Stopper quality is essential for the proper aging of wines in the bottle. The stopper must ensure ideal sealing of liquid in the bottle, have no sensory impact on the wine and enable control of the gas permeability level. It is now accepted that the closures used on wine bottles have two essential characteristics in terms of oxygen contribution: OIR and OTR. The first two articles in this series were the opportunity to introduce the concept of OIR (Oxygen Initial Release) for micro-agglomerated cork stoppers (Chevalier et al., 2019), while also specifying the impact of the stopper’s OTR (Oxygen Transfer Rate) on the aroma evolution of white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc (Pons et al., 2019).
Thanks to the analysis of specific markers and the application of an appropriate sensory analysis protocol, we showed how the stopper’s oxygen transfer rate (OTR) significantly impacts the aroma evolution of various white Sauvignon Blanc wines over the long term. This value is a key parameter in preserving the fruitiness of young wines.
Controlling this parameter also delays the manifestation of premature aging symptoms. We have shown that the choice of a stopper with controlled oxygen transfer is a precious tool for enologists, helping them preserve the fruits of their labor.
The third part of this project is an examination of the aroma and analytical evolution of three red Bordeaux wines (Merlot and CabernetSauvignon) over a period of 10 years, as a function of the oxygen transfer level of different stoppers.