| Micro oxygenation
can help improve wines, especially when used in combination with toasted
||1. Stabilizes color.
|2. Allows control of O2 supplied
to the wine.
|3. Builds middle body.
||4. Minimizes vegetal character.
||5. Puts a wine into balance.
||6. Corrects slight sulfide problems.
||7. Reduces dependence on barrels for flavor and
Many winemakers are searching for
successful methods to minimize vegetal aromas and flavor characters in their
wines. The combined use of toasted oak and micro oxygenation does appear to
minimize vegetal characters.
Vegetal characters appear to be
due to the combination of three primary components: 1) isobutyl methoxy
pyrazine and related compounds (e.g. bell pepper aromas): 2) cis-3-hexenol and
related compounds (e.g. bright green, leafy aromas): and 3) sulfides, methyl
mercaptan and related compounds (e.g. asparagus aromas). Micro oxygenation
appears to affect two of the three components (sulfides and hexenols) through
oxidation to minimize their contribution to vegetal characters. It is difficult
to foresee a dramatic drop in the pyrazine component due to the components'
stability and extremely low aroma threshold (in the low
Toasted oak used both in the fermentor and the tank
for flavoring and aging appears to provide aromas and flavors to help mask
vegetal characters. Toasted oak also provides compounds which will crosslink
tannins, just as micro oxygenation will provide acetaldehyde which will
crosslink tannins. The combination of these two sources of cross linkers should
push tannins to form different structures. This process is described in the
oxidative section. It may be possible that
these crosslinked tannins will form a different source of compounds to interact
with primary flavor compounds for that wine. Stronger or weaker interaction
with the compounds will change perceived aromas and flavors of the wine,
potentially explaining why we see less vegetal character in wines treated with
toasted oak and controlled oxygenation.