Phenolic and sensory potential of new disease resistant cultivars

by | Dec 19, 2019 | South Africa Wine Scan

The aim of this study was to evaluate nine monovarietal wines from new red grape varieties resistant to downy and powdery mildews in terms of their total phenolic, anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin contents, anthocyanin profile, volatile composition, and sensory attributes. The question was whether these hybrid grapes (≥97.5% of Vitis vinifera genome) can produce wines with organoleptic properties similar to those of Vitis vinifera wines that consumers are used to?


  • Nine red Bouquet varieties among thirty were considered in the present research: HG-A, HG-B, HG-C, HG-D, and HG-E with 98.7% of Vitis vinifera genome; and HG-F, HG-G, HG-H, and HG-I with 99.2% of Vitis vinifera genome (Tabel 1).
  • All of them shared the same vineyard location, cultivation system, climate, soil type, vine cultivation practices since 2009, and harvesting time at the experimental unit of Pech Rouge from INRA (Gruissan, France).
  • Microvinification assays were carried out separately for each hybrid grape to obtain the corresponding monovarietal wines. Hybrid grapes were manually harvested at maturity during the 2016 vintage. Grapes were crushed and destemmed the day of harvest. Potassium metabisulphite (3 g/hL) was added during the transfer of must to a stainless steel tank (50 L) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Anchor NT 202) was included to perform alcoholic fermentation at 23–25°C.
  • Wine was inoculated with lactic acid bacteria (Maloferm Fruity, Oenobrands) to perform malolactic fermentation (MLF). It was conducted in all cases at a constant temperature of 22°C and extended for a variable period of time depending on the hybrid grape considered (from 7 to 35 d).
  • Once the MLF concluded (malic acid content ≤0.2 g/L), all wines were immediately racked, stabilised, and sulphered prior to bottling and storage at 16°C until further analysis.
  • Phenolic, volatile composition and sensory analyses were done on the final wines using various methods.


  • Total phenolic (1547–3418 mg GA/L), anthocyanin (186–561 mg malvidin/L), and proanthocyanidin (1.4–4.5 g tannins/L) contents were in broad agreement with those previously described in the literature for monovarietal wines produced with well-known red grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah).
  • With regard to fruity aroma, ethyl esters of straight-chain fatty acids (530–929 μg/L) stood out clearly as the major volatile components for all hybrid wines considered.
  • Sensory analysis revealed significant differences (p < 0.05) for visual aspect, aroma, flavour, global balance, astringency, and body.
  • Overall, these new hybrid grape varieties are not only resistant to downy and powdery mildews, but also present enough potential to become quality wines, since their phenolic and volatile attributes are close to those of common red monovarietal wines.


Results showed that these new red varieties may have enough potential to produce quality wines, as their phenolic and volatile composition is close to that of the commonly used monovarietal red wines. For this reason, as well as for their resistance to downy and powdery mildews, the present research encourages the wine industry to host these new hybrid grapes. Their use in winemaking might provide quality wines that diversify the wine offer in an increasingly global and homogeneous oenological market. Further studies are needed to determine their ageing potential.


González-Centeno, M.R.; Chira, K.; Miramont, C.; Escudier, J.-L.; Samson, A.; Salmon, J.-M.; Ojeda, H.; Teissedre, P.-L. Disease Resistant Bouquet Vine Varieties: Assessment of the Phenolic, Aromatic, and Sensory Potential of Their Wines. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 793.

Image credit: Shutterstock

©This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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