Blanc Du Bois is a hybrid white bunch grape variety developed for its ability to produce high-quality white wines, to thrive in the warm, humid climate of the southeastern United States, and for its resistance to Pierce’s disease. Little is known regarding Blanc Du Bois wine flavor profiles and how these relate to perceived quality. This study investigated the sensory and chemical characteristics of Blanc Du Bois wines to characterize quality differences among them. The study was divided into three sections: trained panel descriptive analysis, chemical and volatile analyses of the wines, and quality evaluation by expert wine judges. Fourteen commercially available Blanc Du Bois wines were rated in the descriptive analysis panel. Fourteen panelists generated a bank of 13 attributes deemed to be the most prominent aromas and flavors in the wines. After training with the aid of references for each attribute and calibration of all panelists with a 15-point intensity scale, the intensity of each attribute was rated for each wine. Results were analyzed using two-way ANOVA, principal component analysis (PCA), and correlation analysis. There were differences among wines for each attribute, and when plotted with the wine judges’ quality ratings, PCA showed specific attributes to be correlated with high- or low-quality wines. The results indicate that samples exhibiting tropical and tree fruit characteristics were higher in quality than those with citrus, greenwood/ grassy, and phenolic qualities. Higher quality wines tended to be positively correlated with increased levels of ethyl and acetate esters, including isoamyl acetate, ethyl octanoate, ethyl decanoate, and ethyl dodecanoate.
- ©2013 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture