Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

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GregT
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#101 Post by GregT » December 29th, 2018, 11:13 am

What a great post Jim.
However, in terms of a vineyard I think long-term exposure to a site and years of working with the fruit are far more powerful tools than any science book approach will bear. For instance, in our vineyard we have 21 individual blocks of Pinot based on vine age, clone, exposure (we face 360 degrees) and elevation (range from 225 to almost 500). We planted a 1.25 acre block in 2000 to 777 (much to my never ending irritation at this point). This block produces fruit that usually ends up in our Reserve Pinot ($27) or, maybe twice, in the Estate Pinot ($37). To its west is the Etzel Block which is the best section of the vineyard ($60), to the north is the Wadensvil Block that may have the highest ceiling ($55), to the east the Halluhljah Block and the south the Grapes of Wrath Block which, generally, make up the base for the Estate Old Vine Pinot ($42). I have tried everything I can think of in the vineyard and winery to bring some more substance into this wine. It is to no avail. So, we are going to graft it over to Coury Clone which we have been very successful with in 3 other vineyards and see if the clone (my supposition) is impacting what the land can potentially bear in this block. Likewise, we are grafting 1.75 acres of Pinot to Chardonnay in another block planted in 2000 that is clearly in a spot not best suited for Pinot. It’s years of experience, observation, trial and error and winemaking/tasting that have led us to this conclusion. I don’t think any science stuff is going to make a better set of decisions or make for better wine.
I would say that's a pretty good working definition of science. "Science" is not something that is only done in a laboratory with smelly chemicals and computers. It's really just an approach based on observation and learning rather than blind faith. And your post is pretty much what other wine makers have told me about their land after they've worked with it for many years, sometimes their entire lives. They can get chemists and others to figure out what's going on 50 feet down, but they're all contributing to the sum of knowledge. Thanks for that post.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#102 Post by larry schaffer » December 29th, 2018, 12:24 pm

Jim,

I think one if the fallacies of 'wine science' is the implication that its supposed to lead to 'better' wine. That's not how I see it at all.

And regardless of what 'science' says, your tastes and my tastes are bound to be different. And that is okay.

But science can do from time to time, though, is explain things in an objective way, taking faith, hope, and conventional wisdom is out of the equation. I'm not saying that that's what's happening here, but I think it's important to remember that.

As I said before, I love these types of discussions and hope we can keep it going.

Cheers.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#103 Post by Jim Anderson » December 29th, 2018, 12:43 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 12:24 pm
Jim,

I think one if the fallacies of 'wine science' is the implication that its supposed to lead to 'better' wine. That's not how I see it at all.

And regardless of what 'science' says, your tastes and my tastes are bound to be different. And that is okay.

But science can do from time to time, though, is explain things in an objective way, taking faith, hope, and conventional wisdom is out of the equation. I'm not saying that that's what's happening here, but I think it's important to remember that.

As I said before, I love these types of discussions and hope we can keep it going.

Cheers.
Also, I think “wine science” has been used to try to BS people into believing that vineyards and wines can be made better by recruiting MIT (or whatever fancy university) into analyzing their soils and microbes, etc. I have certainly seen wineries run this (what I consider to be) jive and I find it to be just as, perhaps more so, disingenuous as people spouting wine mythology.

Taking a geology class isn’t going to make you a vineyard manager but managing a vineyard and making wine from it over many years can lead one to conclusions about plant and geological interaction that do have validity in regards to how vines grow, age and produce fruit.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#104 Post by James Billy » December 29th, 2018, 1:06 pm

Great posts Greg, Larry (as always) and co.!

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#105 Post by Jamie Goode » December 31st, 2018, 1:21 am

Such an interesting subject. We know terroir matters (that is, if we've been tasting and travelling widely). And those of us who taste the right sort of wines curiously enough think that different soil types contribute different qualities to the wine: the soil type clearly matters. So the devil is in the details: the biological mechanisms that are at play. This is where it gets interesting and mysterious. Maltmann is rebuffing simplistic notions of mineral transfer, which is good, but he's not a terroir denier. Soil type has an influence on sensitively made wines, when the soil type is interesting, and I'd love to know how.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#106 Post by Alan Rath » December 31st, 2018, 9:17 am

My vote is Midichlorians ;)
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#107 Post by Anton D » December 31st, 2018, 9:26 am

Alan Rath wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 9:17 am
My vote is Midichlorians ;)
That is so awesome.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#108 Post by Jim Anderson » December 31st, 2018, 9:57 am

Alan Rath wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 9:17 am
My vote is Midichlorians ;)
It would explain why some vineyards transmit the nature of their terroir and some do not!
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#109 Post by RichardFlack » December 31st, 2018, 1:36 pm

I’m curious about the comment that it’s top three feet of soil that matter. I had always thought that vines did better in poor soil so that the roots were forced to go deeper. I think I’ve read comments along those lines in different places over the years.

The other thing I wonder about is are they (the white coats) sure they are measuring absolutely all of the trace elements down one part in a bazillion that affect perceived flavour. Put another way, can they chemically differentiate, say, two different DRC vineyards across multiple Vintages to the degree of success that an expert taster can? Human taste or smell recpeors are pretty sensitive and then there is the processing which the brain applies. I recall some comments years ago about Japanese distillers having problems replicating Scotch and having to import water, perhaps that was apocryphal or a marketing story.

As well as “damn it Jim” (this reads oddly after Jim Anderson’s excellent post which makes total sense to me, though I have zero expertise), there is “Its complicated”.

....

