We will smell the wine at three different times: first, without moving the glass, then by swirling the glass slightly, and finally – if we consider it necessary because we have identified an aroma that is out of place – swirling the glass round more vigorously, covering it if necessary, which is known as opening the wine.
Based on the aromas we detect in each of these stages, we can refer to its intensity, variation and complexity. The aromas are classified into three types:
• Primary aromas, fruity or green hints typical of the grape.
• Secondary aromas, produced by the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation process, which are the most numerous.
• Tertiary aromas, which result from the aging. These will depend on the type of oak used, the time the wine has been kept in the cask, and how long it has been laid down in the bottle.
These aromas appear in the opposite order to that shown above, but in a quality, cask-aged wine, all three must appear, and must not overlap each other. If no bouquet can be detected, the wine is described as neutral.