A Very Good Review of Mondovino

MondovinoHere is one of the best reviews of the controversial film, "Mondovino". Composed by Kerry Howley of Reason Magazine, the review is balanced and inquisitive.

There is just one part of the review that confuses me. I can’t figure out if the author is offering the view of one side of the debate or if the author truly believes this:

"The space between Guibert (portrayed as the anti-globalist) and Mondavi (portrayed as the globalist)i is wine’s battlefield. Terroir, a central tenet of wine’s mystique, dictates that a great wine expresses its place of origin. Napa is too new for even the pretense of terroir. Its wines are the product of technology and experimentation, not centuries of careful cultivation. Its techniques aren’t family secrets or lessons culled from the land, but scientific innovations pumped out of UC Davis in the 1960s. So Napa had to create its own mythology—one of person, not of place. Mondavi, the man, is what Bordeaux, the place, once was."

Given the rest of the review, I’m inclined to believe the author is simply trying to express the "anti-globalist" view of the world of Napa Valley wine. They seem too smart to actually buy such a ridiculous set of notions as they are spelled out about.

Posted In: Wine Media


3 Responses

  1. Bálint Losonci - April 6, 2005

    I just watched the film in Hungary and my views are totally different from yours:
    Nossiter does not symphatize with the bombing lobby: only with people who make relly GREAT (great not meaning high scores by x or y) wine made in an artisanal way. Battista Culumbu and Hubert de Montille are not the people who only produce things for which there are no market and so they march to the street. I think they are essentially people, who are making wine with real obsession, and they are not primerly INCOME-DRIVEN, as the vast majority of Rolland’s clients.
    I think wine is not dead – as mr, Guigal declares in the film. But only 1% should be called REAL artisanal wine, the 99% is just business, a mean of investment, with lobbies, interests and mass marketing.
    For me, Nossiter backs that 1%, not any of the rest!
    I would have done only one thing differently if I were Nossiter: making a scene with an artisanal winemaker from the NEw World (e.g. Oregon) as well, thus not letting the film to being transformed by so many people, like you, to a French-American affair.
    Bálint Losonci
    winemaker &journalist from Hungary

  2. Patrick Barnette - April 6, 2005

    Check out this review from Wine Spectator and tell me who, exactly, is trying to force wines to fit a stereotypical mold. Apparently, Wine Spectator is willing to judge Ms. Guibert’s wine on its merits. Unfortunately, Ms. Guibert and Mr. Nossiter are unwilling to show the same respect for the ability of the American public (and wine press) to tell good wine from bad.
    Winery: Mas de Daumas Gassac Score: 90
    Wine: Vin de Pays de l’Hérault Haute Vallée du Gassac 2000
    Elegrant, with delicious flavors of cherry, plum and pepper, supported by a firm structure. Finely crafted, with refined tannins that coat the palate. Long lingering finish of vanilla and sandalwood. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 12,830 cases made. (KM)

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