The question about access to a site, or to a guru (Aubert de Villaine) is a bit of a trick question. It depends who “you” is. Lacking experience etc the best site in the world would be little good. I’m reminded of the give a man a fish/ teach a man to fish maxim.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#110 Post by Wes Barton » December 31st, 2018, 3:49 pm

RichardFlack wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 1:36 pm
I’m curious about the comment that it’s top three feet of soil that matter. I had always thought that vines did better in poor soil so that the roots were forced to go deeper. I think I’ve read comments along those lines in different places over the years.
Not sure how true that is, but plants have different types of roots in their root systems. The shallow ones are generally the ones picking up available nutrients. Vine roots going deep are in pursuit of water. You can train them to go deep. The point there is they would be dry farmed, (successfully) struggling to get enough water. That should not only yield more concentrated grapes, but could also potentially be more complex.

Plants can be very adaptive, so I suppose it's possible the nutrient taking sort of roots would have to go some degree deeper to be healthy out of necessity. But, that poor soil thing is a myth. Truly poor soil means unhealthy vines with a shorter life span. Too much of some specific macronutrients, like nitrogen, can be a big problem. But, soil health is about a healthy ecosystem (soil web) of bacteria, fungi, worms, other plants, etc. That helps make nutrients available and protects against disease.

Some weeds and cover crops do go deep for nutrients. When they die they break down, making those nutrients available in the hummus. From what I've read, these are valued at some site precisely because the vines can't do that. (It's often more complicated than that root type being around the nutrients. Vines tent to need microbes to change those nutrients to a form they can take up. The microbes that do that do live down deep, so a plant that's specialized to get them one its own can be very helpful.)
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#111 Post by Alan Rath » December 31st, 2018, 6:00 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 3:49 pm
Some weeds and cover crops do go deep for nutrients. When they die they break down, making those nutrients available in the hummus. From what I've read, these are valued at some site precisely because the vines can't do that.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#112 Post by Carole Meredith » January 3rd, 2019, 11:46 am

Alex Maltman, the author of the article, has read this thread and has 2 comments:

1) The actual title of the article in the print version of Decanter is "On Rocky Ground". The title of the online version, "Busting Terroir Myths", came from Decanter and was used without Maltman's knowledge or consent. He has asked them to change it.

2) The article is about rocks (i.e., geology), not the broader topic of terroir. In fact, the word "terroir" is not used anywhere in the article.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#113 Post by GregT » January 3rd, 2019, 12:23 pm

Exactly. That got thrown in there somehow but it's not at all what he was saying.

Richard - I will absolutely defer to Carole and Wes and some of the more knowledgeable people but there are a lot of myths regarding vines and how they transport minerals, etc. The functions of roots are to store carbohydrates, to take up water and nutrients, and to anchor the plant.

How the roots are actually distributed depends on things like the location of water in the soil, the drainage of the soil, the texture of the soil (i.e. how compact or loose it is), the composition of the soil in terms of rocks, sand, etc., the oxygen in the soil, the pH of the soil, the electrical conductivity of the soil, and the organic matter available in the soil, among other things. Organic matter doesn't usually find its way down very deep into the soil and since plants need organic matter, the most useful roots tend to stay near the top. If water is very deep, roots will go deeper, but the organic matter is not going to be found at great depths.

Also, the most useful roots for taking up nutrients and water are the youngest roots, and those grow where they can find the things they need, so most of your root hairs and synergistic fungi tend to be in the top layers of soil. It's hard to study roots because if you dig them up, you affect the vine and if you dig a trench, you're limited to what you can see that one time, so there are little tubes and cameras that you can use, but all in all it's still harder to see roots than what's above the surface. Vines are opportunistic and grow wherever it's convenient, both above and below ground, so while we can train them above ground, we can't do the same below.

Anyway, it's been a long time since I spent hours studying this stuff so if I'm wrong, someone will correct me I'm sure.
Last edited by GregT on January 3rd, 2019, 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#114 Post by Wes Barton » January 3rd, 2019, 12:35 pm

That's something to always keep in mind. Editors write the titles to articles, which can often be sensationalistic or reflect a shallow understanding of the content. In reading articles, we should never let ourselves be unduly influenced by the title. (Countless times I've seen arguments where someone links an article to "prove" their point, when they clearly didn't bother to read it, since the text refutes their point.)
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#115 Post by Drew Goin » March 13th, 2019, 12:48 am

Please do not assume that my randomly shared article is any indication that I believe that I know more than anyone else...


American Journal of Enology and Viticulture
"Soil and Winegrape Quality in Biodynamically and Organically Managed Vineyards"

by Jennifer R. Reeve, L. Carpenter-Boggs, John P. Reganold, Alan L. York, Glenn McGourty, Leo P. McCloskey
December 01, 2005
from Am J Enol Vitic. December 2005 56: 367-376


"...Biodynamic preparations may affect winegrape canopy and chemistry but were not shown to affect the soil parameters or tissue nutrients measured in this study...."

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#116 Post by Gary York » March 13th, 2019, 3:44 am

Thanks for the discussion. We know, I guess, something is there. What it is and how it got there is the puzzling part.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#117 Post by Alan Rath » May 9th, 2019, 11:23 am

Another good article:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/05 ... minerality

Really highlights two perspectives: 1) "minerality" doesn't actually exist in wine, it's a sensation we try to describe semantically by using a term that invokes what we perceive "minerals" to smell and taste like; vs. 2) minerality does exist in wine, and is a direct connection to the soil, as are other specific attributes of wines that can be traced directly to certain soil types.

I'm a big thumbs up on (1), not so much (2). An interesting read, nevertheless. Wasserman, in particular, gets pretty out there in his attribution of soil composition to wine character.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#118 Post by Eric Lundblad » May 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm

There's a third option, actually not so much a third option as an extension of option 2: Minerality is a Jedi Mind Trick that doesn't exist in wine in any form (minerals from the soil or perception of minerals from some other source) and that others are tricking you into believing is there.

The "proof" of option 2 is always something along the lines of: minerals in soil don't go up the roots and into the fruit to create minerality. Which I have no doubt is absolutely true. I think it's a useless thing to prove (except for further scientific inquiry), but it's true none the less.

