Fred Nijhuis

Your favorite Dutch wine writer

Brunello and it’s consorzio…..

After their much critized plans to allow other grapevarieties in Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino, the Consorzio of Brunello di Montalcino decided to let some journalists taste the new vintage of Brunello before the others at the regular Anteprima tasting Benvenuto Brunello.

Many colleagues reacted, including Franco Ziliani, Anne Serres, Tom Hyland, Tim Atkin, Wojciech Bonkowski, Juancho Asenjo, Kerin O’Keefe, Herve Lalau, Eckhard Supp, Jeremy Parzen and Charles Scicolone, so far, not one applauding the Co…nsorzio’s choice and making all kind of comparisons with, for instance, the Bordeaux Primeur Circus. I like to add my personal feelings.

Some call it a clever PR-campaign, you can also call it a cheap cry for attention.
Some call it business, you can also call it selling your soul.
Some call it marketing, you can also call it prostitution.

I think it’s wrong to offer yourself to the bidders who promises the highest scores.
If a desperate heroine prostitute offers her body for the cheapest price, you can/should say ‘no’.
The ones really not to be trusted are the ones who take advantage of someone else’s weakness.

In my opinion, people who choose not to participate in Benvenuto Brunello, have every right to taste the wines as well, but AFTER the other ones have finished Benvenuto Brunello. By not attending Benvenuto Brunello, I think they give up their rights to taste at an early stage and should not be awarded for their lack of respect for their colleagues by giving them even more rights and priviliges.  

I  like private lunches with the winemaker’s family at wineries, I detest lush dinners with PR-bunnies.
I do accept an occasional bottle of wine, I do not accept cases, luxury gifts or cheap primeurs.
I choose not to participate in the Bordeaux Primeur Circus and the exorbitant dinners at some of the Chateaux, because I don’t believe in ‘the new clothes of the emperor’.
I don’t believe in ‘all wine writers are equal, but some are more equal than others’.

I’m not a saint, but do have a conscience and can and do say ‘no’ often enough.
I try to be an independent, honest, positive wine critic, not a employee or slave of any producer or Consorzio.
I don’t want to punish many hard working people in Montalcino by not tasting their wines.
I do think it’s important that these producers know, what we think of the new strategy of the Consorzio, which does/should act on their behalf.

Lees verder

  • Barbara Summa Loud and clear Fred. I know too little of the event (as this year I will follow it online for the first time) but it is important and useful to hear what the “oude rotten in het vak” say about this.
  • Martijn Fernhout Very good statement Fred! “Like” :-)
  • Juancho Asenjo http://foros.elmundo.es/foros/viewtopic.php?p=1039914#1039914
    • Ingrid Larmoyeur Wow. That’s a clear and honest statement! Good for you.

    • Eckhard Supp Agree 100 %. Well said!
    • Eckhard Supp Btw, if I look at the recent developments in so many areas I increasingly get the impression that wherever appears the opportunity to commit a blatant stupidity, the wine world and it’s representatives can’t resist to seize it ….
    • If Fred, Franco Ziliani and others think about themselves to be worthy, they can ask the consortium (like Suckling & co did) to taste the wines from the 1st of January, where’s the problem?

      Eckhard Supp
      travelling to Montalcino from, say, Chicago or Amsterdam cost slightly more (in time and money) than driving there from Rome or Florence.

    • Fred Nijhuis Nijhuis Andrea Gori: Good idea, next year all journalists (>100) will not go to Brunello but go individually and ask the consorzio to open new bottles for each journalist at the time and place with all tailor made service these journalists prefer……..
    • Tom Hyland Fred: Your mission statement is well written. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things.
    • Natascha Sonnemans I am very proud of you, for having the guts to tell the world what you have on your heart and what’s on your mind. Many people choose the submissive way and maybe complain about this in their private little circle, but you are making your point, loud and clear, and very well founded.
    • What’s going on is ridiculous and proves that some (most?) of the very best Brunello-producers were asolutely right when disassociating themselves from the Consorzio. I hope that more and more people will encounter the same revelation you did, and made me do, and finally realize that there is a huge difference between Brunello and Brunello.

