Nothing absolutely special about the two, but definitely special in combination.
Let's say that water and rocks are very good ingredients on their own, assuming we're interested in variations of 'chemically based' life:
- water has interesting physical properties (you mentioned most of them), but one of them is its dielectric constant, very important for facilitating catalytic
conditions (self-replicating molecules?)
- these physical properties allows it to solubilize minerals and a fair range of organic molecules at the same time
, useful for catalyzing
- it is somehow reactive either in reversible ways (hydrogen bonds) or by directly participating in chemical reactions (i.e. oxydation of energetic molecules = generating chemical energy)
- rocks could catalyze
the spontaneous formation of chemical precursors or building blocks of life
...well, as we know it? yes, but it means it happened at least once.
Now, the important key is obviously the catalysis, i.e. making chemical reactions easier and quicker. Doing that in a low-energy context (i.e. the temperatures found on modern or archaic Earth), makes it much easier for randomly created molecules to survive long enough to have a chance to self replicate.