This time Carlo Macchi takes the stand for a Special Announcement:
Every time I speak of Giulio Gambelli and his legacy, I cannot but divide the article into two parts, the first speaking as a correspondent, and the second as a friend.
Today, February 16, at Flroence's Stazione Leopolda, on the occasion of the press conference for the upcoming Tuscan vintage presentations, we will present the first edition of the Giulio Gambelli prize, dedicated to "the young consulting winemaker who comes closest to Giulio Gambelli's winemaking philosophy."
The prize will go to a winemaker, not more than 35 years of age, who during the calendar year (2012 for the first edition) has personally made wines following Giulio Gambelli's wine making philosophy: Maximum respect for the raw materials, and wines that clearly express both the varietals and the terroir from which they came.
Why bring it up here? Because the prize is organized by the IGP, and by the newly established Association of Tuscan Enogastronomic Journalists, ASET. While ASET and IGP see to the organization, the three major consortia with which Giulio worked, the Consorzio Chianti Classico, Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino, and Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and the many wineries for who Giulio created unforgettable wines will provide support for the prize. I will not give you a list because it increases daily, and I'd hate to leave someone out.
The prize will be awarded by two juries, which we are in the process of defining; for now we can say they will be made up of wine and food journalists. I will say more when the rules governing the prize, which will be awarded during the annual Tuscan vintage presentations, are drawn up.
Good! Having finished with the news, a few words as a friend.
Giulio Gambelli left us on January 3, leaving a hole so deep that the idea of establishing a prize blossomed on its own. Many thought that it imperative that his legacy be preserved. I'm not speaking just about wines, but also his correctness, humbleness, and knowledge of how to make the proper use of time.
It is true that Mother Nature gave Giulio Gambelli an exceptional palate, but he would not have been able to make the wines he did had his character and approach to life been different. His genteel humbleness, his balance, his goodness, and his wisdom infused his wines with something that seemed very much like a soul. These days, as I have taken part in a few events celebrating him, I have had occasion to taste wines he made (vintage Chianti, nothing more) in the 60s, which still display freshness and depth. To say nothing of those wines from the 80s and 90s, famed throughout the world, and that justly astonished those I was with.
Such astonishment in the eyes and expressions of those who didn't know him, such satisfaction, almost veneration for wines that really do have a father, and a story to tell. This story must continue, because certain values cannot but be a part of our society.
In closing, allow me to dream, and imagine that today, during the press conference, Giulio will leave the divine wines he's overseeing for a moment, and look down at us. He won't say anything, because that's his nature, but he will be pleased.
Published Simultaneously by IGP, I Giovani Promettenti.
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.