black raspberries are also produced from the closely related speciesrubus occidentalis. Raspberries together with strawberries are very widely used in the making of jams, jellies, preserves, confectionery, ice cream, tarts & sauces etc. Before 1500 the wild raspberry was known in England as Hindberry and the name raspberry is thought to have been coined after the 15th century dark sweet red wine called Respyce or Raspis. It is thought that this wine was made from a nearly extinct raspberry flavoured grape found in France.
The aroma of raspberry is to be found in young red wines made from Grenache, Cabernet Franc and in some cases Pinot Noir grapes. It is often found in association with cherry and blackcurrant aromas; in very ripe examples of Grenache it may also be linked with liquorice notes. Shiraz from the Côte Rotie can display a raspberry aroma as does wine made from Mondeuse grapes. Californian Zinfandels can also take on the characteristics of raspberry, although this may be associated with some black pepper characteristics. Associated characteristics include blackberry, black pepper, liquorice, plum, spice, stewed fruit & vanilla .



RESIN

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: CHEMICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: 3-octanone


This is the characteristic odour and flavour which is associated with Greek Retsina. The aroma has a pine, turpentine characteristic which is praised by folk of Greek origin. However, it takes a little effort to cultivate this taste. It is not found in table wines generally, unless it is introduced deliberately or when the wine comes into contact with contaminated containers.



RHUBARB (RHAPONTICUM RHEUM UNDULATUM RHEUM PALMATUM RHEUM HYBRIDUM)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: VEGETABLE - CULTIVATED
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPPOUND: No Chemical Compound Assigned


The rhubarb plant originated from Asia and has been used mainly as a fruit, with its fleshly stalks being used as basic ingredients for puddings and pies. Rhubarb reached England in the 16th century but was not popularised until the early 19th century. The leaves of the rhubarb are inedible and are highly toxic as they contain oxalic acid.
The aroma and flavour of rhubarb is found in some Pinot Noir wines. Associated characteristics include cherry, game, spice, strawberry & tronçais oak.



SAUERKRAUT

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: CULTIVATED VEGETABLE
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: cabbage: dimethyl tetrasulfide
cabbage: dimethyl sulfide
carrot: 2-sec-butyl-3-methoxypyrazine


The smell of sauerkraut is a bacterial 'off' odour which is due to the excessive growth of lactic acid bacteria. This odour is found in table wines which are produced by pressure fermentation, or wines that have been kept in warm storage.



SMOKEDalso Smoky, Charred

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: ALTERED
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: possible burnt: 2,3-dime-6-ethylpyrazine
burnt: guaiacol
burnt: furfurylalcohol


The preservation of oily foods by smoking over a fire or in a smoke house has been practiced for centuries. Different types of wood impart different aroma and flavour nuances into the food, although all could be described as being smoked or smoky in aroma and flavour.
In wine, the smoky aroma and flavour is attributable to the degree of charring that has been undertaken in the production of oak barrels. A small fire is lit and the staves heated and bent into the barrel shape and held together by rings. The inside of the barrel becomes charred and generally three levels of charring are produced:
1. Low toast, 2. Medium toast, 3. High toast.Wine matured in toasted casks takes on a smoky aroma and flavour, and in part this is due to the length of time that a wine spends in casks and secondly, the degree of charring that has occurred.
A smoky flavour can also be experienced from wine left on extended lees contact. This characteristic is more yeasty than smoky, but in wines such asPouilly Fume we can perceive a smoky aroma. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Grenache wines that are often matured in toasted oak barrels will also taste smoky. Some authorities claim that the smokiness of a wine is attributed to soils but it is difficult to understand the rationale for this assertion. Associated characteristics include beetroot, blackberry, blackcurrant, mulberry, plum, rasberry, stewed fruit & strawberry.



STRAWBERRY

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - SOFT FRUIT/BERRY
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: hexyl 2-methylbutyrate
methyl cinnamate
methyl-(E)-cinnamate


Strawberry aroma and flavours in wine are found in a wide spectrum. In Rosé Champagne, made predominantly from Pinot Noir, the aroma and flavour of just ripe strawberry is present. This characteristic can be overshadowed if the wine is served too cold. In a more pronounced way, the aroma and flavour of strawberry is present in many Pinot Noirs, and will vary in flavour, ranging from ripe fruit to strawberry jam. Associated with this characteristic is a spicy end note, with cherry and/or raspberry often present. Strawberry aromas may also be found in Barbaresco, Beaujolais, Tavel and Lirac rosé wines. (An Italian grape variety,Grignolini,is also said to have strawberry aromas and flavour, although we must confess that it is a wine we have never tasted). 
Associated characteristics include bacon, beetroot, cherry, game, liquorice, raspberry, spice, stalky & tronçais oak.



