The SOMM Journal

October/November 2014

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Page 90 of 120

90 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 Examining Minerality What is minerality as applied to wine? Can we define it as a tasting term? Do we even mean the same thing when we each talk about "mineral" wines? And can we try to link minerality to chemicals pres - ent in the wine? These are all com- plicated questions to answer, and for many people the whole con- cept of minerality is so muddled and confusing they'd rather avoid it all together. In the space I have available in this article, I can't promise to answer all these questions. But with the help of some notables from the wine trade, I'm going to attempt to shed a bit of light on the subject, and at the very least to frame the questions surrounding minerality more tightly. { wine science } P H OT O C O U R TE S Y OF F R A NÇO I S L UR T ON P H OT O C O U R TE S Y OF F R A NÇO I S L UR T ON Rocky soil from Spain's Rueda DO is rich in calcium and magnesium . . . but does it come across in the wines? "There is sometimes something 'slatey' about some Mosel wines," says Jancis Robinson. Schist is often credited for flinty qualities in some Roussillon wines such as Saint Chinian. "Wet stones" is sometimes used as a descriptor for wines showing minerality. by Jamie Goode, Ph. D.

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