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Reflections Of A Wine Merchant

A leading importer of limited-production wines of character and quality takes us on an intimate tour through family-owned vineyards in France and Italy and reflects upon the last three decades of controversy, hype, and change in the world of wineIn the late 1970s, Neal I. Rosenthal set out to learn everything he could about wine. Today, he is one of the most successful importers of traditionally made wines produced by small family-owned estates in France and Italy. Rosenthal has immersed himself in the culture of Old World wine production, working closely with his growers for two and sometimes three generations. He is one of the leading exponents of the concept of “terroir”—the notion that a particular vineyard site imparts distinct qualities of bouquet, flavor, and color to a wine. In Reflections of a Wine Merchant, Rosenthal brings us into the cellars, vineyards, and homes of these vignerons, and his delightful stories about his encounters, relationships, and explorations—and what he has learned along the way—give us an unequaled perspective on winemaking tradition and what threatens it today. Rosenthal was featured in the documentary film Mondovino and is one of the more outspoken figures against globalization, homogenization, and the “critic-ization” of the wine business. He was also a major subject in Lawrence Osborne’s The Accidental Connoisseur. His is an important voice in defense of the individual and the artisanal, and their contribution to our quality of life.

Hardcover: 272 pages

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (April 29, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0374248567

ISBN-13: 978-0374248567

Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #611,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #6 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Cellars #571 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine #715 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Essays

If you are looking for another Kermit Lynch, you will be disappointed. If you liked Alice Feiring, then this is for you. I am, like the author, a lover of Burgundy (& Piedmont), a disliker of modern over-fabricated fruit & alcohol bomb wines,and I take Parker and all with a pinch of salt. So I started the book with great hope thinking I had found another Kermit soul-brother. And though I often agree with his more moderate opinions, he has a serious problem with attitude. He takes side swipes at just about everyone (inc Kermit) and sometimes comes across either as a mild lunatic (dont tell me that your wine smells of the skin of the hares that frolic around the fields, I mean, come on...) or an arrogant, opinionated and rather unpleasant individual. But then the next chapter will be evocative and spot on. A real roller coaster of a read. I suspect I rather agree with the basics of his belief in real wines of place, but his personality keeps getting in the way. Also I wonder at his palate. Romanee-Conti and Domaine Leroy are expensive (though DRC could double its price overnight and still sell out, the retail price is about three times the ex-cellars and that's not DRC's fault) but they are also almost universally considered the pinnacle. His evident dislike of Mme Bize-Leroy is out of place and pretty stupid as she is one of the finest wine producers in the world. Oddly for someone who is so into natural wine and place, he also slags off another superstar of biodynamic wine, Chapoutier, yet his single vineyard white and red Hermitages are lauded the world over (and not just by US wine critics). Inverse snobbery or is there some sort of anarchic dislike of the most succesful (who are bound to sell, alas, at a price)?

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