Polyphenolic compounds as chemical markers of wine ageing in contact with cherry, chestnut, false acacia, ash and oak wood.
The phenolic and tannic composition of heartwood extracts from Prunus avium , commonly known as cherry tree, before and after toasting in cooperage were studied using HPLC-DAD and HPLC-DAD/ESI-MS. Nonflavonoid (16 compounds) and flavonoid (27 compounds) polyphenols were identified, 12 of them in only a tentative way. The nonflavonoids found were lignin constituents, and their pattern is different compared to oak, since they include compounds such as protocatechuic acid and aldehyde, p-coumaric acid, methyl vanillate, methyl syringate, and benzoic acid, but not ellagic acid, and only a small quantity of gallic acid. In seasoned wood we found a great variety of flavonoid compounds which have not been found in oak wood for cooperage, mainly, in addition to the flavan-3-ols (+)-catechin, a B-type procyanidin dimer, and a B-type procyanidin trimer, the flavanones naringenin, isosakuranetin, and eriodictyol and the flavanonols aromadendrin and taxifolin. Seasoned and toasted cherry wood showed different ratios of flavonoid to nonflavonoid compounds, since toasting results in the degradation of flavonoids, and the formation of nonflavonoids from lignin degradation. On the other hand, the absence of hydrolyzable tannins in cherry wood, which are very important in oak wood, is another particular characteristic of this wood that should be taken into account when considering its use in cooperage.