Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another nail in the minerality coffin!

This is a timely addition to the debate about minerality notes in wine (nice how they ripped off my title, too…just joking!):

The Myth of Minerality
(by Tim Patterson for WinesandVines.com)

Fruit and oak have their place in great wine, but the top prize among wine attributes probably goes to minerality—the expression of rocks and soil in the aromas and flavors that end up in the glass. But for all its desirability and status, minerality is only vaguely defined and not well understood. In fact, the one thing we do know is that it has very little to do with minerals…

Interesting if somewhat short article, and I’ll point out that minerality can (and does) occur in wines which aren’t necessarily reductive, and in fermentations where the yeasts are not very nutritionally stressed. Though I won’t discount that the various low-level sulfur compounds Jamie Goode proposes may have some effect, I think most of the minerality I have tasted results from higher levels of acid salts present in the finished wines, and is therefore primarily dependent on climate & viticultural practices.


Blogger caveman said...


Aren't we talking about a 'perception' of minerality. In as much as there are no stawberries or chocolate used to flavour certain cali pinot noirs (at least I hope not), mminerality is simply a taste which is sensed by the taster...While I still don"t know where this comes from, I am not sure that it is necessarily a function of being less ripe, or lacking fruitiness...The example would be Burgundy. While the northerm out post of Chard production is Chablis, known for its minerality, Santenay whites are also very mineral, and is right next to Puligny Monrachet, a very non-mineral white Burgundy...what's different, soil structure... And how about teh very mineral southern whites from Collioure and teh Roussillon that are made with Grenache Gris...big, fat and yes, very mineral... and this is across the board, thus I would eliminate the winemaker and viticultural practices from the equation...

Just a thought,

November 29, 2006 7:14 AM  
Anonymous roger said...

Actually, wouldn't that lend some credence to the winemaking angle?
Montrachet's are different in part to the different yeasts there and the different traditions. Just because a site has different soil doesn't mean it has a differnt flavor or perception, but it does mean that it could. I guess I mean it doesn't provide causality to the end result, but could be a synergistic effect in th efinal result.

December 13, 2006 6:22 AM  

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