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  • Author or Editor: B. Nyúl-Pühra x
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While keeping wines on the fine lees the composition of nitrogen-containing substances, including the amino acid concentration, changes as a result of the autolysis of yeasts. During the course of former experiments, it was proven that yeasts were able to reduce the polyphenolic composition of wines. As part of the research for the present publication, the change of polyphenolic content in ‘Chardonnay’ wines kept on the lees was analysed. In addition the quantity of tyrosol, required for the forming of simple phenolics, was examined. The results proved that yeasts reduced the quantity of polyphenolics. In addition, due to the increased amino acid concentration, yeasts reduced the quantity of tyrosol that is derived from the amino acid called tyrosine.

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During the ageing in barrels, the contact with the fine lees triggers several processes in wine. Lees has a reductive effect by absorbing dissolved oxygen and reducing the amount, which will remain in the wine. At present, minimizing the addition of sulphur dioxide is the trend in all viticultural areas. In this study, the effect of various sulphur dioxide levels was monitored in presence of the lees to determine which dose is appropriate to provide the protection of susceptible white wine against oxidation.

Without SO2 protection, the rH and redox potential changed slightly, so the level of dissolved oxygen seemed to be controlled during the ageing period by the lees, though the antioxidant effect of lees in itself was not appropriate to protect the polyphenol content from chemical oxidation, which led to considerable browning. With the addition of a lower amount of SO2 — 40 mg l2, the lees is already able to protect the white wine samples in all aspects.

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