What is a mineral wine?

In recent years, wine described in terms of minerality seems that it has become quite a trend. Minerality, a wine characteristic which is always ambiguous and not too rigorously defined, changes hues and memories depending on the person tasting the wine, but nevertheless most can be perceived.

In today’s article, we decided to tell you a little more about minerality in wine. Throughout the post we will try to explain the origins and the characteristics that seem to define it. In addition we will propose three examples of mineral wines from some of the most famous Appellations of Origin in Spain. Prepare the corkscrew!

licorellaSlate soils in Priorat. Image by Maria Rosa Ferre (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The sense of minerality in wine is supposed as the attributes from the rocks and soil of the vineyard, which are absorbed by the roots of the vines. Thus, it is thought that these features are transported to fruits and from there to our glasses, but unfortunately, it seems that there are few scientific studies that say otherwise.

At this point, it seems clear that the mineral aromas of the wine does not have the exact origin as the plant root. In fact, it demonstrates the inability of the root to transmit these minerals to fruit.

To complicate everything, the source of “mineral” in oenology term is inherently curious, since we did not begin to talk about this concept until the mid-80s when Robert Parker used this term in his tasting notes.

But is there then definitely minerality in wine?

Perhaps minerality does not exist from the empirical point of view, in terms of the number of specific minerals in a glass of wine, although it is undeniable that there are wines with more or less minerality.

In addition, it is scientifically proven that the stress experienced by some vines planted on very poor soils, at very high altitudes, or with very large thermal contrast, leads to the emergence of volatile compounds that could be interpreted as mineral flavours or tastes.

For our part, and beyond these debates, we know that some mineral wines continue to be enjoyed as we propose below. Do not miss:

Salanques 2012. If we talk about wines with minerality and don’t include any wine from Priorat, it is a sign that we have done something wrong. And the Priorat, with its slate soils, offers some of the best examples of minerality in the world. This Salanques 2012 is a magnificent example. Powerful and elegant.

Guímaro 2014. The Designation of Origin, Ribeira Sacra, besides being one of the most interesting and most promising in our country, is also considered one of the greatest contributors of minerality to its wines. This Guímaro 2014 offers a subtle nose of ripe red berries that gives way to fragrant floral notes, spices and a delicate minerality which gradually makes its way into the glass. Great wine at an unbeatable price.

4 Monos Tinto 2012. And finally, we travelled to the Sierra de Gredos to pay tribute to their great grenache, always full of that special minerality. We recommend this 4 monos, a signature wine that perfectly reflects the characteristics of the area, made with maximum respect for the environment.

What are you waiting for? You’ll love them!

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