Background and Aims: Little is known about the link between quality and the sensory space of premium commercial Spanish red wines. The major aims of the present study were to define the sensory space of these wines and determine the implication of their sensory properties (aroma and in-mouth attributes) in the quality perception of wine professionals.
Methods and Results: Evaluation of wine quality was first studied by a categorisation task. Then, sensory descriptive analysis based on citation frequencies for aroma attributes and conventional intensity scores for taste and mouth-feel properties was performed on individual samples. The general sensory quality was highly positively correlated to astringency and, to a lesser extent, to acidity as well as to fruity, spicy and roasted/woody attributes, and especially highly negatively correlated to aromatic attributes belonging to the animal family.
Conclusions: Categorisation tasks based on quality perception coupled to sensory analysis based on citation frequencies for aroma properties and on classical descriptive analysis for taste and mouth-feel properties could be suitable tools to finely determine sensory quality. The results highlight the importance of in-mouth properties, especially of astringency and acidity, in general quality as well as the relevance of the aromatic profile.
Significance of the Study: This study increases the information on the sensory properties of premium Spanish red wines and the implication of concrete sensory attributes in sensory quality perception. This work provides winemakers information to be considered when elaborating high quality red wines.