Minerality – quote, unquote 2

Published by Sally on January 21, 2011

A two-week research tour to Australia, in October 2010, of parts of Victoria, plus Canberra and Orange in New South Wales revealed the following thoughts on the subject of minerality in wine:

Fred Pizzini, proprietor of Pizzini Wines, King Valley, Victoria, October 2010
“Flavours of the earth. Acidity steeliness, with maybe some phenolics.”             

Katrina Pizzini, co-proprietor of Pizzini Wines, and runs cooking classes at the cellar door, on minerality in food, October 2010
“kangaroo meat; salt bush lamb. It makes you salivate; metallic, mineral salts without being salty. Moist.”

Keppell Smith, proprietor of Savaterre, Beechworth, Victoria, October 2010
“a tactile sense in your mouth. A clean, slatey, non-cloying sensation, different from straight acid. You get it more in pinot noir than chardonnay. Almost like a bit of bitterness in our wines which gives a savoury character, makes them nice with food.

“Everyone’s jumped on the minerality gravy train.  But you can taste it. It’s definitely not acid, but it’s linked with acid.  It’s something of terroir. It‘s not something you have a choice about it. You can’t make minerality in a wine. It’s slightly metallic.”

Ron Laughton, proprietor of Jasper Hill, Heathcote, Victoria, October 2010  
“Minerality doesn’t mean salt. It’s a descriptor about the earth itself. Emily’s Paddock has a creaminess about it, not minerality.  Minerality is earthiness. Georgia’s Paddock has mineral-ness. Different stones have different flavours, rocks are not totally inert. Maybe I’m swayed by knowing there’s a difference, there’s a major difference in the subsoil. Minerals are expressing themselves in a different way.”

Alan Cooper, proprietor of Cobaw Ridge, Macedon Ranges, Victoria, October 2010
“A lot of minerality is acidity; natural acidity. Sure it’s coming from the soil, it’s the whole combination of terroir.”

Roger Harris, proprietor of Brindabella Hills, Canberra District, New South Wales, October 2010
“Minerality is backbone in riesling; a combination of acidity and phenolic characters in the grape – firmness, tightness.”  

Ken Helm, proprietor, Helm Wines, Canberra District, New South Wales
“Minerality from volcanic ironstone. Minerality is clean, fresh, it exhibits characters of the vineyard.  A ferruginous minerality.  Minerality is a balance, no element stands out.”

Michael Walker, winemaker, Faisan Estate, Orange, New South Wales
“Acidity gives a crushed rock, flinty minerality.”

Plus one contribution from
Louisa Rose, chief winemaker, Yalumba, Barossa Valley, South Australia, November 2010, in London. 
Minerality is “a textural thing, a dryness to the palate. It can look a bit like phenolics. It’s a pebbly, wet stone texture.”  

My research visit to Australia in October 2010 was sponsored by Wine Australia.

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