I have never seen a wine book like this. Ian D'Agata is a prize-winning writer on Italian wines. With this brand-new volume, he offers up the chemistry, geology, and lore of Italian wine terroirs. Following introductory material on Italy, terroir, the problem with Italian appellations, and his approach, he takes up major and lessser-known grape varietals. The discussion includes pertinent geologic background, observations on climate and growing conditions, chemistry, history, and critical assessments. After each section there is a list of Benchmark Wines. The chapter on Nebbiolo alone is more than 40 pages.
As erudite as he is, D'Agata is also a splendid and witty writer. He begins his Introduction noting that if you walk into a wine bar today, "you will find the place so crammed with glass-swirling terroiristes it's almost immoral." Discussing the intricacy of the study on which he is launched, he comments, "Of course, this being Italy, where if something is complicated it's good and if it is more complicated it's even better, you just know it will be intricate going." And while that is clearly true, it is also a pleasure.
The University of California deserves much praise for having published this excellent book. It has separate indices of grape varietals and the terroirs, appendices concerning geologic time, the prevalent geologic substrates and ages of the various terroirs and their topography, a glossary, a bibliography, and a general index. If you read D'Agata's superb treatise, you will be entertained, informed, and grow in love and understanding of Italy and its many wines.
- Hardcover: 392 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (15 July 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520290755
- ISBN-13: 978-0520290754
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.6 x 25.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 921 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)