Definition - What does Tertiary Aromas mean?
Tertiary aromas is a wine tasting descriptor that refers to aromas in wine that are the result of bottle aging. As wines ferment and go through barrel and bottle aging, viticulturists have been able to pinpoint the chemical processes and chain reactions that produces different aromas during each stage of the wine-making process. Tertiary aromas in wine are are often very subtle and slightly complex, such as the dried fruit aroma present in a an older bottle-aged red wine.
WineFrog explains Tertiary Aromas
The aromas of wine are classified as primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary aromas are characteristic of the grape variety, secondary aromas are developed through barrel aging and tertiary aromas are developed during bottle aging. The three main factors that affect bottle aging are temperature, humidity and light. Wines that are bottle aged in the incorrect environment will not develop to their potential and can spoil in the bottle.Tertiary aromas can be described as the wild card aromas, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, which has an aroma of blueberry pie or a Champagne that is reminiscent of brioche.
Tertiary aromas vary depending on the type of wine that is being aged, but are the result of a process known as microoxygenation. During microoxygenation, the process of oxidation and chemical reactions continues very slowly, which is how wine develops complex or hidden aromas reminiscent of pies, breads, dried fruits or nuts.