The minerality in question

What is minerality ?

Wine; mainly water

It was proven, by Eric Teillet in 2009, that the difference in the mineral content of commercialized water affects the perception of primary tastes of lambda consumers.

Xavier likes to reminisce, wine is composed of 85% water.  Water, of course, but mineral water ! There is another product where the mineral salts in the water used in its composition particularly affect the quality and the taste perception of the product, it’s whisky.

But what influences the mineral salt content in wines ?

A number of factors affect the concentration of mineral salts in wine: the soil type obviously, but also the rootstock, the grape variety, and the age of the vines.

Salinity, an essential component of wine

As part of a research conducted by the Champagne Institute of Oenology, Xavier Vignon and his team were particularly interested in the notion of salinity in wine.

Salinity, although a primary taste, is rarely considered in the context of sensory analysis of wine. Acidity, bitterness and even sucrosity take precedence.

The research of Xavier Vignon and his team emphasise the importance of salinity and especially its impact on the perception of other basic tastes.  Xavier often holds tastings with the same wine where 2% of different mineral waters have been added. The differences of perception are blatant.

How is this applied to our wines ?

For more than 20 years Xavier Vignon has worked as a consultant in the southern Rhone valley with the wine makers, in the vineyards as well as the wineries.  He has analysed the components of mineral salts in wines produced from different soil types and that have followed different cultivation practices.

The impact of salinity on the perception of basic tastes in wine is taken into great consideration in the blends that we produce for Vins Xavier, and the mineral salt content of each wine that is part of a blend is analysed. Xavier Vignon adds « the observation of the components of mineral salt year after year from different soil types and from different cultivation practices allows us not only to accurately advise the domains for which we work, but also to select those wines which bring a finishing touch of salinity to a blend».