I think it's useless because, for example, earth (in soil) doesn't go up the roots and into the fruit to create earthy aromas/flavors....yet is there anyone that would question that wines can have earthy aromas/flavors? I've never seen anyone make this argument, so I'll go out on a limb and claim that no one believes this (wrt earth going up roots).

Given that, why does anyone have a bee in their bonnet about minerality, or why don't they have an equal bee in their bonnet about earthy? I believe the answer is earthy is a less ambiguous character than minerality....and that some folks are claiming or intentionally implying the extension of option 2 above.

The sad thing is that someone describing a red wine as having cherries is an all but useless statement....half the red wines in the world have cherries. Minerality otoh, being relatively less common, is a more useful wine descriptor of a wine's character and seems counter productive to suppress. Come to think of it, tasting notes would likely improve significantly if everyone were barred from using 'cherries'!

I thought Wasserman's comments were the most sensible in the article, particularly because he states that his opinions are based on empirical tasting rather than scientific proof. And given the state of our scientific understanding of wine, I think wine/winemaking/etc is better approached empirically (or empirically with a side of science!).
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#119 Post by Alan Rath » May 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Eric, I'm not entirely sure how to interpret you first 3 paragraphs. We agree (as does almost everyone, I think) that the smell/taste sensation we are trying to describe with the word "minerality" isn't caused directly by minerals in the wine. But it is a sensation we need a descriptor for. Minerality seems to have become the go-to term for that. If there were another one, I'd happily use it in place of minerality.

My problem with Wasserman's comments are they are typical squishy hand waving, with no basis in fact, for example:

"Wasserman notes that there are certain types of soil or bedrock that one can indeed smell and taste, particularly iron-rich clay soils. "They make wine savory, even bloody," he says, additionally calling out north-facing white clay or marl terroirs, noting that these soils/bedrocks showcase blue fruit flavors over black fruit notes. "For the most part, minerality manifests itself through texture, and therefore in shapes, more than it does in flavors or aromas," he explains. Rather than the 'fruit-salad language' generally associated with wine, Wasserman notes that descriptors linked with minerality are often geometric: round, linear, or dense, as well as gritty, chalky, or gravelly, to name a few. "[Minerality's] genesis is in soil and bedrock," he explains, which is then conveyed by the vine, farmer, and winemaker, in addition to being tempered by climate."

Someone would have to explain to me how I taste the "shape" of a wine. New age gobbledygook.

As for "cherries" - I use that all the time. Wines often remind you of a particular fruit, or blend of fruits. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc., are all common and useful descriptors, and help convey the style and flavor of a particular wine. A Pinot, for example, can easily remind you of dark cherries, or another one more strawberry, etc.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#120 Post by Wes Barton » May 9th, 2019, 2:31 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm
Someone would have to explain to me how I taste the "shape" of a wine. New age gobbledygook.
That's just how I "see" wine (and food and other such things). I see the wine like it's on a 3 dimensional graph. Vertical. Narrow. Thin. Deep. Wide. Flat. High-end this. Low end that. Certain things are certain places, in certain "volumes". What I write makes sense to me and translates well to cooking, winemaking, brewing and other concoctions. I can taste/smell where there's a deficiency (or excess), which gives me direction to improve/adjust.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#121 Post by GregT » May 9th, 2019, 4:05 pm

That's not unusual actually. My wife sees colors that she associates with tastes and flavors. We all figure out how to make things meaningful to us.

The problem is that those things are so highly personal they just don't translate to universal, or even widely-understood concepts. For example, the other night my wife mentioned that something just seemed "brown" to her. She's actually a great taster, but I have no idea what she meant. And she's also color-blind, so whatever she sees as brown is not what I see - she conflates olive, taupe, some grays, and real browns into the same thing.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#122 Post by John Morris » May 9th, 2019, 4:26 pm

Eric Lundblad wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm
The sad thing is that someone describing a red wine as having cherries is an all but useless statement....half the red wines in the world have cherries. Minerality otoh, being relatively less common, is a more useful wine descriptor of a wine's character and seems counter productive to suppress. Come to think of it, tasting notes would likely improve significantly if everyone were barred from using 'cherries'!
I completely disagree. While I find cherry flavors in many wines, it's certainly not close to a majority, and there's a big difference between the smell and taste of a sour red cherry and a black cherry. The former is common in pinot, sangiovese and tempranillo, but it would be very atypical in a cabernet. You need to be specific about what kind of cherry, but that descriptor tells me a lot about where the wine lies on the fruit spectrum from red to dark.
Alan Rath wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm
As for "cherries" - I use that all the time. Wines often remind you of a particular fruit, or blend of fruits. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc., are all common and useful descriptors, and help convey the style and flavor of a particular wine. A Pinot, for example, can easily remind you of dark cherries, or another one more strawberry, etc.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#123 Post by Wes Barton » May 9th, 2019, 4:42 pm