TAR

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: CHEMICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: naphthalene


The aroma and flavour of tar finds its way into overripe wines. It is also a characteristic of old Australian Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from warm areas and sunny vintages. The generous reds of Rutherglen, Clare Valley and Barossa Valley in Australia can develop a tarry flavour on the back of the palate and this is usually found in riper fruit filled wines with relatively low acidity. It may also manifest its presence in subtle manner in young wines, and this usually indicates that these wines are best drunk younger than older, lest the tarry characteristics become too exaggerated. The tarry flavours have also been observed in some Barolo, Bordeaux and Burgundy red wines. Associated characteristics include chocolate, coffee, gamey, liquorice, port, ripe plum, stewed fruits, vanilla & very ripe blackberry.



TEA (CAMELLIA SINENSIS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: SPICES
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No chemical compound assigned


The tea tree is a small evergreen tree or shrub whose origins are in China. The leaves or tips of the tea tree are picked and dried and used to produce the very popular beverage. There are many styles of tea, whose origins vary from India, Ceylon and China. Indian teas are classified according to their method of preparation and are designated as green, black or oolong. The aroma of tea leaves and even 'tea pot' can be found particularly in cool climate Cabernets, whereas the green tea aromas may be found in some Sauvignon Blancs. Tea aromas in Cabernet are an undesirable quality and indicate the presence of unripe fruit. Associated characteristics include blackcurrant, cedar, herbaceous, leafy, spice, unripe gooseberry, unripe passionfruit and vegetal.



TRUFFLE   (TUBER MELANOSPORUM)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: CHEMICAL & EARTH
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: possible mushroom: 2-octanol
mushroom: 2 heptanol
earthy: a-caryophyllene alcahol
earthy: b caryophyllene alcahol


The truffle has been known since Greek and Roman times, and it is referred to in the writings of Theophrastus (the 'Father of Botany'), around 300 B.C. Truffles grow about 300mm below the ground and are found amoungst oak, beech or birch trees. The most highly regarded truffle is the French Truffle. It is brownish, black in colour, round and rather watery in appearance. The flesh of a young truffle is white, then turns grey and when fully ripened is a violet black colour with white veins. The aroma of one slice permeates the food. Truffle aroma is evident in Merlot and Merlot blends. Straight Merlots can have a pronounced earthy truffle aroma, particularly those from cool climates. Merlot from warmer regions tend to display more mulberry fruit characteristics.



VINEGAR

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: MINERAL ORIGIN
GENUS: CHEMICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: acetic acid


Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid, and of the three major varieties, that which is of interest to winemakers is produced from fermented grape juice (wine). A form of bacteria discovered by Louis Pasteur, calledmycoderma aceti, is responsible for the conversion of wine alcohol to acetic acid. The bacteria require oxygen in order to create acetic acid, and will affect casks of wine that are not topped up regularly or those that are poorly sealed. Some winemakers have deliberately allowed their casks to develop some head space to induce the creation of some volatile acetic acids. A small amount, less than four parts per million is allowed by law, and was present , for example, in the 1971 Grange. Other winemakers,  have tended to overdo the amount of volatile acidity in their wines, much to the dislike of wine critics and judges. Ullages are created in wine casks naturally, as part of the evaporation process, with between 5-10% lost each year depending upon cellar temperature and humidity. The ullage casks must be topped up regularly by cellar hands in order to avoid the formation of acetic acid.



VIOLETS

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FLOWERS - CULTIVATED
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: No chemical compound assigned


The violet is a small herbaceous plant that is a native to France. Its tiny purple flowers are highly prized for their scent, and used in the manufacture of perfumes. Historically the flowers have also been used for making conserves, syrups and paste, whilst the leaves can be used in salads. The aroma of violets is highly prized in wines and arguably finds its finest expression in the Great Red wines of Bordeaux. (The aroma of violets in Bordeaux wines tends to produce a lifted perfumed aroma.) The aroma of violets can also be found in some Pinot Noir and classed growth Beaujolais., and in some years in Chianti and Nebbiolo. Associated characteristics include blackberry, blackcurrant, cedar, liquorice, mixed berries, mulberry, plum, spice & vanilla.



WATERMELON (CITRULLUS VULGARIS)

SMELL CLASSIFICATION: VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GENUS: FRUITS - CULTIVATED - TROPICAL
ASSIGNED CHEMICAL COMPOUND: 2,4-nonadienal


Watermelon is originally a native of Africa and belongs to a different genus from other melons. The characteristic aroma and flavour is not often found in wines.
Associated characteristics include melon, ripe pineapple & tropical fruits.