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Mystery Compound in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc  Add/Read Comments

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I love me a decent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc; the punchy flavours, the crisp acidity - a prefect Summer wine and not too bad in the depths of winter either! Perhaps my addiction lies in this 'mystery compound'...
"New Zealand Sauvignon blancs contain a mystery compound not found in Sauvignon blancs from anywhere else in the world, according to the latest research.

The compound was discovered by German PhD student, Frank Benkwitz, who is part of the research programme into Sauvignon blanc... The revelation about the mystery compound sent a little buzz around the room. Mr Benkwitz said the mystery compound was odourless, but could perhaps have a synergistic effect with other compounds in the wine that could help give it distinctive flavour... New Zealand Sauvignon blancs are higher in methoxypyrazines, volatile thiols, esters and C6 alcohols, the compounds that give it the capsicum, grapefruit, cat's pee and grassy flavours, than Sauvignon blancs from other countries.

The compounds are present in the wine at the nanogram per litre level, and MWRC scientist Mike Trought said measuring such small amounts could be compared with "detecting a human hair on the surface of the earth, and then trying to measure its diameter".

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