John Morris wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 4:26 pm
Eric Lundblad wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm
The sad thing is that someone describing a red wine as having cherries is an all but useless statement....half the red wines in the world have cherries. Minerality otoh, being relatively less common, is a more useful wine descriptor of a wine's character and seems counter productive to suppress. Come to think of it, tasting notes would likely improve significantly if everyone were barred from using 'cherries'!
I completely disagree. While I find cherry flavors in many wines, it's certainly not close to a majority, and there's a big difference between the smell and taste of a sour red cherry and a black cherry. The former is common in pinot, sangiovese and tempranillo, but it would be very atypical in a cabernet. You need to be specific about what kind of cherry, but that descriptor tells me a lot about where the wine lies on the fruit spectrum from red to dark.
Alan Rath wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm
As for "cherries" - I use that all the time. Wines often remind you of a particular fruit, or blend of fruits. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc., are all common and useful descriptors, and help convey the style and flavor of a particular wine. A Pinot, for example, can easily remind you of dark cherries, or another one more strawberry, etc.
Exactly!
I think the problem is many often use "cherry" as a generic term, so it gets thrown around as a default red fruit, when they aren't actually getting a specific cherry note.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#124 Post by John Morris » May 9th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 4:42 pm
John Morris wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 4:26 pm
Eric Lundblad wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:19 pm
The sad thing is that someone describing a red wine as having cherries is an all but useless statement....half the red wines in the world have cherries. Minerality otoh, being relatively less common, is a more useful wine descriptor of a wine's character and seems counter productive to suppress. Come to think of it, tasting notes would likely improve significantly if everyone were barred from using 'cherries'!
I completely disagree. While I find cherry flavors in many wines, it's certainly not close to a majority, and there's a big difference between the smell and taste of a sour red cherry and a black cherry. The former is common in pinot, sangiovese and tempranillo, but it would be very atypical in a cabernet. You need to be specific about what kind of cherry, but that descriptor tells me a lot about where the wine lies on the fruit spectrum from red to dark.
Alan Rath wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm
As for "cherries" - I use that all the time. Wines often remind you of a particular fruit, or blend of fruits. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc., are all common and useful descriptors, and help convey the style and flavor of a particular wine. A Pinot, for example, can easily remind you of dark cherries, or another one more strawberry, etc.
Exactly!
I think the problem is many often use "cherry" as a generic term, so it gets thrown around as a default red fruit, when they aren't actually getting a specific cherry note.
I don't see it so commonly in professional notes.

Of course, if the threshold for banning a term. as Eric suggests, were that it's used indiscriminately and improperly, then we'd all have to remain mum about the wines we taste. Certainly, "minerality" would be off limits. [snort.gif]

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#125 Post by Eric Lundblad » May 9th, 2019, 10:19 pm

First, any discussion that leads to a Wittgenstein quote can't be all bad :)

Cherries: Wes was correct...I was complaining about the use of Cherries when people really mean 'generic red fruit (medium acid)'. But more than that, I was defending minerality as a descriptor and went too far with attacking cherries. Really, I like cherries (except when they're over ripe). But when I see a tasting note mentioning raspberries or blackberries, I usually assume that's what they meant, but I wonder what they meant when they said cherries.

One side comment: It's my impression that mentioning raspberries in a tasting note implies that the wine was less ripe, and wine with blackberries indicates a wine more ripe (with cherries being in the middle). Yet, growing up, blackberries were one of the more interesting 'less ripe' fruit that I had access to. Course, having a better understanding of the tasting note author helps a lot here, but sometimes that's hard.
Alan Rath wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 1:30 pm
Eric, I'm not entirely sure how to interpret you first 3 paragraphs. We agree (as does almost everyone, I think) that the smell/taste sensation we are trying to describe with the word "minerality" isn't caused directly by minerals in the wine. But it is a sensation we need a descriptor for. Minerality seems to have become the go-to term for that. If there were another one, I'd happily use it in place of minerality.
My problem is that I've only seen this argument in a 'minerality' context... i.e. 'the smell/taste sensation we are trying to describe with the word "insert the blank" isn't caused directly by "insert the blank" in the wine'....despite the fact that 'insert the blank' reasonably applies to any number of things (earthy, for example) where we don't know why/how they exist, and yet minerality is the only one that's singled out. And who cares what the exact chemistry is behind a specific flavor. Ok, I would be interested to understand this but that interest wouldn't make the appreciation/drinking of wine better for me...it would make the appreciation of wine chemistry more interesting. And I rarely am interested in wine chemistry while I'm drinking it, so personally I don't see much of an overlap here. How any flavors/textures exist in wine is a complex and a not well understood topic, so beating up on minerality vs anything else doesn't make sense to me.

Wasserman isn't the first to complain about 'fruit-salad language' (hmmm, maybe he is, not sure, but plenty of other folks have). I think his suggestion of a way of discussing texture in wine via shapes is interesting and useful. I've seen a number of well written tasting notes here, and elsewhere, that lean heavily on descriptors as round, linear & others. Maybe geometric is the wrong metaphor, not sure, but it seems like an interesting start.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#126 Post by dcornutt » May 10th, 2019, 5:12 am

Sensory perceptions are highly individual.

Anyone who tries to decouple olfactory and taste input hasn't looked at the most recent research.

Standardizing these things is an effort in futility that only exists with wine schools, wine writers and geeky societies. This is the reason wine writers have one of the most difficult jobs. It is also the reason, to my view, many are structuralists like Meadows and not trying to be hyperdescriptive to elements that have both olfactory and taste origins. They still make mistakes.


The first paper below is a relatively new one but VERY important. It is intraoral insertion of an odorant that has defined olfactory paths. As you can see the sensory processing and receptive cortical fields are multi system. Somatosensory, gustatory and olfactory. Feel, taste and smell. Fun discussion.

BTW, look at the statement that our understanding of gustatory pathways is still in flux.

Still doesn't mean that terroir doesn't exist. champagne.gif


J Neurophysiol. 2017 Mar 1;117(3):1293-1304. doi: 10.1152/jn.00802.2016. Epub 2016 Dec 21.
Single-neuron responses to intraoral delivery of odor solutions in primary olfactory and gustatory cortex.

