Color and Tannin Extraction and Stabilization in Red Winemaking (ARC) (2016)

This study examines the impact of different tannin addition practices on the color and tannin profiles of Merlot wine. Merlot was harvested from the same block and split into three separate fermentation vessels. One vessel received no tannin or oak chip additions, a second vessel received VR Supra and Lafase HE Grand Cru at processing, and VR Color during fermentation (ARC-Laffort Protocol), and a third treatment received Lafase HE Grand Cru and mini chips bois frais oak chips at processing. All other treatments between wines were equal. Wine chemistry between treatments were the same, except that the control tended to have slightly lower TA. Both treatments increased color intensity and tannin, with the Laffort-ARC protocol having the greatest impact. The treatments slightly increased catechin and gallic acid. The treatments tended to slightly lower anthocyanins, but increased polymeric pigment. No strong trends could be seen for the descriptors used in this study. There was a slight tendency for the control to have higher Fruit Intensity and lower Astringency. The Oak Chips + Grand Cru had a slight tendency to increase Body, Bitterness, and Overall Aromatic Intensity. However, these were weak trends. In general, the ARC-Laffort Protocol Treatment was the least preferred. Several judges described these wines as having slightly oxidized characteristics, and as such these sensory results may not be very representative. 

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