Elia Atzori is the export manager of Italy’s venerable wine royalty Marchesi Antinori. Having worked for the 635-year-old Italian wine dynasty for over five years, Atzori is responsible for expanding the Italian wine group’s footprint in Greater China region. In the interview, he shares with Vino Joy News the two wines he would recommend to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a self-claimed Tignanello fan, and why it irks him when wine becomes “a blend of fake expectation”.
How many years have you been aged so far?
Twenty seven so far. My vintage is 1992. Not a great vintage for reds but an amazing one for Port which I happen to love a lot.
What led you to wine?
A bit of luck and right timing brought me into this amazing world.
What’s your pet peeves about wine?
When a bottle of wine becomes a luxury brand or a trading tool. It takes all the fun away and what I see is not squeezed and fermented grape juice rather a blend of fake expectation.
Describe what’s an alcohol-free day like for you?
Is there one?
What’s your secret passion?
The usual, trying to take over the world, sitting on a golden throne and having a good glass of wine while I enjoy my reign.
What kind of wines are in your wine fridge?
I tend to keep a wide range of wines in my fridge. I’m always looking for new wines that I have never heard of, from wine regions that are hard to come by and unique blends/single varietal.
What’s the weirdest wine you’ve tasted so far that you actually liked?
Rather than liking, but a wine that got me quite intrigued (maybe because of the situation where I got to taste this wine) is a blend of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo coming from Valle del Guadalupe-Mexico.
If you can recommend one wine to any leader in the world, who would it be and what would you recommend?
Boris Johnson. I’d recommend vintage Tignanello (1982, 1997), I heard he’s a big Super Tuscan wine lover.
If you can drink any wine in the world, which wine would you like to have?
A wine I’ve never tasted before.
If you are a wine, how would you imagine your tasting note would be like?
Just like a 1992 vintage Port. Still too young to open; needs some more time to fully express. There’s already some good consistency, strong tannins, good body, amazing aromas and intensity in the mouth. Keep it for the future.
What makes you happy?
Work hard, travel around the world, enjoy good wines and mostly enjoy with the people I love.
If you can only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’d probably go for Graham’s 1972 single harvest Tawny port. It’s the only wine that left in me such a vivid impression that I can still feel it today.