Maier JX1.
Author information
Abstract
Smell plays a major role in our perception of food. Odorants released inside the mouth during consumption are combined with taste and texture qualities of a food to guide flavor preference learning and food choice behavior. Here, we built on recent physiological findings that implicated primary sensory cortex in multisensory flavor processing. Specifically, we used extracellular recordings in awake rats to characterize responses of single neurons in primary olfactory (OC) and gustatory cortex (GC) to intraoral delivery of odor solutions and compare odor responses to taste and plain water responses. The data reveal responses to olfactory, oral somatosensory, and gustatory qualities of intraoral stimuli in both OC and GC. Moreover, modality-specific responses overlap in time, indicating temporal convergence of multisensory, flavor-related inputs. The results extend previous work suggesting a role for primary OC in mediating influences of taste on smell that characterize flavor perception and point to an integral role for GC in olfactory processing.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Food perception is inherently multisensory, taking into account taste, smell, and texture qualities. However, the neural mechanisms underlying flavor perception remain unknown. Recording neural activity directly from the rat brain while animals consume multisensory flavor stimuli, we demonstrate that information about odor, taste, and mouthfeel of food converges on primary taste and smell cortex. The results suggest that processing of naturalistic, multisensory information involves an interacting network of primary sensory areas.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

Int J Obes (Lond). Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Jun 1.
Published in final edited form as:
Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Jun; 33(Suppl 2): S34–S43.
doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.70
PMCID: PMC2726647
NIHMSID: NIHMS131899
PMID: 19528978

The gustatory cortex and multisensory integration
Ivan E. de Araujo1 and Sidney A. Simon2
Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer
The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Int J Obes (Lond)
See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.
Go to:
Abstract
The central gustatory pathways are part of the brain circuits upon which rest the decision to ingest or reject a food. The quality of food stimuli, however, relies not only on their taste but also on properties such as odor, texture and temperature. We will review anatomical and functional evidence showing that the central gustatory system, in particular its cortical aspect, functions as an integrative circuit where taste-responsive neurons also display sensitivity to somatosensory and olfactory stimulation. In addition, gustatory pathways are modulated by the internal state of the body, with neuronal responses to tastes changing according to variations in physiological parameters such as gastrointestinal hormones and blood glucose levels. Therefore, rather than working as the receptive field of peripheral taste receptor cells, the central gustatory pathways seem to operate as a multisensory system dedicated to evaluate the biological significance of intra-oral stimuli.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#127 Post by dcornutt » May 10th, 2019, 5:26 am

To me there is no doubt that terroir exists. What causes this will be debated for a long time with little resolution. I think the Burgundians did the best they could and have the best argument for or against the existence. Trying to define the science until we understand the physiology will be fruitless in my opinion.

Now for a real debate. Digital lossless steaming versus vinyl for music.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#128 Post by John Morris » May 10th, 2019, 7:36 am

Eric Lundblad wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 10:19 pm
First, any discussion that leads to a Wittgenstein quote can't be all bad :)
I've been waiting since college at Berkeley to find a context in which that would be apropos! champagne.gif
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#129 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 10th, 2019, 9:44 am

Eric Lundblad wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 10:19 pm
Wasserman isn't the first to complain about 'fruit-salad language' (hmmm, maybe he is, not sure, but plenty of other folks have). I think his suggestion of a way of discussing texture in wine via shapes is interesting and useful. I've seen a number of well written tasting notes here, and elsewhere, that lean heavily on descriptors as round, linear & others. Maybe geometric is the wrong metaphor, not sure, but it seems like an interesting start.
I get frustrated with fruit salad notes, but especially with young wines that is sometimes what shows. Michael Broadbent has mentioned "Nahe fruit salad" in any number of his Riesling notes from that region.

OK, with that off my chest...

The structure and palate shape of wine is extremely important to me, especially since for a period of about two years (late 2010 to late 2012) that was mostly what I was able to discern. Having my sense of smell disappear, then slowly return over several years, gave me an interesting view on wine, and the importance of structure and balance. Young wines are often overwhelmed by their fruit, and it's hard to discern the structure, as it's draped in fruit salad baby fat. Ultimately the experience I had with recovering my sense of smell (which ultimately took about six years until I really felt "back to normal") caused me to spend more time focusing on structure and the palate presence (my version of "shape") of wines, and less time on fruit descriptors. It is a useful focus for blind tasting by the way. A wine's structure often says much more about its origins than whether it smells of cherries or red raspberries.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#130 Post by GregT » May 10th, 2019, 11:16 am

First, any discussion that leads to a Wittgenstein quote can't be all bad :)
Exactly my thoughts! Well done John!

As far as odor - Don, I don't think anyone ever disputed that. People think that sniffing a wine in a glass is what matters, but they don't understand basic physiology. The odors, textures, flavors, etc., that reach our brains through our mouths combine into patterns that we learn to recognize exactly as we recognize visual patterns that let us identify one person's face from another. It's why you can distinguish between an aged Riesling and a young Cab.

But that wasn't the point of the article so long ago! He was talking about rocks. I think Eric is correct in that we talk about a lot of things that aren't really in the wine, but rocks are problematic because they aren't things we commonly eat. There is most definitely a red raspberry note in some Grenache I've had from Australia and in fact, it's how I used to distinguish it blind. My guess is that the same molecules that are found in raspberries that give them a distinctive flavor are likely found in those wines. Much like the bell pepper that we get in the Cab Franc family. Our bodies are attuned to certain flavors and we sometimes pick them up in wine, which makes sense if they are berry and fruit flavors in the first place.

But rocks and minerality are someone's idea of what rocks and minerals would taste like if they had specific tastes, and "flinty" is totally meaningless because flint is a kind of quartz, or silicon dioxide, and it is flavorless and odorless.

OTOH, it's vegan, kosher, and gluten-free, so it has all the important dietary attributes one could want!
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#131 Post by SteveG » May 10th, 2019, 11:38 am

GregT wrote:
May 9th, 2019, 4:05 pm
That's not unusual actually. My wife sees colors that she associates with tastes and flavors. We all figure out how to make things meaningful to us.

...
Just for the record, it sounds like your wife has synesthesia, famously an attribute of Vladimir Nabakov, and less famously of one of my daughters (and just for the record, I think it is also not so uncommon at a low level, a lot of indications are that it is often expressed by young children who don't "know better", and I think it is simply regarded as backround noise (so to speak) by many folks).

