Definition - What does Flinty mean?

Flinty is an advanced tasting term used to describe the smell, and sometimes taste, of wine that resembles a flint stone striking another stone or steel. This term has been employed by wine experts as a wine descriptor, but only recently within the last 5 years has flinty become more widely used. It is most often used to describe wines that have a flavor of flint or wet stone and is found useful when wines taste different from the usual fruity or spicy accents.

WineFrog explains Flinty

Wines that are flinty have a taste or smell that resembles flint, which means it has a dry, hard and fresh taste. This taste is caused by the vineyard's placement atop mineral-rich soils and bedrock (mainly limestone, schist and granite) that transfers their high mineral content into the growing grapes. This transfer of mineral flavor is also referred to as minerality in wine, which is a debated concept, as some experts say that mineral flavors cannot be transferred and perceived by the human palate.

Flinty flavors can also be cause by sulfur exposure during the fermentation process or a combination of the soil influence and sulfur exposure. The types of wine that can be described as flinty include Muscadet, Italian Vermentino or Gavi, Chablis, Mosel Rieslings, Loire Valley whites, some select Pinto Noir varietals and even some Californian Chardonnays. The term flinty can correlate at times with a wine that has a higher acidity but overall is a positive wine tasting note.

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