      Brunello should be about elegance, posess a warm and gentle seductiveness but at the same time a kind of royalty that will make you respectfully bow your head. It’s not about accesibility in a non-flattering way, approachability (you have to deserve your Brunello, not just ‘get-it-for-free’) or sales and image.

      I find it noteworthy that many producers that make the first category Brunello didn’t participate in this pre-tasting Anteprima-thing. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? ……

Fijn FransFine French

De selectie is gemaakt:

Restaurant Hermitage te Rijsoord

’FIJN FRANS’


Woensdag 25 januari 2012
aanvang 19.00 uur

  1. Champagne Brut Prestige, Bouzy Grand Cru, Jean Vesselle
  2. Champagne Oeil de Perdrix, Bouzy Grand Cru, Jean Vesselle 

  3. Domaine de Baumard, Trie Spéciale, Savennieres, 2003
  4. Gewürztraminer, Hengst Grand Cru, Josmeyer, 2002
  5. Chassagne-Montrachet, 1e Cru En Virondot, Domaine Marc Morey, 1997
  6. Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Alex Gambal, 2007 

  7. Marquis de la Tourette, Hermitage Blanc, Delas, 2007
  8. La Chapelle, Jaboulet, Hermitage, 1998 

  9. Château du Cèdre, Le Cèdre, Cahors, 2000
  10. Château du Cèdre, Le Cèdre, Cahors, 1999 

  11. Domaine Tempier, Cuvée Spéciale Cabassaou, Bandol, 2001
  12. Domaine Tempier, Cuvée Spéciale La Miguoa, Bandol, 2001 

  13. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, 1998
  14. Château Gruaud-Larose, 2eme Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Julien, 1999 

  15. Domaine de Trévallon, Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône, 1995
  16. Domaine de Trévallon, Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône, 1996 

  17. Moulin Touchais, Coteaux du Layon, jaargang onbekend, 1979/1975/1969?
  18. Moulin Touchais, Coteaux du Layon, jaargang onbekend, 1979/1975/1969? 

  19. Cognac Ambre 1er Cru, Pierre Ferrand
  20. Cognac Selection des Anges 1er Cru, Pierre Ferrand

The selection:

Restaurant Hermitage in Rijsoord

’FINE FRENCH’

Wednesday 25th January 2012
19.00 hrs 

  1. Champagne Brut Prestige, Bouzy Grand Cru, Jean Vesselle
  2. Champagne Oeil de Perdrix, Bouzy Grand Cru, Jean Vesselle

  3. Domaine de Baumard, Trie Spéciale, Savennieres, 2003
  4. Gewürztraminer, Hengst Grand Cru, Josmeyer, 2002
  5. Chassagne-Montrachet, 1e Cru En Virondot, Domaine Marc Morey, 1997
  6. Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Alex Gambal, 2007

  7. Marquis de la Tourette, Hermitage Blanc, Delas, 2007
  8. La Chapelle, Jaboulet, Hermitage, 1998

  9. Château du Cèdre, Le Cèdre, Cahors, 2000
  10. Château du Cèdre, Le Cèdre, Cahors, 1999

  11. Domaine Tempier, Cuvée Spéciale Cabassaou, Bandol, 2001
  12. Domaine Tempier, Cuvée Spéciale La Miguoa, Bandol, 2001

  13. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, 1998
  14. Château Gruaud-Larose, 2eme Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Julien, 1999

  15. Domaine de Trévallon, Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône, 1995
  16. Domaine de Trévallon, Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône, 1996

  17. Moulin Touchais, Coteaux du Layon, jaargang onbekend, 1979/1975/1969?
  18. Moulin Touchais, Coteaux du Layon, jaargang onbekend, 1979/1975/1969?

