Monty Waldin’s recent and extraordinary post at the Jancis Robinson subscription site has been making the rounds among wine bloggers: my partner over at VinoWire, Franco Ziliani, wrote to Jancis who graciously gave us permission to repost it here. Monty’s insights as a winemaker living in Montalcino are fascinating and he pulls no punches in this piece. A must-read for anyone who’s trying to wrap her/his head around the greed that led to the controversy now known as Brunellopoli or Brunellogate.
Thank you, Franco, for making that happen!
A virtual conversation: I am such a fan of Franco Ziliani’s blog Vino al vino that one day I wrote him and said, “why don’t we start an English-language blog devoted to the world of Italian wine where I can translate posts from your blog?” Three months later — without Franco and I ever meeting in person — we launched VinoWire, a blog devoted exclusively to the world of Italian wine. Franco is one of Italy’s top wine writers and — without a doubt — its most polemical. He reminds me of Italian literary figure Giuseppe Baretti (left), one of the great writers of the Italian Enlightenment: in the same spirit as Baretti’s critical journal La frusta letteraria or The Literary Whip, Franco’s excellent blog combines erudition, wine and travel writing, and an expertly critical approach to the field — where, too often, so-called wine writers are too timid to call a spade a spade. The title of Franco’s blog, vino al vino, comes from the Italian expression, pane al pane, vino al vino or call bread “bread”, call wine “wine”, in other words, say it like it is.
Dott.J, is there an italian expression for “he tore them a new one” ? Wonder if the same type of fraudulent winemaking is taking place in other regions and what other scandals may erupt. I feel like I’ve been had…all that great Brunello I’ve had, especially in the last two years. They were fun, social gatherings and I wasn’t thinking too deeply about whether it was 100% Sangiovese. Now I know better and I won’t go near the stuff. It would be useful if someone would publish a list of Brunello producers who are making it as it should be…100% Sangiovese.
I can’t begin to tell you you how amusing that ‘Merlot di Montalcino’ picture is. Nicely done.
Franco deserves indeed that compliment.
Nomen omen Romans say… and indeed Franco tells you frankly the things as they are, which in a country like Italy means getting a lot of enemies…
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