Alsace vineyards are one of the most renowned vineyard in the world, but difficult to define because of its geological complexity and numerous grape varieties. Through the grape variety, we will look at taste profiles that come from different soil types.
Romain Iltis is a French sommelier from Alsace who has won multiple awards including Best Sommelier of France 2012, Master of Port 2008 and "Meilleur Ouvrier de France", a prestigious award which translates to Best Craftsman in France for Sommellerie in 2015. He is currently the wine director for the Lalique Group, which has 4 restaurants, including the Villa René Lalique, a 2-star Michelin restaurant.
This wine has high acidity, medium alcohol with medium body, and aromas of lemon, lime, and wet stones. Sound familiar? Wine-tasting notes can appear strikingly similar on paper, especially when tasting a suite of comparable wines. As a taster, how can you differentiate them? Do we learn anything about their terroirs or production methods from this type of tasting note?
WSG’s Tasting Lab® allows you to take your tasting skills to the next level and qualify (and not just quantify) a wine's aromatic expression and structural components. You’ll also dive deeper into the wine's texture and mouthfeel which is often overlooked.
Join Caroline Hermann, MW, to explore this new interactive way of tasting that builds on your existing skills and knowledge. Caroline is one of the Masters of Wine with whom WSG collaborated to create the Advanced Analytical Tasting Grid. Caroline will walk us through this simple method during this live webinar. With a few simple clicks on your computer screen or tablet, the Advanced Analytical Tasting tool leads to a deeper understanding of wine quality.
If you'd like to taste along and try the tool with Caroline, the following two Chablis wines can be pre-purchased in advance. WINES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO JOIN BUT ARE RECOMMENDED!
Wine 1: Chablis Domaine Laroche Saint Pierre 2019
Wine 2: Chablis Patrick Puize Terroir de Courgis 2020
OPTIONS FOR PURCHASING THE WINES
Participants are invited to seek out these wines on Wine Searcher by using the links below and then updating the search with the country in which you are located:
If you can't find these exact wines: you can purchase an entry-level village Chablis (wine 1) and contrast this with a terroir-driven Chablis (from specific lieu dit or premier cru ideally) from a top wine maker (wine 2).
Lastly, if you do not have the opportunity to source the wines, you can still join in on the webinar and follow along to learn about this exciting new tasting method!
Caroline Hermann MW brings a unique perspective to the wine sector with a background in alcohol beverage law, environmental law, sustainability, and international trade. She teaches Wine Scholar Guild and WSET wine and sake courses in Washington DC, with a focus on tasting analysis. She was part of the team to devise the Advanced Analytical Tasting grid.
This article is the first of an upcoming series by French neuroscientist Gabriel Lepousez. Gabriel is part of the Scientific Committee formed by WSG in the context of its "Architecture of Taste Research Project". He has also presented a fascinating segment on "The Neuroscience of Wine Tasting" as part of The Science of Wine Tasting Webinar Series which will resume with new episodes in the Spring of 2022.
There is a real paradox in the experience of tasting a product like wine. Tasting is such a familiar, instinctive, and seemingly obvious act; something that we take for granted. At the same time, wine is a one of the most complex sensory objects that we put into our mouths.
Indeed, wine is one of the rare sensory objects of our daily life which solicits all at the same time:
On the 6th of September 2021, Wine Scholar Guild hosted the first large-scale blind-tasting panel as part of its recently announced The Architecture of Taste Research Project.
Hosted at the Bristol Hotel in Colmar, Alsace, this panel tasting launched WSG’s research on the tactile and geosensorial tasting approach it developed over the past year.
The tasting was designed specifically to assess the experimental and innovative tasting grid that had been developed as part of the Architecture of Taste Research Project. Its eventual aim is a tactile and geosensorial tasting method which focuses on a wine’s energy, induced salivation, geometry/shape, texture, and consistency.
Such a tasting method would provide students of wine with an enriched and universal lexicon that not only assesses the qualities of a wine but also dives into the nature of a wine’s personality and, perhaps, its corresponding terroir signature.
The panel of tasters included owners or representatives of twenty top Alsace estates such as Albert Boxler, Weinbach, Marcel Deiss and Albert Mann. They were joined by a dozen wine professionals, including Pascaline Lepeltier MOF, a member of the ATRP Scientific Committee, as well as a dozen serious wine lovers. All in all, over 45 panelists participated in the tasting.
This webinar will dig into the basics of rocks and soil, and their respective roles in defining a site’s terroir. This discussion will give you the terms, tools, and scientific foundation to discuss terroir like a pro.
We will explore the different types of rocks, how they form, and in which wine regions across the globe you can expect to find them.
We will also discuss the difference between bedrock, soil, and subsoil in order to understand how soils form and how they support plant life.
Finally, we will review the concept of terroir, and how the geology of a region can influence the character of its wine.
Brenna Quigley is a geologist and terroir specialist committed to thoughtfully applying the science of geology to the world of wine. She works with wine professionals in all areas of the trade in order to precisely understand and define the most impactful elements of terroir.
Currently based in Napa, CA Brenna has experience around the world including France, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Oregon.
She is passionate about making the science of geology accessible to sommeliers and vigneron alike, in order to promote a better understanding of the world around us, and highlight how wine can help us appreciate our dynamic planet. Her websites are brennaquigley.com and roadsideterroir.com
Our fifth edition of WSG Live features the Chilean terroir consultant Dr. Pedro Parra. Join Andrew Jefford for a passionate discussion about Pedro's work and his ideas surrounding terroir!
Since earning his doctorate in 2004 in Terroirs Viticoles from the Ecole d'Agriculture de Grignon (now part of AgroParisTech), Pedro has travelled the world consulting for many of today's leading wineries, including Liger-Belair and Roulot in Burgundy, Biondi-Santi and Argiano in Montalcino, Quintessa in Napa, Marengo in Barolo, Comando G in Gredos and Altos Los Hormigas in Mendoza.
His approach to soil studies is unique, combining as it does scientific analyses and detailed site mapping with an intuitive understanding and original reasoning, and always validating his insights with tasting in his quest for minerality (a term he uses freely), tension and freshness.
Since 2013, too, he has made his own wines in his native Chile, in Itata.
Is a wine horizontal or vertical? Square or round? Hollow or dense? Relaxed or tensed? Grainy or smooth? This is a small sample of GeoSensorial Tasting vocabulary — a method that seeks to empower the taster to feel, interpret and give voice to wines of place.
By focusing on mouthfeel and assessment criteria such as energy, salivation, geometry, texture and consistency, this methodology helps you to better understand the nuances that a specific terroir, among other factors, brings to wine and helps you to express those nuances. It puts light on how, for example, Chenin Blanc wines from the schist soils of Savennières, the tuffeau of Saumur and the flint-clay and limestone-clay of Vouvray differ from one another. Quite an ambitious undertaking!