Minerality is a relatively newer word in expressing wines. It is a word that is debated, since there is no clear definition and no one’s quite sure on what that actually means. Everyone perceives tastes a bit differently and that is no exception to the word minerality.
Minerality can be used to describe the aroma and the taste of the wine. It relates to licking a wet mineral stone or visualizing the flavors of flint. This taste and smell is often a reflection of the soil type. The vines absorb the organic matter from the rock or soil and then impart these characteristics to the wine. Vines that are grown on slate, limestone, chalk or graphite can show good examples of minerality in tasting notes. In addition, some believe the taste comes from the high acidity in the wine. Tasting notes of cool climate wines, with high acidity and little oxygen, will more likely be described as having minerality.
Andreas does utilize this descriptor quite often when smelling and tasting the wine. You can find some great examples below in this week’s wine selection. Give them a taste and see if you agree that there is minerality in this wine and let us know what your definition of the word is.
Kloster Eberbach – Marcobrunn 2014
Germany – Rheingau – Trocken – Großes Gewächs VDP – Riesling – White
“There is a rather pineapple, mango, grapefruit, really ripe citrus. Yet, with good purity and that presence of minerality. Palate has a good grip, classically dry with bright acidity. It is medium weight, with a spicy yellow fruit, such as pineapple, apricot, with some hints of saffron. Some peppery notes. Good grip.”
Château Coussin – Cesar à Sumeire 2014
France – Provence – Cotes de Provence – Sainte Victoire - Rosé
“Shows a good intensity on the palate. It is a rather light weight, but I like the flavour intensity there. That notion of fresh red berries, paired with some lemon zest. Good extract as well. There is a slight sense of minerality. Quite long and refreshing finish.”
Montes – Alpha Pinot Noir 2014
Chile – Aconcagua Coast - Red
“Clearly resembling quite classic Pinot Noir, I would say with more red fruity notes such as strawberry, raspberry, also with a slight notion of minerality. There are some earthy and spicy notes, such as ginger, liquorice roots and quite discreet oak. The palate has a light to medium weight. Quite soft and subtle texture. I like this juiciness of sweet red fruit, which is underlined by a quite fresh acidity.”
Champagne Collet – Collection Privée 2006
France – Champagne – Brut - White
“Nice creaminess on the palate, well balanced in I would say a medium weight style. I feel more of the slightly Chardonnay character here, with the yellow fruit, the stone fruit, some hints of minerality. Good, but I would say integrated freshness, it has some age to it for sure. Nice creaminess, beyond the fruitiness.”
Amigne De Vetroz – Les Félines 2013
Switzerland – Valais - White
“It is not really an aromatic variety, more in a Burgundian style I would say. But with a clear presence of minerality with finely roasted nuts and ripe citrus. Nice palate here, bone dry, good tension and purity there. Really bright acidity, fine extract as well.”
Comte Leloup du Château de Chasseloir – Cuvée des Ceps Centenaires 2012
France – Loire Valley – Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie – Muscadet - White
“Really good grip on the palate. A very discreet and firm style with an emphasis on freshness and minerality. So quite light weight in terms of body, yet with a good flavour intensity and long and persistence finish with almost a salty, mineral finish. Attractive and youthful very gastronomic style of wine.”
Domaine Moellinger Joseph et Fils – Riesling 2014
France – Alsace – Grand Cru Steingrubler – White
“And a good sense of stoniness or minerality. Very bright and very fresh, classic bone dry I would say. Still in its infancy considering the fruit. We have a high level of acidity there, really salivating and fresh. The fruitiness is still youthful as well, like fresh apple, fresh pear. Like biting into a fresh apple, you can get that salivating, juicy sensation.”