Showdown in Tuscany? Franco and James to face-off this summer

From the “after all, we write about wine not politics” department…

Above: Franco (pictured last September when we tasted together at Ca’ del Bosco) and James haven’t always been on the best of terms but collegiality has happily prevailed in their most recent exchange.

Addendum: if you missed the first part of the exchange, click here for the initial dialog between these two giants of wine writing…

In case you don’t subscribe to the Wine Spectator Online (as I do), I’ve cut and pasted the most recent exchange between Franco Ziliani and James Suckling below. It seems that collegiality has prevailed in an otherwise rocky relationship. (And here’s the link to the original post.)

Their shared insight and opinions regarding the 2006 Langa vintage are definitely worth checking out…

    User Name: James Suckling, Posted: 05:33 PM ET, May 29, 2009

    Your English is perfect Franco! I have always found Mascarello’s Barberas and Doclettos a little unclean. But the Barolos are generally fine, although lighter in style.

    User Name: Franco Ziliani, Italy Posted: 06:56 AM ET, May 30, 2009

    James, I agree (and I’m very surprise for this) with your perplexities about Barbaresco (and Barolo?) 2006. And I said this after a tasting, at Alba Wines Exhibition (why don’t you attend to this tasting with many Italian and international wine writers?) of 60-70 Barbaresco 2006, many among the most important wines of this Docg. The choice of Bruno Giacosa who decided not to bottle his Barolo and Barbaresco 2006 is very significant about the difficulties and the problems of this vintage, but in my tasting I have find at least 15-20 Barbaresco 2006 well made with great personality, richness, elegance and complexity. A question: why we debate about Giuseppe (Mauro) Mascarello wines and an hypothetical “volatile acidity” in his wines in a post you dedicate to Barbaresco 2006? I hope to have sometimes the possibility to meet you and taste with you so to confront our different point of view about Piedmont (Nebbiolo) wines. What do you think? Franco

    User Name: James Suckling, Posted: 09:43 AM ET, May 30, 2009

    Franco. That would be nice one day. May be this summer? As for trade tastings like the Alba Wines Exhibition, I prefer to taste the wines blind in my office in Tuscany. I too found numerous 2006 Barbarescos with elegance and complexity — ie 90 points or so — but I was just a little underwhelmed because I thought there would be more top wines.

    User Name: Franco Ziliani, Italy Posted: 11:29 AM ET, May 30, 2009

    OK for this summer James, in your office or, better, in Langhe region. When you decide that we can meet for discute about Barolo & Barbaresco and taste together, you can contact me at cannubi@gmail.com but don’t forget your promise…

In other news…

There’s another — and in this case, very real — showdown brewing in San Antonio.

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