Tannins

Winemaking tannins come from a variety of sources. These include oak (both American and European, toasted and untoasted), chestnut, grapes (both skins and seeds), exotic woods (such as tara and quebracho) and gall nuts. Though all tannins provide some degree of anti-oxidative protection, each is also quite distinctive. The selection, processing and blending are all critical when developing commercial tannins which you might use in your wine.

The descriptors often used to characterize tannin types are inadequate to the task. Words suchas ellagic (meaning oak or chestnut wood) or proanthocyanidins (meaning from grapes and some exotic woods) are very broad. The producer of winemaking tannins needs to understand and to quantify the potential of specific raw materials and then to apply this knowledge. Tools such as GC/MS (gaschromatography/mass spectrometry), reverse phase HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) and TLC (thin layer chromatography) analysis (silica/fluorescence; cellulose) are common in this process.

Raw materials need to be tasted in different concentrations in different wines. Even if laboratory tools are useful for understanding products, tastings remain the key. There is no substitute if we wish to understand issues such as mouthfeel, relative astringency and increasing roundness. In particular, the polysaccharides linked with tannins contribute to the global impact on the palate.

These are the elements that went into the development of the Scott’Tan product range. It was an elaborate program. We believe you will appreciate the results.

 

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