The aromas of French Provence rosé wines were subject to in-depth gas chromatography and sensory analyses at the Research and Experimentation Center on Rosé Wine (Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé). The study has demonstrated the olfactive contribution of different volatile compounds of fermentative and varietal origins. Dearomatization and reconstitution of flavor has revealed the preponderant character of ethyl esters and higher alcohol acetates, which are simple to determine and are at the origin of the fruity and amylic notes of rosé wines. Moreover, the search for specific varietal compounds—well known in other types of wines—has made it possible to identify some key compounds of rosé wine flavor: two volatile thiols (3-mercaptohexanol and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate), two furanic compounds (furaneol and homofuraneol), and one C13 norisoprenoid (β-damascenone). These compounds have now been measured in most of the experiments conducted at the Center on Rosé Wine and are used as qualitative indicators in evaluation protocols for the exploitation of vines or for rosé winemaking techniques.
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