Wine & Other Stories

Gianni Menotti: My perfect wine

Gianni Menotti: Professione enologo
Written by Piero Pardini

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The primary goal of an oenologist is to be able to give the owner of the winery and, therefore, also to the final consumer, the “perfect wine”, enhancing and optimizing the fruit of the gods: the grapes.

Does the “perfect” wine really exist? Someone has defined the perfect wine as that which meets the favor of producers, others that of consumers. There are also those who argue that the perfect wine is the one without defects. Yet, we know that, sometimes, a small imperfection can turn into an added value, an example of all “bretted” wines, loved and hated at the same time.

By adding a new chapter to the column, which gives a voice to winemakers, we turn to the most authoritative source to understand if the perfect wine exists and to what extent.

© Gianni Menotti Winemaker

Who better than an oenologist can know the fatigue and the many variables that affect the production of wine from the vineyard to bottling. Yet, often, the most ruthless judgments about wine come from those who only taste the final product without having witnessed the entire production process. For this reason, only an oenologist can really know if there is a “perfect” wine and when it can be defined as such, according to his experience.

I believe that “perfect” is an inappropriate expression for wine, because the thousand facets to define it organoleptically are already too many to make them coincide among all those who taste it. Then, perfection is not of this world. But it is better this way especially because we would always like to reach perfection and since it does not exist we will always be chasing it as in an asymptotic curve. This is stimulating for us winemakers to be able to constantly seek “perfection”.

Gianni Menotti: Professione enologo

© Gianni Menotti Winemaker

Is there a defect that you are particularly afraid of?

Without a doubt the Brett, together with the excessive reduction.

La visione di Gianni Menotti sulla cantina

© Ph. Gianni Menotti Enologo

What are the operations, or strategies, that you implement to prevent this problem from arising?

I always pay the utmost attention to preventing these defects. There are biological strategies that start from the grape and then get to the wine that allow you to avoid Brett. For the reduction there is only the utmost attention in the technical steps during and after the vinification. As for the cure, I always hope not to get to the occurrence of the problem because in any case the oenological result would never be the same.

Gianni Menotti: Professione enologo

© Gianni Menotti Winemaker

Your thoughts on “Brett” wines: are they undoubtedly defective wines or are they an interesting experience?

As previously pointed out, this is a very important problem, because Brett in wine is not what I would like as the defect is absolutely distorting the organoleptic value of that wine. Someone had even made it an advantage that I absolutely do not share.

About the author

Piero Pardini

Founder and editor of "The Wolf Post", Italian based International digital wine platform.
Freelance Journalist.
Wine critic and Sommelier.
He has also written about sports and technology for some specialized magazines.
Co-author of the authorized biography "Gianni Clerici - The writer, the poet the journalist", Le Lettere, Firenze.

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