...
As for "minerality", I personally try to describe such tastes as akin to things I actually have put in my mouth, like limestone, river pebbles, etc., but I don't understand all the fuss, as many have mentioned nobody thinks there have to be actual cherries or wet leaves or cat pee in their wine to use these terms, we are just describing the taste. Oh, well.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#132 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 10th, 2019, 11:52 am

GregT wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 11:16 am

But rocks and minerality are someone's idea of what rocks and minerals would taste like if they had specific tastes, and "flinty" is totally meaningless because flint is a kind of quartz, or silicon dioxide, and it is flavorless and odorless.
My wife, a trained geologist (and chemist) takes rocks and breaks them up by hand (for fragile types) or with a hammer. You do get a whiff of what that rock smells like in the process. Somewhere I have a photo of her and German winemaker Walter Strub smelling rocks in the red soil Pettenthal vineyard.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#133 Post by John Morris » May 10th, 2019, 11:54 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 11:52 am
My wife, a trained geologist (and chemist) takes rocks and breaks them up by hand (for fragile types) or with a hammer. You do get a whiff of what that rock smells like in the process. Somewhere I have a photo of her and German winemaker Walter Strub smelling rocks in the red soil Pettenthal vineyard.
Please! You must post that!
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#134 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 10th, 2019, 12:05 pm

You want to be my divorce lawyer?
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#135 Post by GregP » May 10th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Did I misread the article stating that its the actual lack of physical palate impression, and sometimes even aromas, that makes tasters say "mineral"? And pretty much in wines that see very little, if any, of oak tannin. And something that Michael Browne and I discussed a good number of years ago on one fine afternoon when we tasted through a bunch of KB barrels and the subject of "mineral" came up with one of them. He made same exact observation back then, actually his analysis and take: OLD OAK BARRELS. Made sense back then, and still makes sense now with this latest article referencing same point. Stainless, concrete, old oak (lack of tannin and caked in seams in-between staves limiting air transmission as well, similar to stainless). Its lack of certain physical attributes and notes, per article. "Austere", if you will. Mostly happening in Old World wines at wineries that cannot afford, or do not want to, new oak, and ending up reusing barrels for many, many years. At least that's how the article reads to me, but maybe I am prejudiced after the discussion so many years ago and Michael's point making sense.

I've been trying to figure out what "mineral" is, and defines, for decades now, mostly while hearing someone say it during a tasting while I am having same exact wine, and still having no idea what the person is talking about while I re-taste the wine trying to catch that "mineral" reference. And I still think, especially after reading the thread and comments, that "mineral" means different things to different tasters.

-----

GregT, not to make a thread drift, but green bell pepper note in reds signifies underripe fruit. Especially in Cab Franc, and Merlot. Makes id:ing Loire Cab Francs blind easy, its not the terroir that gives them away. IMHO. But I generally agree with your points, and Eric's.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#136 Post by John Morris » May 10th, 2019, 2:17 pm

GregP wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 12:11 pm
I've been trying to figure out what "mineral" is, and defines, for decades now, mostly while hearing someone say it during a tasting while I am having same exact wine, and still having no idea what the person is talking about while I re-taste the wine trying to catch that "mineral" reference. And I still think, especially after reading the thread and comments, that "mineral" means different things to different tasters.
There have been umpteen threads on "minerality," which provide irrebuttable proof of your conclusion.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#137 Post by Wes Barton » May 10th, 2019, 7:29 pm

GregP wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 12:11 pm
GregT, not to make a thread drift, but green bell pepper note in reds signifies underripe fruit. Especially in Cab Franc, and Merlot. Makes id:ing Loire Cab Francs blind easy, its not the terroir that gives them away. IMHO. But I generally agree with your points, and Eric's.
Greg is referring to the pyrazines in those wines likely being the same exact type that are in unripe (green) chiles.

Of course canopy management plays a huge role in pyrazine level, since the grapes need some direct sunlight for them to dissipate. Time is, of course, a factor. So is temperature. (A very cool site can retain some, even with extended hang time, adequate sunlight, black fruit ripeness.)

Everything in my experience says the inherent difference in pyrazine levels between CS and CF is myth. Winemaking style, market expectation and acceptance.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#138 Post by James Billy » May 11th, 2019, 1:46 am

GregP wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 12:11 pm

GregT, not to make a thread drift, but green bell pepper note in reds signifies underripe fruit. Especially in Cab Franc, and Merlot. Makes id:ing Loire Cab Francs blind easy, its not the terroir that gives them away. IMHO. But I generally agree with your points, and Eric's.
I think that's an opinion (especially New World viewpoint) not a fact. It's a secondary flavour that 'mifetn' winemakers don't tend to like preferring primary (fruit) characters with oak being an acceptable secondary flavour for some if any.

If I don't taste it (bell pepper/leafiness) in cabernet I think the wine lacks varietal character. Only in small amounts though. Too much would make the wine unbalanced IMO.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#139 Post by Otto Forsberg » May 11th, 2019, 2:26 am

Wes Barton wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 7:29 pm
GregP wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 12:11 pm
GregT, not to make a thread drift, but green bell pepper note in reds signifies underripe fruit. Especially in Cab Franc, and Merlot. Makes id:ing Loire Cab Francs blind easy, its not the terroir that gives them away. IMHO. But I generally agree with your points, and Eric's.
Greg is referring to the pyrazines in those wines likely being the same exact type that are in unripe (green) chiles.

Of course canopy management plays a huge role in pyrazine level, since the grapes need some direct sunlight for them to dissipate. Time is, of course, a factor. So is temperature. (A very cool site can retain some, even with extended hang time, adequate sunlight, black fruit ripeness.)

