SMOKE TAINT ANALYSIS

Tests preformed in Denver, CO laboratory

Testing turn-around currently: 14 days

Cost per sample: $165

What Analysis is Available

Research has shown that a number of phenolic compounds such as guaiacol, 4‑ methylguaiacol, various isomers of cresol and syringol are largely responsible for the off-aromas and flavors found in smoke impacted wines. Ellipse Analytics accepts juice and wine samples from all customers impacted by wildfires. The levels of volatile phenols (guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol, and p-cresol) are measured directly. If requested, the levels of bound phenols may also be measured indirectly through acid hydrolysis. Glycosylated (bound) phenols may also contribute to the aromas and flavors related to smoke taint. The bounds forms are partially released through the fermentation process. To aid in understanding the impact of smoke on the finished wines, small batch or micro-fermentation is recommended prior to analysis.

Which Marker Compounds are Analyzed?

The primary compounds linked to smoke taint in wines are guaiacol and 4-methylguaiacol. Unfortunately, there are number of other possible compounds indicative of smoke taint, and there are a number of possible forms for each compound. It the Basic Panel, Ellipse measures guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol, and p-cresol, with estimated results provided for o-cresol and m-cresol. In the Comprehensive Panel, a process of acid hydrolysis is used to measure each of the compounds in the Basic Screen, but in their bound forms. This allows customers to understand to maximum amount of each phenolic compound that could be released in the winemaking process.

How Do I Send Wine Samples For Analysis?

Samples of finished wine or dry micro-ferments (minimum 100 mL) may be shipped directly to Ellipse Analytics. It is recommended that all samples are shipped in plastic containers, and micro-ferments should be clarified if possible, and receive an addition of 100 mg/L sulfur dioxide prior to shipping.

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