Rocks in the glass
There is a word whose use is causing growing unease among the wine community, and that’s ‘minerality’. Once upon a time the term was the darling of the wine press. Today, it has become an outcast, with some fearing that they will have to issue an apology for using it and abbreviating it to the ‘M-word’.
This backlash against minerality has been coming for a while – particularly since Professor Alexander Maltman, a geologist from Aberystwyth University in Wales, demolished the concept in a 2013 article in the Journal of Wine Research, in which he said, “Whatever minerality is, it cannot literally be the taste of minerals derived from the vineyard geology.” But the use of the word continues apace, with more than one million references on Google. Dr Richard Smart, a renowned viticultural consultant, is damning in his assessment of the term, claiming that it should be classified “as romantic and tenuous” and is a “deliberate method to mystify wine”.