Juan Agustín Maza University, INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology) and Agronomist Antonio Mas of Finca Propia, carried out a research on the influence aromatic plants have over the scent components of three grape varieties: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The project was made in different vineyards. One of them is located in La Arboleda, in Tupungato (at 950 meters above sea level), and the others, in Chacras de Coria and San Carlos.
Moreover, the research also aimed at enhancing the odor compounds present in grapes and generating new ones, through the association with aromatic species planted in the vineyards, as a crop row or on the ground among the rows.
According to Finca Propia, “the cultivation of grapes together with aromatic species may result in the enhancement, also present during the production, of certain natural scents of the variety’s identity, and in the incorporation of new characteristics into the wine.”
For the time being, it was concluded that “volatile components of the aromatic species’ essences, during times of high temperatures, leak from their structures due to the expansion of the essence. Once they are given off, they are captured by the bloom, a fat substance covering the epidermis of grape berries”, they added.
The different aromatic species used for the research were the following: rose, basil, “mostazilla”, “jarilla”, and plantain, among others. Each of them -assured researchers- is able to influence in a different way the aroma, color and flavor of each varietal.
“As an example, we noticed how “mostazilla” in the red varieties (Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) and basil in whites (Chardonnay) enhance the organoleptic features (aroma, color and flavor),” explained researchers.
“When we talk about each varietal wine, we refer to their genotype (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay), their DNA, that is to say the plant’s genetics. Varieties in combination with terroir conditions reach a different expression of genotype, called phenotype”, highlighted Antonio Mas.
These conclusions drawn from the experiment carried out by Finca Propia’s director were proven before the authorities of INTA and Maza University, winemaking and biochemistry students, and journalists. Finca Propia hosted a gathering where a three-step tasting was held, showing the influence of the different aromatic plants over Chardonnay (first step), Cabernet Sauvignon (second step), and Malbec (third step).
Beyond the differences in liking and preferences, all those present agreed that there is a noticeable difference between one wine and the other (color, aroma and flavor) depending on the aromatic profile that have influenced them. It is worthy to explain that all samples were made exactly in the same way. For example, in the case of Cabernet, six wines were made among which the only difference in their production was the presence of different aromatic plants.