LEOS @ CENSES, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
The third LEOS seminar was held on nov 12th. Jordi Ballester, from the Centre des Sciences du Gout in Dijon (University of Burgundy) presented his recent work on the meaning of “minerality”. The word is used more and more often by amateurs and professionals, Jordi noticed, but nobody really knows what it means. So let’s investigate – he thought. By comparing the ratings of 34 wine experts and of a trained panel, Jordi and his colleagues have been trying to understand the various olfactory and gustatory dimensions that triggers people’s rating of a wine as ‘mineral’….
Interestingly, everyone defines minerality in the same way when asked….but they do not use it similarly in practice.
The descriptor might be used in three different ways by sub-groups, and correlate with different taste / smells profiles. This said, the variations also depend on cultural factors and on the wines that are taken as referents. For instance, although Jordi found that 3 sub-groups of Burgundy experts were each using different notions of minerality, all the Sancerre wine-growers he tested used the same notion. Agreement is possible….and minerality might be, as Jordi hypothesized, a ‘local concept’.