Definition - What does Minerality mean?

Minerality is a term used to describe a flavor or aroma that is not spice, herb or fruit. The flavor or aroma of minerality is popularly associated with the terroir or origin of the wine, especially if the region the wine is produced in has a soil that is high in minerals and is rocky. Minerality can transfer from the soil into the wine as a slight mineral flavor or aroma similar to the experience of drinking mineral water.

WineFrog explains Minerality

The flavor or aroma of minerality is one that is often debated in the wine industry, as minerals are considered to be tasteless, however individuals with more sensitive sense receptors can taste and smell them. The aroma/flavor is mostly associated with white wines and is often also described as chalky, flinty, or even as the aroma of wet cement.

The debate whether the flavors and aromas exist in the wine is largely due to lack of proof that actual minerals from the soil are in the wine, which would indicate that minerality in wine does not come from where the grapes are grown but is rather a result of the fermentation of the many volatile compounds in the wine. While the term is used to describe the tangible aromas or flavors listed, naysayers to the term believe it is used to provide a sensory experience of place the wine was grown in to those drinking the wine and is used more as a marketing tool rather than an actual descriptor of flavor or aroma.