Do you like the smell of Methoxypyrazine or do you prefer Beta-ionone? Or maybe Diacetyl is more to your “taste”? These are just 3 of the chemical compounds found in Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay respectively and might just say as much about YOU the consumer as it does about the wine and the winemaker. Because, once you realise that it’s CHEMICALS that you smell in a wine, you start to realise that there will always be great variations between people who CAN detect a particular chemical and those who can’t, between some wines that have released those chemicals and those that haven’t, and some winemakers who CHOOSE to create those chemicals in the first place and those who don’t! Here’s an interesting article that goes into quite some detail on the subject by Ann Krebiehl:
“Diacetyl: The most obvious diketone, diacetyl smells like melted butter and can also come across as creaminess in wine. Diacetyl is a byproduct of malolactic fermentation where bacteria transforms sharp malic acid in wine into much softer lactic acid. That is why many Chardonnays smell buttery and creamy. When Chardonnay that went through malolactic fermentation is aged in new American oak, which imparts vanilla and nutty aromas, it can easily be reminiscent of buttered popcorn.” Read more …….