Jonathan Nossiter last night said he had not set out to attack Robert Parker and Michel Rolland in his new book.
At the launch of Le Gout et le Pouvoir, in the Alice store in Bordeaux, the Mondovino director said, ‘Rolland and Parker are not targets in this book.’
Referring to Rolland’s fury at the way he was portrayed in Mondovino, he said, ‘In fact before making Mondovino I knew very little about Rolland and regret that he had such a violent reaction to the film. Rather I am interested in people who have power, and how they acquired that power.’
Despite those protestations however, one of his comments could be interpreted as a thinly-veiled criticism of critics like Parker. ‘To give an absolute judgement on anything is horrific in my eyes. To taste 300 wines in one day and make mathematical judgements on those wines is crazy, and a betrayal of the person who has made that wine.’
At the same time, he said, he was not afraid of speaking out, and ‘saying what I have seen. Wine is such a small world that I think some people who are involved might be afraid of speaking out – perhaps I would hold back if I was more involved. But I’m a film maker.’
Nossiter received a largely positive reaction from an assorted crowd of wine producers, negociants journalists and others – including Jean Christophe Calvet from Aquitaine Wine, Claude Guinjard from Chateau de Roquebrun and Aymeric Fournier from Despagne Vineyards.
Most were audibly supportive of his call to find another way to talk about wine, with ‘less metaphors and less prescription.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux