“If it’s a blend, I will not attend!” (And the Texas fires)

Cousin Marty had a hunch about what wine I’d be bringing to our BYOB dinner last night in Houston with friends. And when I arrived and revealed my bottle of 2006 Brunello di Montalcino by Il Poggione, he opened the evening with the line of the night: “If it’s a blend, I will not attend!”

Of course, he was referring to yesterday’s news that Montalcino producers voted NOT to allow international grape varieties in Rosso di Montalcino, a step that many of us feared would irrevocably reshape the appellation.

According to results posted by the Brunello producers association, roughly 2/3 of voting members voted not to adopt either of the two options proposed by oligarchy that controls the body’s technical council. One option would have created two categories of Rosso; the other would have created three; in either case, international grape varieties would have been allowed in wines labeled Rosso di Montalcino.

But that figure is misleading because consortium president Ezio Rivella had called for an “ordinary” assembly whereby the number of votes is allocated according to the size of the winery. In other words, larger wineries had more voting power than smaller wineries. If the voting had been based on a one-vote-per-winery basis, the results would have been a landslide against the proposal to change the appellation.

I am fully convinced that efforts by my colleague and partner in VinoWire, Franco Ziliani, played a fundamental role in shaping public awareness of the issues in question.

Chapeau bas, Franco! IF IT’S A BLEND, I WILL NOT ATTEND!

The 2006 Brunello by Il Poggione was gorgeous last night, rich in body, bright in acidity, with ripe red fruit and that wonderful horse sweat note that often distinguishes great Brunello. The wine was muscular and still very, very tight, young in its evolution. But the green notes that emerged the last time I tasted the wine about 6 months ago have disappeared. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a great vintage for Il Poggione.

In other and sadder news…

I wanted to share these photos that I took on Hwy. 290 from Austin to Houston of the Texas fires.

In the first photo, above, taken about 20 minutes west of Giddings, the fire had just started and the firefighters had just arrived. Man, it was scary and you could see the fear and the stress in the faces of the firefighters. G-d bless them.

In this second photo, you can see a plume northwest of Houston. Pretty spooky and so sad.

In this last photo, you can see the smoky haze over Houston this morning. That’s not morning mist. It’s ugly, brown smoke. My eyes are burning and my throat is itchy. It reminds me of LA during the riots when I was a grad student at U.C.L.A.

Tracie P and Baby P are fine and even though there are uncontained fires burning not far from our house in Austin, the smoke is not affecting us there.

Please say a prayer for all the folks who are suffering here… It’s so sad…

2 thoughts on ““If it’s a blend, I will not attend!” (And the Texas fires)

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