  19. Cognac Ambre 1er Cru, Pierre Ferrand
  20. Cognac Selection des Anges 1er Cru, Pierre Ferrand

Ouwe Meuk of Oude MeestersOld Mess or Old Masters

Ouwe meuk of oude meesters?

Een tijdje geleden las ik een column van iemand die een vergelijking maakte
van oude wijnen met oude mensen. De kern van zijn betoog was dat tijd zich
tegen zowel wijn als mensen keert.   Some while ago I read a column by someone who made a comparison between old wine and old people. The core of his plea was that time turns to both wine and people. He told about the process of emergence, prosperity and decline, which he described as the heyday of people wasting time in traffic jams, VINEX homes or anonymous offices. The only exception he could imagine was drinking fine wine.

Lees meerOuwe Meuk of Oude MeestersOld Mess or Old Masters

Beautiful Brunello at Bernard’s Burgemeester Beautiful Brunello at Bernard’s Burgemeester

 

Brunello,
the Beauty & the Beast 
 
De veel te jonge, figuurloze, graatmagere Julia Schneider wint de Elite Model Look 2012 verkiezing en beestachtige, monstrueus vormgegeven Brunello’s die een maximale score behalen.

Ieder weldenkend mens weet dat deze extremen zinloos, verwerpelijk en allesbehalve maatgevend zijn. Iedereen weet dat ze de realiteit niet weergeven, geen graadmeter zijn voor wat echt telt en allesbehalve een rolmodel zouden mogen zijn. Waardeloos en toch onbetaalbaar, de waanzin ten top.
Waarom lopen mensen toch achter dit soort idiote meningen van enkelingen aan. Ze houden ons voor de gek, bespelen ons, verwarren ons en tonen alleen maar aan dat de wereld gestoord is. Waarom laten we ons door dit soort wansmaken leiden. Maar zo dom is de mens toch niet?

Na een bijzondere verticale proeverij met wijnen van Conte Costanti, volgde een werkelijk fenomenale avond in restaurant de Burgemeester te Linschoten. 

We proefden we een kleine 30 Brunello di Montalcino uit 2006, 2004 en 2001. Het bleek een avond met vele zeer fraaie wijnen,  mooi eten een enkele deceptie en restanten wijn die de volgende dag wederom voor verrassingen en nog meer ontzag voor de meeste van deze fantastische wijnen zorgde.

  

Binnenkort in Proefschrift een uitgebreid verslag van deze monumentale proeverij met gepast respect en veel lof voor diverse beauty’s, wijnen van verschillende producenten die begrijpen wat een Brunello di Montalcino is of zou moeten zijn. Ook kritiek, voornamelijk gericht op die beesten die hun ziel hebben verkocht en wijnschrijvers volgen als een kudde makke schapen, de ondergang van Brunello tegemoet.…..Brunello,
the Beauty & the Beast
 
The extremely young, figureless, skinny Julia Schneider wins the Elite Model Look 2012 and bestial, monstrous styled Brunello’s that receive a maximum score.
Every sane person knows that these extremities are pointless, despicable and anything but normal. Everyone knows they do not show reality, do not express what really counts and are (should be) worthless as a role model. Worthless yet priceless; madness at its best/worst.

Why do people accept and follow these kind of ludicrous opinions of certain individuals? They take us for fools, play with us, confuse us, and show only how disturbed the world has become. We’re not that stupid, are we?

After an interesting vertical tasting with Andrea Costanti we tasted some 30 Brunello di Montalcino from 2006, 2004 and 2001 duing a truly phenomenal evening in restaurant de Burgemeester in Linschoten.
  
An evening with great food and spectacular wines, many beautiful highlights, an incredible deception and some ‘left overs’ that surprised us even more the day after….

In one of the next issues of Proefschrift a comprehensive report of this monumental tasting with due respect and praise for various beauties, wines of producers who understand what a Brunello di Montalcino is or should be.

But also critical remarks for those who sold their soul and follow certain winewriters like a flock of tame sheep, straight into the ruin of Brunello…..