Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Anteprime Toscane 2011: A Humble Request to the Organizers

The presentations of Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Brunello di Montalcino are nearing, and we have recieved the programs for the events. Which contain some surprises; in past editions the Chianti Classico tasting took place over two days, with tables for journalists to sit at, and sommeliers to pour the wines. This is the best way to work, as one can simply concentrate upon what one has in one's glass, and not loose time going to fetch more samples.

The first day of this year's event will follow this pattern, but the second will not; rather, the tasting will be stand-up only, in a hall with the winemakers pouring their wines, and while this sort of thing is fine for the general public, it will make critical tasting very difficult.

In Montalcino, on the other hand, there will be a conference on the evolution of Italian winemaking, which will take place during the main tasting session, but in another building. Therefore we will be forced to choose, and since I know the pace at which I taste wines and (roughly) the number of wines I will want to taste, I also know I won't be going to the conference. A pity, because it would have been interesting.

I'm not the only person concerned by the changes, and following sugestions from many people, Franco Ziliani wrote up a long note that Stefano Tesi compressed, and that we have all signed.

Cari organizzatori delle anteprime del Chianti Classico, del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano e del Brunello di Montalcino, vi ringraziamo per averci invitati a partecipare, dal 15 al 19 febbraio, alle degustazioni delle nuove annate dei vostri vini. E’ sempre un piacere tornare in Toscana.

Ci attendono faticose giornate di degustazione, a cui vorremmo dedicare tutto l’ impegno e la professionalità possibili.

I campioni da degustare sono però tantissimi e il tempo disponibile è molto meno rispetto al passato.

A Firenze infatti, nella seconda giornata del Chianti Classico, non si potranno più assaggiare tutti i vini come nella prima, seduti e con il servizio dei sommelier, ma dovremo girare fra i tavoli dei produttori.

A Montalcino ci viene chiesto invece di sacrificare una parte del tempo per seguire un’iniziativa interessante, prevista nello stesso momento in cui ci dovremmo trovare a degustare: la mattina di venerdì 18 è in programma dalle 10 alle 13 il talk show “150 anni d’Italia, 150 anni di Brunello”, al quale parteciperanno “molti protagonisti della produzione del vino in Italia e a Montalcino”. Obbligatorio quindi scegliere tra gli assaggi (motivo principale della nostra presenza a Montalcino) e l’approfondimento. Lo stesso dilemma si ripropone sabato 19, quando alle 11 (mentre noi saremo in degustazione dalle 9.30) al Teatro degli Astrusi si farà “un’approfondita disamina dell’annata 2010”.

Che fare, dunque?

Difficile pensare che, già stampati i programmi, si possa cambiare qualcosa in corsa, come spostare il talk show di Montalcino al pomeriggio alle 15 o, a Firenze, o consentirci di degustare seduti ai tavoli durante la seconda giornata della Chianti Classico Collection.

Noi firmatari di questo appello, senza alcun intento polemico, vogliamo però sperare che riuscirete comunque a fare qualcosa.

Seguono le nostre firme in rigoroso ordine alfabetico.

And here is Nicolas Belfrage's translation of Stefano's tightening:

Tuscan en primeur tastings 2011: Submission to Organisers

Dear Organisers of the 2011 en primeur tastings of Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino,

We thank you for the invitation to participate in the tastings, from February 15 to 19, of the new releases of your wines. It is always a pleasure, for those of us who do not live in Tuscany, to return there from all parts of the world, and for those of us who do live there to attend these by now classic tastings. We look forward to several tiring but rewarding days of tasting, days to which we undertake to devote our full commitment and professionalism. However, the number of samples to be tasted are many (even though, most regrettably, a growing number of important producers decline to submit their wines), and the time available for tasting is much reduced compared with previous years. In Florence, for example, during the second day of the Chianti Classico tasting, it will no longer be possible to taste the samples seated, with sommelier service, but we will be obliged to tour round the producers’ tables. In Montalcino, indeed, we are asked to sacrifice a substantial section of the time available to attend an interesting meeting on “150 years of Italy, 150 years of Brunello”, in which “many protagonists of the production of wine in Italy and in Montalcino” will be participating. We are thus constrained to make a choice between tasting (which after all is the principal motive for our presence in Montalcino) and the presentation. The same dilemma presents itself on Saturday 19th, when at 11:00 we will have to interrupt our tasting (in which we will have been engaged only since 9:30) to attend the Teatro degli Astrusi for “an indepth examination of the 2010 vintage”. What can be done about this? It will obviously be difficult (though not impossible), now that the programmes have been printed, to make changes, such as delaying the Montalcino presentations until later in the afternoon, or, in Florence, or to allow us to continue tasting seated at tables during the second day of the Chianti Classico Collection. We the undersigned, however, without wishing to create problems, would like to hope that you will succeed in finding some solution.

Juancho Asenjo, Nicolas Belfrage, Riccardo Farchioni, Roberto Giuliani, Carlo Macchi, Gianluca Mazzella, Kyle Phillips, Eckhart Supp, Stefano Tesi, Franco Ziliani.

Juancho Asenjo
Nicolas Belfrage
Riccardo Farchioni
Roberto Giuliani
Carlo Macchi
Gian Luca Mazzella
Willie Nile
Kyle Phillips
Eckhard Supp
Stefano Tesi
Franco Ziliani.

1 comment:

Fred Nijhuis said...

wish my name was there also, because I totally agree

fred nijhuis