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Viva la differenza

11 July 2010

Since the 80’s I have generally avoided the Bordeaux “en primeur” campaign.  In fact since moving here I have only really drunk claret from the dwindling stock that I purchased for modest prices years ago. I agree with Robert Parker who tweeted recently that the Bordelais were ‘stupid and arrogant’ in their pricing policy. More stupid are the people who buy Chateau Lafite Rothschild and their ilk at £1,000 per bottle! The general wine buying public must despair at the number of column inches devoted to the campaign. In fact living in a country that is the biggest producer of wine in the world I am amazed at the relative lack of publicity afforded to  Barolo, Barbaresco and Tuscany. Even the wine goddess Jancis Robinson in her recent FT article could only find 1 Italian wine worthy of inclusion in her “summer wine special” list of 4 dozen or so wines. A Chianti Classico that she felt was “almost Piemontese in its florality”!

I guess driving around the Italian countryside can be difficult and distracting, and the problem of where to stop to eat and sleep mind-blowing with so many choices. I am caught in a difficult position as I would love to see the passionate, dedicated local producers of quality wine gain more recognition and  a better living but I prefer the stunning views served by empty roads and the ability to taste and buy the best direct at a fraction of the cost of Bordeaux.

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