Warning – Opinion!

disappointing ‘wine-writers’

By billn on October 20, 2014 #warning - opinion!

The caveat here, is that I’m talking about some ‘generalist’ wine-writers who occasionally dip their toe into a region, tasting at a few well-manicured addresses, probably sponsored by some ‘body’ or other, and back that up by tasting a bunch of grand crus that start at €100 a bottle. I’ve not been involved in a similar roughing of Twitter feathers before, but these two troll-esque tweets (from writers with over 40k of twitter followers) annoyed me just as much as previous Decanter (harvest) stories that seemed, at the same time, sensationalist yet lacking any real depth of comment or apparent knowledge:
Well, that’s my perjorative, clearly biased opinion based on what I read, anyway 😉

I assumed the first was tongue in cheek – and I like to have a laugh – but prodding showed that this was indeed Will’s thinking despite initially teasing-out that he was talking about ‘only the very best!’ His views seemed to harden and widen in the ‘conversation’ that followed. Hopefully he goes out and visits in more depth than I fear will be the case. As for Jamie – sorry, but that comment does not come up to his usual standards. There is much more to this if you wish to follow the conversations in the links above. Unfortunately, Twitter becomes unwieldy and close to useless once more than a couple of people are ‘involved’ in a conversation…

I pondered writing this, mainly because it seemed too self-serving, but the fact is, you need specialists if you want to know what to buy. Jancis’s site is going that way with multiple contributors, but already you have Roy Hersh for Port, Chris Kissack for Bordeaux and Loire, Burghound, maybe Neal Martin, maybe me for Burgundy – but for god’s sake, don’t read magazine/newspaper style columns hoping get useful info. World of Fine Wine is an exception, but has such lead-times you could never describe it as a guide for buying.

My basic premise is: Yes indeed Burgundy has become expensive for a certain niche producer list, put another way ‘no shit Sherlock.’ But a journalist can’t just say ‘I’m telling it like it is’ without actually showing some groundwork on which their opinions are formed. Actually, I’d be much more amenable if they simply said ‘In my opinion, Burgundy has a vanishing level of relevance because of xxxx, yyyy and zzzz‘ substantiating their words…

But we all know the phrase about ‘opinions’ – mine too! 😉

the EG affair…

By billn on February 24, 2014 #vineyard pestilence#warning - opinion!

cite: http://blogreignac.blogspot.frI try not to follow crowds when writing about ‘stuff’, but I felt that I should make a few notes on this subject here, and not just because the story is now in the news mainstream. I’ve been asked by email and in other fora for my opinion on what’s happening in the Emmanuel Giboulot affair. Mainly I’m writing this, because I was a little surprised to see the content of my emails published online – not because I don’t stand behind what I said, but because the person that asked the question never mentioned that they would be published.

So, adding to what I wrote last year, and whatever else might be attributed to me, here’s what I published elsewhere last week:

People should also note that nobody knows where this (FD) will end-up. Has it the potential to be Phylloxera 2.0? or an unwanted cost equivalent to replacing 5-10% of the vines every year? – nobody can answer…

Re Emmanuel Giboulot, as Keith notes, he chose to do publicly what a significant number of people did privately, so in-effect chose his own fate. His actions are of-course being hijacked by ‘über-organic factions’ aligned against anything ‘pesticide’ and there is even a march about this in Paris this weekend I think.

Only to note, that the pesticide in question, is fully allowed by Organic / Bio certification bodies (I’m not sure about Biodynamic as I get different answers from different people), and let’s not forget, 130 years ago many refused to treat their vines (to be clear, it wouldn’t have worked anyway!) against phylloxera, saying ‘my vines don’t have it..’ Weren’t those exactly EG’s words?

Always at least two sides to each discussion…

So, there are never any easy answers, and please, let’s not be mealy-mouthed about this, we are talking about a pesticide – something designed to kill a pest – it’s not simply ‘a treatment’ – so it is important that this isn’t being taken lightly!

Despite the quality of both the wines and the man in question – a man who will face the courts at 13:30 hrs today – and also in spite of online petitions in support of him that now approach half a million ‘signatures’, I have to say that one person, or better said, one ideology, shouldn’t be allowed to jeopardise the livelihood and culture of a whole region.

What price UNESCO if there are no vines in 15 years?

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