Sotolon’ is a compound (3-hydroxy-4,5-dimentyl-2(5H)-furanone) that is an essential component of the spice fenugreek and can be found in a wide range of products from botrytized wines to roasted tobacco.

Sotolon is responsible for the hazelnut and particularly spicy aromas found notably in the Vin Jaune from Jura, in Tokaji, and in some fortified wines including some Vins Doux Naturels and Port wines. It is particularly predominant in Rancio wines from Banyuls (Roussillon, South of France).

Sotolon forms partially during the ageing process, particularly during oxidative aging. It is a flavor molecule that Japanese researchers first identified in raw cane sugar in the late 1970s. It also has a very low flavour threshold and is formed in carbohydrate-rich media.

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