In my post on the October 3 Brunello debate, I wrote:
As I watched the live streaming of the Brunello debate on Friday, I couldn’t help but think of Marinetti’s calls to abolish pasta and to “murder the moonshine” (uccidiamo il chiaro di luna! or let’s kill the claire de lune, 1909) when I heard one of Italy’s leading enologists, Ezio Rivella, say that “Sangiovese is a ‘lean’ grape with little color” and that the Italian wine industry would be better served by “using international grape varieties” and “making wines more international in style.”
“You don’t win a 100 points from the Wine Spectator,” said Rivella, “using just Sangiovese.”
Yesterday, Thomas Matthews, executive editor of Wine Spectator, made the following comment on Eric’s post:
After reading this blog entry, I called Ezio Rivella, who is currently in Rome, and spoke with him and James Suckling, Wine Spectator’s lead taster for the wines of Italy. Rivella told us the quotation referenced above was taken out of context, that his point was only to say that Sangiovese can benefit from blending in many cases. He wishes that Mr. Asimov had called him directly to discuss this issue.
Dear Ezio and Thomas, it’s a matter of fact: the statement was made in the context of a debate on whether or not the Brunello appellation regulations should be changed to allow the blending of international grape varieties. And it’s the fact of the matter: Rivella made that statement, voice raised, pointing his finger at Franco and admonishing him, during a debate on whether or not international grapes should be allowed in the Brunello appellation. I watched the debate live over the internet and Franco was there!
Thomas, me thinks thou dost protest too much.
Ezio, feel free to give me a call. Franco knows how to get in touch with me and I know that you and he are in cordial if not friendly contact.
Jeremy Parzen, Ph.D.
In other news…
Over at Montalcino Report, my friend Alessandro Bindocci reports that 153 Brunello producers have now signed an open letter to agriculture minister Luca Zaia and the Brunello Consortium asking them to keep Brunello 100% Sangiovese. 149 had signed the original letter last week and that number already represented a majority of producers.