Sotto wine director and blogger Jeremy Parzen is keeping up with this story over at his Italian wine blog Do Bianchi. It seems that Gambero Rosso, a gastronomy magazine that publishes wine guides and selects top wines each year to receive its Tre Bicchieri award, has come out against the natural wine movement in its latest issue. And, naturally, writer Michel Bettane's negative take on the wines has ruffled the feathers of winemakers who espouse natural winemaking.
After the Italian wine blog Intravino brought the Gambero Rosso article to his attention, Parzen translated excerpts from what he characterizes as "Bettane's harangue" and put them up on his blog.
Here are a few:
"We sincerely hope that Italian wine lovers will not be subjected to what has been happening in France: an invasion of so-called 'natural' wines — in other words, so called 'zero sulfur' wines — with the complicity of numerous sommeliers, wine merchants and irresponsible journalists.
Their products are easily recognizable: the red wines stink and all of their grape varieties and terroirs end up resembling one another because the nasty native yeasts with which they are made — yeasts that greedily cannibalize the good yeasts if the vinifier allows them to do so — are the same yeasts that you find all over the planet. The wines are cloudy and unstable and they show an excessive presence of carbonic gas, giving the impression that the wine is incomplete.