Everything in my experience says the inherent difference in pyrazine levels between CS and CF is myth. Winemaking style, market expectation and acceptance.
I'd think that they must have different levels of pyrazines, because they differ quite a bit in how they ripen - if you pick the grapes at the same time, Cabernet Sauvignon is much higher in pyrazines because it is still underripe. This is quite obvious in Loire, which seems to have the ideal temperatures to grow cool-climate Franc but is often too cool to grow Sauvignon consistently.

However, if you pick the two varieties at more or less same ripeness level, based on among other things, phenolic ripeness, flavor development and seed color, Sauvignon tends to be lower in pyrazines than Franc. This is quite obvious especially in some wines of Friuli, where a producer might have three entry-level wines vinified more or less identically, made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère. Normally Sauvignon is the least herbaceous and Carménère the most. Franc lies somewhere in the middle.

And finally, on the earlier post, green bell pepper note in reds does not signify underripe fruit in some varieties. You can have a Carménère that is so ripe it is borderline jammy and it still retains those bell pepper notes. Most red varieties show pyrazine flavors of bell peppers when they are underripe, but not all. There is a lot of variation between the grape varieties at which point the pyrazine flavors disappear from the grapes.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#140 Post by GregT » May 11th, 2019, 11:37 am

Not to get in over my head but I was just suggesting that it's the same molecules in the fruits of the pepper and vine. As to how much are in one grape variety vs another, I don't know. From experience, I think Wes has a good point. All of the so-called Carmenet family has those to some degree. But sunlight makes a big difference in how many remain in the fruit. Linda Bisson did a lot of work on this and it's largely because of her that we understand how canopy management can really make a difference.

In Chile in particular, they planted the wrong grapes or the wrong sites and managed to get over-ripe and jammy as well as green qualities and those wines to me, were horrible. They've improved dramatically over the past 20 years though, and that observation no longer holds true.

I was once at a large tasting and two producers of Cab Franc were in attendance - Bernard Baudry and Pam Starr. Both produce varietal Cab Franc and I like both, but they're worlds apart stylistically. I introduced the two and they tasted each other's wines. There's no way that Baudry could produce a CF like they do in Napa, no matter how hard he tried. And I doubt that Pam's site could get anything like the style Baudry gets in the Loire. Baudry's is what you consider CF when you're thinking about leaner wines with bell pepper notes, and since the grape originated somewhere over there, maybe that's a "correct" version of the variety. But Pam produces what you get when you transplant that grape into a different environment that has more sun and less dampness and has a longer ripening period. It just becomes a different grape and I suspect that even if they were to use the same clones, the wines would be vastly different because of the wine making style, the environment, and also, as Wes says, the market acceptance.

CF is interesting to me because it is so different in so many different places - WA, MI, NY, CA, all produce it and in each state there are many different iterations. Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Spain also produce it and again, it's different in each country and from each site. Not all versions are comparable to those from the Loire or even Bordeaux.

The levels you find will have a lot to do with decisions made in the vineyard, and to a lesser extent, in the cellar.

Things that matter are vegetative growth - more shoots and leaves mean more pyrazines; soil moisture - more moisture increases vegetive growth; leaf maturity - older leaves produce less; fruit exposure to light - more exposure means fewer pyrazines; crop load and rate of fruit maturation; temperature - warmer temps cause malic acid and pyrazines to break down faster; and whether the fruit ripened evenly. Also, the flavors can come from other compounds besides the pyrazines. It's formed early and breaks down following véraison. But that's in the fruit. It's also formed in the leaves and carried to the fruit. That stops obviously when the stem lignifies.

If there are leaves and stems in the mix when grapes are crushed, that also increases the amount of pyrazines, particularly if there are younger leaves involved.

At the end of ripening, it degrades faster than it accumulates, so longer ripening times will reduce it as well.

https://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/ ... azines.pdf

Of course, the taste of rocks isn't affected by any of this!!
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#141 Post by dcornutt » May 11th, 2019, 2:47 pm

GregT wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 11:37 am

Of course, the taste of rocks isn't affected by any of this!!
Exactly!
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#142 Post by Wes Barton » May 13th, 2019, 3:16 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 2:26 am
I'd think that they must have different levels of pyrazines, because they differ quite a bit in how they ripen - if you pick the grapes at the same time, Cabernet Sauvignon is much higher in pyrazines because it is still underripe. This is quite obvious in Loire, which seems to have the ideal temperatures to grow cool-climate Franc but is often too cool to grow Sauvignon consistently.

However, if you pick the two varieties at more or less same ripeness level, based on among other things, phenolic ripeness, flavor development and seed color, Sauvignon tends to be lower in pyrazines than Franc. This is quite obvious especially in some wines of Friuli, where a producer might have three entry-level wines vinified more or less identically, made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère. Normally Sauvignon is the least herbaceous and Carménère the most. Franc lies somewhere in the middle.

And finally, on the earlier post, green bell pepper note in reds does not signify underripe fruit in some varieties. You can have a Carménère that is so ripe it is borderline jammy and it still retains those bell pepper notes. Most red varieties show pyrazine flavors of bell peppers when they are underripe, but not all. There is a lot of variation between the grape varieties at which point the pyrazine flavors disappear from the grapes.
We're seeing a lot of Loire CFs that show none these days, as well from other cool climates sites. Still in the moderate ripeness zone.

I guarantee with your Fruili case, the vineyards are not uniform, and which variety was planted at which sites was not haphazard. In other words, slopes with less sun and so forth were deemed acceptable to plant CF, but not CS.

