wine descriptor: minerality

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Re: wine descriptor: minerality

Postby lewis.pasco » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:33 pm

Well if my assay driven taste test works for people, it might get them to stop referring to lightly reduced wines as smelling "mineral". Or over-dosed with SO2 wines as tasting "mineral."



But probably not, as it would dash some of the mystique of the wine writers' diction.
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Re: wine descriptor: minerality

Postby Elie Poltorak » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:17 am

lewis.pasco wrote:Well if my assay driven taste test works for people, it might get them to stop referring to lightly reduced wines as smelling "mineral". Or over-dosed with SO2 wines as tasting "mineral."



But probably not, as it would dash some of the mystique of the wine writers' diction.

Hydrogen Peroxide makes dissolved CO2 dissipate? Is it toxic? Can I use it to save my remaining bottles of '10 Four Gates Pinot Noir?? :lol:
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Re: wine descriptor: minerality

Postby Isaac Chavel » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:20 am

Can I use it to save my remaining bottles of '10 Four Gates Pinot Noir??


What do you mean by save? Do you mean it is going bad and you wish to salvage it? Or do you mean to increase its longevity in cellaring?
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Re: wine descriptor: minerality

Postby Craig Winchell » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:56 pm

No, Eli, not CO2, SO2- sulfur dioxide. SO2 is a reducing agent. That means it has the ability to further oxidize, and as it does so, to reduce what is supplying that oxidizing effect. So if you supply an oxidizer like peroxide, it will oxidize the SO2. But dissolved CO2 is a different story. Heat, and a place for the liberated gas to go, will get rid of dissolved CO2, as well as drawing a vacuum. Gases dissolve better in cold liquid than warm liquid.
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Re: wine descriptor: minerality

Postby Elie Poltorak » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:35 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:No, Eli, not CO2, SO2- sulfur dioxide. SO2 is a reducing agent. That means it has the ability to further oxidize, and as it does so, to reduce what is supplying that oxidizing effect. So if you supply an oxidizer like peroxide, it will oxidize the SO2. But dissolved CO2 is a different story. Heat, and a place for the liberated gas to go, will get rid of dissolved CO2, as well as drawing a vacuum. Gases dissolve better in cold liquid than warm liquid.

Damn, I should have learned some chemistry somewhere along the way so that I could understand what you're saying. :shock:
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Re: wine descriptor: minerality

Postby Alexander F » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:41 pm

Very interesting subject. I know that certain chemical compounds were found in wine grapes that are responsible for common fruit aromas. How about non-fruit aromas? Is this part of some course in UC Davis?

In the light of the said in posts above, I think that "pencil" is a more accurate descriptor than graphite. If there is a pencil note in red wine, it is better to mention it as a pencil, not mineral. I personally have a difficulty of describing red wine as mineral. The association of pencil is not mineral IMHO.
I "learned" to find mineral notes in white wines, especially Alsace and German Riesling, premier and grand cru Chablis when they are young. It is unlikely that these wines are all overdosed with SO2 or slightly reduced as Lewis suggests. Reduced wine has an unpleasant odor, while these wines with their crisp acidity have something more than just citrus fruits. It is often called rock, flint, pebble. Though, I assume there is no such taste in the wine, it's an acidity with a sort of a backbone from non-fruit origin that we learn to call with these names or in short "minerality". When the acidity itself gives a feeling of complexity in Chablis, Riesling and other whites that's probably what minerality is.
I'm not sure that it is a saltiness that combined with acidity makes this mineral feeling. Do you guys often find saline in mineral wines?

Also, iron or metallic aftertaste in reds, should be put aside of "minerality" term. Metallic taste in reds can be so explicit that it should be considered a separate term.
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