jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adolfo Hurtado's novel views on minerality


Last Friday, one of the things we discussed with Cono Sur winemaker Adolfo Hurtado was minerality in Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.

He has an interesting theory.

Most of the important Sauvignon Blanc vineyards he works with are close to the sea. For lengthy periods, they are blanketed in coastal fogs. (Pictured above is a fog developing on the Chilean coast.)

These coastal fogs, he claims, are salty. Any iron-containing metal structures near the sea rust almost immediately because of this.

The fog transmits small quantities of salt directly onto the grape skins, and thus the wines have a slight saltiness which presents itself as minerality.

What do you think?

Labels: ,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Two mineralic whites from Italy

I love minerality in wine, even if I can't define it very well. I just know it when I see it. Here are two lovely mineralic whites of real interest. They're not totally obvious at first sip - rather, these are wines that creep up on you and grow in depth as you drink them.

Meroi Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
From Paolo Meroi, who is working biodynamically, but isn't certified. Slightly reductive, minerally, smoky nose with some fresh, savoury lemony notes. The palate has wonderful minerality underneath the fresh, subtly green fruit. Bright, precise and savoury, this is an attractive wine that has real potential. A shame it's so expensive, but it is quite serious. 90/100 (17.55 Berry Bros & Rudd)

Benanti Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore 2004 Sicily, Italy
From the Carricante grape variety, unique to Etna, grown as free-standing bush vines with a density of 9000/hectare, of average age 80 years. Altitude of 950 metres offsets the warmth of this part of the world. Wonderfully smoky, minerally nose with a hint of tangerine and subtle nutty notes, as well as notes of pear and grapefruit. The palate is fruity and fresh, showing lemons and minerals. Focused, intense and pure, this is evolving in a beautifully linear direction. 91/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene, c. 25)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 27, 2007

Educational reading

Just thought I'd point out some articles I've dug up recently in my web travels.

Wines and Vines has a nice comparative tasting of wines made with oak chips and those without, looking at the influence of oak alternatives on the final wines. First time I've seen this. There's also an earlier article in the same mag on this subject.

Sticking with Wines and Vines, there's a nice article on minerality in wine, a topic I'm really interested in. The author makes a reference to a chapter in my Wine Science book. Glad someone has read it.

The World of Fine Wine has placed a couple of my articles online as pdfs, free of charge. Here's one on the premature oxidation of white Burgundy crisis and another on grafted versus ungrafted vines.

On the same site there's a lengthy but gripping (and surprisingly high level) discussion on biodynamics. Phew!

Labels: , , ,