A favorite CS vineyard of mine is, according to some claims, the coldest CS site in CA. The original winemaker made wines that had a huge amount of pyrazine, but showed green peppercorn, with wonderful aromatics and interplay with the fruit. Definitely not what I'd call bell pepper. My friends took over the vineyard and started picking 6 weeks later, a week or so into November, and there was still notable pyrazine, though a fraction of before. Darker, fuller fruit, ABV about a half percent higher, pH maybe as much as .1 higher. I found some new accounts for the current release they were trying to clear out when my friends took over, but where I hoped would be the biggest buyer passed. The CA buyer said he wouldn't be able to sell it, but he said he thought their Bdx would absolutely love it. I'm sure if it had CF on the label he'd have bought it.

I have countless blind tasting experiences where people ignore the obvious CS fruit, and often proclaim "definitely not CS" because of some pyrazine. I know Napa CS producers who've told me they ripen the crap out of their Cab Sauvs precisely to eliminate any trace of pyrazine (which sounds to me like they hate the varietal character of the grape and are only making those wines because they're cash cows). All about the pursuit of wine ratings (with Laube being a key concern) and market expectations.

So, many many factors, including differing ripening curves. Pyrazine is not a varietal character of one and not the other. There are great counter examples of both, and should be more (as in incidentally, in pursuit of making the best wines from given sites, rather than compromising potential due to some arbitrary BS.)
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#143 Post by Otto Forsberg » May 14th, 2019, 2:50 am

Wes Barton wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 3:16 pm
So, many many factors, including differing ripening curves. Pyrazine is not a varietal character of one and not the other. There are great counter examples of both, and should be more (as in incidentally, in pursuit of making the best wines from given sites, rather than compromising potential due to some arbitrary BS.)
Although all grape varieties tend to show pyrazines if picked underripe, I'd still argue it can be a varietal characteristic in grape varieties that retain pyrazines when a grape is fully ripe by all other accounts and disappear only if left to become overripe.

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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#144 Post by Wes Barton » May 14th, 2019, 11:54 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 2:50 am
Wes Barton wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 3:16 pm
So, many many factors, including differing ripening curves. Pyrazine is not a varietal character of one and not the other. There are great counter examples of both, and should be more (as in incidentally, in pursuit of making the best wines from given sites, rather than compromising potential due to some arbitrary BS.)
Although all grape varieties tend to show pyrazines if picked underripe, I'd still argue it can be a varietal characteristic in grape varieties that retain pyrazines when a grape is fully ripe by all other accounts and disappear only if left to become overripe.
And? Are you straying into the hypothetical? Are you saying a moderately ripe CF that probably everyone on this board would call blind as a CF, even though it shows no pyrazine, lacks varietal character? As someone with hands-on experience with both grapes, from many vineyards and with several wineries, I'm saying it is as much a varietal character of both. I'm saying destroying a wine's potential to get rid of it is bad, and that compromising a wine's potential to keep it is bad.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#145 Post by Mel Knox » May 14th, 2019, 11:30 pm

It always seems to me that the terroiristes are always asking the skeptics to disprove what they believe, as though believers in UFOs asked non believers to disprove that little Martians actually live on Area 51. David Darlington wrote a book on Area 51 and two books on wine....Can anyone disprove the well-known fact he is from another planet and actually does his reportage from a UFO??

It's not so long ago that people really believed that decomposed oyster shells etc gave Chablis its flavor. When I first got into the wine trade, I went to a party where Jacques Seysses told us that you needed limestone soil to make decent pinot noir and that's why Josh Jensen would strike it rich...Hmm, Josh did strike it rich now that I think of it. OK, I meant Burgundian Pinot. Yet we see lots of folks making decent Pinot and sometimes really great stuff w/o limestone soil...This reminds me of a book I read on Champagne, where it was said that in springtime they would open the doors of the winery and the spirits in the trees would communicate with the spirits in the wine and a second fermentation would begin.

I m not sure how to say this but lots of beliefs about wine we had forty years ago have been discredited. But aspects of these beliefs still color our thinking. Is a strong belief in terroir a kind of ersatz animism??

Of course, this stuff is great if you are selling wine. Spirit in the tree meets the spirit in the sky...we're talking big sales.

If having Aubert de V as an advisor were the most crucial aspect of winemaking then Larry Hyde and his family would be really really rich instead of just a lot of fun...Try as he may Aubert cannot bring the magic of Vosne Romanee to Carneros. He can bring technical suggestions.There is something magic about the right mixture of soil,climate and winemaking...even if it can be explained rationally.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#146 Post by GregT » May 15th, 2019, 2:07 am

This reminds me of a book I read on Champagne, where it was said that in springtime they would open the doors of the winery and the spirits in the trees would communicate with the spirits in the wine and a second fermentation would begin.
Damn Mel - I could have selected any one of your sentences as quote-worthy. But that's it exactly. And the default is always "there's a lot that we don't know".

But there's a lot that we do know if we pay attention. To the point Wes was making, I had that conversation with someone tonight. He was trying to guess a wine blind and I told him that if he had those pyrazine notes, he might start considering grapes from the whole CF family. But lacking those notes didn't eliminate the possibility of those grapes.
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Re: Busting terroir myths: The science of soil and wine taste

#147 Post by Mel Knox » May 15th, 2019, 9:49 am

In the early 70s and before, people really believed taste came from the soil and thus talked about 'gout de terroir' as not only a summation of everything around the vineyard--soil, climate, human intervention--but as a real taste of the soil.

We still talk about terroir but not the way we did back then. Maybe we need a new word or a new framework for looking at this.

I think what is important is that the soil and climate match. Normally in Bordeaux drainage is important and in a normal vintage those sites do the best.But in a drought year the vineyards with lots of water retentive clay do very well. Here, drainage might be important in a year like 1972 or 1989 but usually it's the clay soils that do the best. We used to get chardonnay grapes from two vineyards in the Anderson Valley. During dry vintages the one on clay soil did the best as it held water and slowed ripening. The one on gravel had trouble and the grapes would 'shrinkle' in warm vintages.

After that matching the winemaking technique to the vineyard is crucial.
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