Ezio Rivella, contrapasso, and the Triumph of Time (fugacity)

From the department of “I read the news today o boy”… Above: Rivella in a 1982 profile by Wine Spectator. Not a bad PR move, eh? Announce your long-awaited resignation on a Friday at the beginning of summer. On Friday, the controversial and much loathed toad of Montalcino, Ezio Rivella, resigned from his position as […]

Ezio Rivella: “Tradition is a ball and chain.”

Above: Remember this image? Scanned from a 1982 edition of Wine Spectator (via Alfonso). I posted about it here. On Monday, Ezio Rivella — Brunello’s deus ex machina and futurist of Italian wine, creator of the Brunello brand and propagator of the California dream — spoke before a group of Langa’s top winemakers in Piedmont. […]

Ezio Rivella: “80% of Brunello was not pure Sangiovese.”

Above: I hope that Tuscan wine writer and internet-based interviewer Carlo Macchi doesn’t quit his day job. I certainly wouldn’t call him the next Antonioni. Although he might give Dario Argento a run for his money. Last week, the newly elected president of the Brunello producers association, Ezio Rivella, told Macchi that “80% of Brunello […]

Dear Ezio Rivella and Thomas Matthews, please give me a call…

In his post on Friday, Eric referenced my post at Do Bianchi (please see also the post published by me and Franco Ziliani at VinoWire). 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 […]

Rivella, barbarian at the gate: the Brunello debate goes mainstream (WARNING: POST CONTAINS POETRY)

Above: The grapes are ripening about a week late in Montalcino but conditions are excellent, says Alessandro Bindocci (Fabrizio Bindocci’s son) in his blog Montalcino Report. Alessandro has been updating the blog regularly with harvest and weather reports. Yesterday a friend emailed me this article in Reuters online, “Battle of Brunello exposes row over purity […]

Wine blogs you should and can’t read react to Brunello “rivellation”

Regretfully, I don’t have a subscription to Jancis Robinson’s subscription-only blog but a friend cut, pasted, and sent me a post on Jancis’s blog by British wine writer Monty Waldin (above), who commented on the Rivellation that “80% of Brunello was not pure Sangiovese.” By saying that most pre-2008 Brunello was fraudulently blended, Dott. Rivella […]

Ziliani vs. Rivella: heavyweight title bout live from Siena, Friday October 3

Above: Franco Ziliani is one of Italy’s most revered and controversial wine writers and his writings have always been an inspiration to me — for their verve, erudition, and the hard-hitting truths he brings to the tasting table (photo by Ben Shapiro). No, this bout won’t be broadcast from the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. […]

A note on the Argiano Brunello acquittal

Above: A daybreak view of Mt. Amiata from the village of Castelnuovo dell’Abate (Montalcino). This week, two major wine news outlets — Decanter and Wine Spectator — reported on the acquittal of ex-Argiano CEO Giampiero Pazzaglia, who had been charged by the Siena prosecutor with commercial fraud in the Brunello adulteration scandal of 2008 (the inquiry […]

Cultural entrepreneurship on the rise among Italian winemakers

A photo of Vigne del Vulture’s vineyards in Aglianico del Vulture, taken September 20. Image via Gabriele Ladislao Moccia’s Facebook. While Tracie P, Georgia P, and I were in Melfi (Basilicata) a few weeks ago, we had the chance to meet and taste with a young producer, Gabriele Ladislao Moccia. His winery, Vigne del Vulture, […]

GREAT NEWS! Bindocci new president of Brunello Consortium

Because we were recording all day, I was offline yesterday when the news broke: my friend Fabrizio Bindocci, winemaker at the historic Montalcino estate Il Poggione, has been named the new president of the Brunello bottlers association. The news came in the wake of Ezio Rivella’s sudden departure from the post on June 8 (for […]