Robert M Parker, Jr and his 2014 prediction on natural wines
On the January 2, Robert M Parker Jr tweeted his 14 ‘wine-related’ predictions for 2014. Here are some of them:
His third prediction: ‘the undefined scam called “natural” or “authentic” wines will be exposed as a fraud –( most serious wines have no additives) inspired Davide Paolini, the ‘gastronaut’ ( www.gastronauta.it ) to lead an interesting discussion on radio 24 seeing as partecipants big shots involved in the bussiness of Italian winemaking such as:
LUCA D’ATTOMA | Winemaker, Producer
LEONELLO ANELLO | Agronomist
RICCARDO COTARELLA | Winemaker
ANGELO PERETTI | Director of Consorzio Tutela del Bardolino e del Custoza and of an online magazine Internet Gourmet, Journalist
ELEONORA GUERINI | ‘Vini d’Italia’ by Gambero Rosso , supervisor
ARIANNA OCCHIPINTI | Az. Agr. Arianna Occhipinti di Vittoria (RG)
ANGIOLINO MAULE | Az. Agr. “La Biancara” di Gambellara (VI), President of Vinnatur (Associazione Viticoltori Naturali- Association of Natural Winemakers)
OSCAR FARINETTI | Eataly
Parker is world’s most important wine critic and the doles of all the wineries on this planet may depend on his words, it is thus, quite odd that he takes such a strong position on the subject. As noticed by Arianna Occhipinti, a producer of Sicilian ‘natural’ wines from Vittoria, Parker might not be making them right, his predictions. She has taken it upon herself to defend the whole category by saying she does not think there would be any ‘frauds’ coming up from ‘natural’ winemaking, underlining the fact that it is not necessary to compare the ‘authentic’ wines with the ‘non authentic’ ones, but it would be advisable to put more stress on the value of the labour in the vineyard and the cellar rather than concentrating as much on term ‘natural’ and the ‘method’. ‘Let the customers decide what they like to drink’ is her suggestion..Angiolino Maule, the president of Vinnatur, the Italian Natural Winemaker’s Association, comes to help with a clear definition of ‘natural winemaking’ – no chemistry in the vineyard, no chemistry in the cellar. ‘Where is the confusion?’ he asks . This great leader of the movement thanks Parker for the publicity- after having been ignored for years, then ridiculed, now there is the accuse of fraud. He has no fear whatsoever of Parker’s prediction and invites everybody to follow the scientific research of the association on their website.
Then there is the journalist Angelo Peretti- his claim is he agrees with Parker on some points. ‘Torniamo al vino per favore -Let’s come back to wine please)’ is his request, without creating divisions, castes and sects. ‘I have participated in too many natural wine markets where there should have been a word ‘vinegar’ written instead of the word ‘wine’ on the labels’. Once again natural wines get labelled as ‘faulty’ and ‘undrinkable’.
I am really happy Parker has raised the polemic – I hope it will only be in favor of those trying hard to produce wine with ‘soul’ and free of chemicals, whatever the name of it.