Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Terroir update...

The following link is to an article by Roger C. Bohmrich MW, and appears in the January edition of Wine Business Monthly (WBM).
The Next Chapter in the Terroir Debate

Its significance to the current debate about the influences (or even the definition) of terroir is apparent after reading through. A number of hot topics which are on the front burners of the worlds best winemakers are discussed, along with his analysis of whether or not they should play a central or peripheral role in the definition of what terroir is.
Certainly I have posted on a few of these topics before:
  • Wine is a human construct – an intervention by mankind in a natural process [10/17/05] [2/7/06]
  • Climate is much more influential than geology [12/20/05]
  • Soil characteristics are not transferred to the wine (you can’t taste the soil) [2/1/06] [3/15/06]
  • Crop yields vary, and quality may not be harmed by yields higher than 2 tons/acre [3/3/06]
  • Notions of being able to taste ‘authenticity’ and ‘terroir’ are subjective [4/7/05]
  • All styles of wine we currently enjoy were at some point in time ‘invented’ [3/9/05] [12/20/05]

And I do love the way he sums up how tasting is subjective in nature…:

“…we have to say that tasting is inherently fallible unless performed under the strictest conditions with qualified tasters who have been carefully screened. Otherwise, much of our judgment remains intuitive and subjective, and prone to suggestion and expectation. We may identify differences in aroma, concentration or acidity, but do we know with scientific certitude whether these come about because of soil and subsoil, or age of vines, clones, rootstocks or other factors?”

And his descriptions of terroir influences via 'terroir wheels'...Brilliant!

Definitely worth a read.

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