Jonathan Nossiter’s candid and passionate travelogue and a book of reflections about authentic wines was published about five years after his famous documentary, Mondovino, polarized the wine world.
An ardent proponent of true and unadulterated, of artisanal and not mass market, of historic terroir and not a rootless invented brand name, Nossiter, who previously brought forward his message via a brilliant documentary (and the series), immortalizing Hubert de Montille, Aubert de Villaine and Aimé Guibert, and mockingly demonizing Robert Parker, Michel Rolland, and the likes, now takes a huge step forward, changes his smiling grin for a displeased smirk of indignation, and braces for a huge spat of poisonous words of wisdom.
A crusader against all he sees as artificial and superfluous, against US and Spanish preudo-artisanals and against the motley crew of international wine critics, he nonetheless recognizes that tradition is not something inmutable, cast in stone and not subject to any change. Nossiter shares a glass of wine and his thoughts with Burgundy’s undisputed wine stars like Christophe Roumier, Dominique Lafon, and Jean-Marc Roulot, vignerons who brought fame and fortune to their domaines well above that of their fathers, but who took it with dignity and humility of those entrusted to behold great historic tradition and modestly innovate but not forsake it.
A brilliant book for those in love with good wines, but it requires a certain foundation, a bias for understanding – as it openly despises quite a number household brand names and commercially ultra successful winemakers, producers of sweet sugary alco-driven fruit bombs. It can be eye opening, but if you haven’t watched Mondovino before, this is where you should start.
P.S. … and it it full of fantastic quotes, I wanted to copy every page here – but then I thought better of it.