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Absolutely Nails this Variety in the Australian Context












Cooling Minty Qualities which are Attractive












On Tasting
Geology Cannot be Found In Wine
Thursday, 18th September, 2006  - David Farmer
Chard Farm Winery, New Zealand

An aspect of marketing is to tell the story about the product and to enhance the story it can be a good idea to weave in a myth, a mystery or some 'undefined' extra element. The idea is to create for the consumer an emotional bond with the product that goes beyond the mere utility of the product.

Even a computer box needs to be more than a machine for use. An article in Fortune, September 26th, 2006, draws attention to this aspect when discussing the battle between Dell and Hewlett Packard and says about the HP products: "The focus is not on the product but rather the feelings it enables and the way it changes your life. Dell, by contrast, remains the ultimate provider of white-bread (well, grey plastic) P.Cs."

When marketing of up-market wines it is useful to invoke the mysteries of 'terroir' a difficult and problematical topic. This can create a feeling about the wine that in a mysterious way is additional to the basic taste.

Who would want to question the good marketing that surrounds wine and turn it into 'a grey plastic' convenience drink? Still the time has come to suggest some of wines myths have gone to far.

An article in Decanter 'Cape Crusaders', June, 2006, contained the following: "Bruce Jack the William Boroughs of Cape winemakers, is at his most eloquent in the 2005 Platter Guide to South African Wines: 'Through spectacular bumping and grinding below bedclothes of time we in southern Africa have inherited some of the most ancient soil in the world, traceable back to the first super continent, 1,000 million years ago. Our geology is like a craggy Wild West gunslinger-impossible to cram more character into one face…..South African winemakers believe their terroir offers better chances to make 'icon' wines than their Australian and Chilean counterparts".

An article by Jeni Port in the Age in July inspired by a French wine maker said: "Take Chablis. How does the taste of the soil, and not just the soil itself but a solidified mass of 160-million-year-old oyster fossils that holds the soil together, come to express itself so clearly in a glass of chardonnay? I don't know...

...I don't know whether Didier Seguier knows either. Either way, he knows how to bring that tantalising mineral taste, embedded since the upper Jurassic period, back to life in his wines...

..The '04 Premier Cru Vaillons has sweet fruit, honeysuckle and jasmine. The '04 Premier Cru Montee de Tonnerre, right next to the grand cru site, must be on a strong vein of Kimmeridgien. You can smell smoked oysters - and what minerals!"

Further examples are found in the best selling, recent book The New France by Andrew Jefford.

"Healthy soil is a world apart, packed with life. Wine provides the sensual link which enables us to taste that otherwise impalpable world……

...Both Cote de Brouilly and Cote Roti are born in quartz, in schist, in granite; they have a glinting, acidic hardness to them...

...So I went and got a hammer and knocked a bit off. And at the point at which it broke, it gave off truly the same smell that we'd just found in the bottle of old wine, that same note of smoke and stone. They were astounded…..I have been lucky enough to drink wine for thirty years now. There is no doubt in my mind that the most profound satisfaction that wine can bring is based on the scents and tastes of stones, earth and minerals in wine".

Just in case the average drinker feels they are missing out on all these tastes let it be said that you can taste many things in wine but you cannot taste geology, you can taste a sappy, mouth puckering crispness that may be the minerality referred to but you cannot taste minerals.

If while drinking you imagine you can taste the rocks and minerals in and under the soils this is fine as we also do not want anything to get in the way of a good story.

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