I am having difficulty understanding use of the term 'minerality' in wine. Can you help?

Also, any thoughts on Peter Lauer wines?

Many thanks!

I like Lauer’s wines a lot. I have a '90 Spät in the fridge as we speak.

And if you like them, and are still confused about minerality, I’m not so sure I can help!

Some tasters write about “crushed rocks” or “wet stones.” Does that get you closer?

If not, look for the place where the flavor is expressive and voluminous and definite, but where it is not fruit or flower. Mostly you will find it in the mid-palate, just after the first swell of fruit-attack, and often it reappears on the finish, especially the tertiary finish just as the fruit fades.

If not, look for the place where the flavor is expressive and voluminous and definite, but where it is not fruit or flower. Mostly you will find it in the mid-palate, just after the first swell of fruit-attack, and often it reappears on the finish, especially the tertiary finish just as the fruit fades.

  • Nice tip.

Is it limited to something perceived on the palate? Is it a flavor, a sensation, both? Can minerality be part of a wine’s bouquet?

An interesting read for folks interested in the subject…

http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=columns_article&content=80430&columns_id=92

No, it’s something you can also smell. And you pick it up the same way, by looking for the volume of aroma that’s not flower or fruit (or vegetable etc.).

^

This is, of course, > all speculation> . It’s the first step in the scientific method, not the last.

If you want to taste minerals, just go to the supermarket or Trader Joe’s and buy some high mineral content, bottled water. Not necessarily the same minerals in a white or red wine, but as that article and this one theorize, the term itself may refer to multiple kinds of taste perceptions, not necessarily having anything to do with minerals :slight_smile:

Drinking in Minerality
http://www.thewinenews.com/octnov08/feat.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Yet I could not help but wonder why a human being’s olfactory sense would have evolved into such a heightened state as to detect mercaptans in parts per trillion in a glass of wine. Dr. David Rand, professor of biology at the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University offers a simple answer: “> There is an evolutionary advantage to being able to detect vanishingly small amounts of any odors, and mercaptans happen to be one of them. > Interestingly, humans have many more odor receptor genes than chimps. The connection to wine is a red herring. Rather, focus on the importance of detecting anything good or bad in the things ancient humans wanted to eat or > chose to mate with> .”

…hmm, don’t know if I’m a super dud of a taster/smeller; but that last comment/point just doesn’t seem to work for me :stuck_out_tongue:

Terry - Do you happen to have your own theory as to what causes minerality in wine? Also, generally speaking, what happens to this minerality as Riesling ages?

After a long dry spell, it eventually rains. That smell when it first starts to rain is minerality.

When I was a kid, I went through a period where I chewed on my parents soapstone carving. That is a kind of minerality. You could just grate some soft stone off and taste it. Its not the worst thing in the world but I can understand if you think it would be weird.

Some mineral waters have it…I think calistoga is pretty minerally if I recall.

That’s this…

http://wordsmith.org/words/petrichor.html

Chris, I was always told that first-rain smell is ozone, not mineral derived.

No one knows what causes it. It’s tempting to intuit that it’s a literal uptake of minerals through some as-yet mysterious mechanism, but I personally doubt it. Detractors and skeptics have insisted it is a function of underripeness, which is - charitably - a very silly notion indeed.

When a Riesling wine ages, in many cases the aroma and flavor that were so dramatic at first become subsumed into the esterized flavors of maturity. The minerality doesn’t disappear - where would it go? It just has a much bigger louder party around it.

Smell is really an interesting topic to me. Its the thing that absolutely triggers memory the most strongly.

I think the ozone thing is tied specifically to thunder storms in popular thinking. That electrically charged smell/feeling. I also smell this in places that have those Alpine Air purifiers.

Its all personal, but to me, that “first drops of rain smell on the sidewalk” is totally consistent with what I smell/taste as “minerality” in wine. I was just trying to think of some strong descriptors that work for me…kinda like those wine sniffer kits.

Happy New Year

Cool thread. Terry’s response is particularly perceptive, I could not have described it that way.

On the nose it’s when I smell stones. On the palate it is a very abstract thing, but it occurs to me as textural. A faint texture of mineral oil, glycerin, that near as I can discern, has nothing to do with tannin. It is not an oily texture, it is a minerally texture, volume without taste or other sensation.

I never knew if I was picking this up correctly, but over time I have found it much more commonly in tasting notes when I do. Figured I must be on the right track.

I don’t know exactly what or why, but nearly every “extraordinary” wine I’ve had comes with a certain dose. My sense has been that the minerality seems to facilitate the expression of nuance.

Granted, these experiences have been unfortunately few!