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Mineral wines are not the salt of the earth

For years some people have believed that the mineral taste in wine came from the soils the vines where grown in. But now, according to geologist Alex Maltman, this has been found to be untrue. 'If wine lovers are going to talk about a mineral taste in wine, they should acknowledge that we don't at present know its cause' Alex explained at the Geological Society of America's 2009 Annual conference.

The notion that a vineyard set in slate bedrock yields wine with a 'slaty' taste has persisted in some circles. Mineral wines, he said, used to be described as 'lean' or 'austere.'

Others, such as biologist Jamie Goode, believe that any mineral notes in the wine are most likely the result of reductive wine making where the juice is protected from oxygen.