Because we were recording all day, I was offline yesterday when the news broke: my friend Fabrizio Bindocci, winemaker at the historic Montalcino estate Il Poggione, has been named the new president of the Brunello bottlers association.
The news came in the wake of Ezio Rivella’s sudden departure from the post on June 8 (for personal reasons, he reported in a press release issued by Montalcino mouthpiece WineNews.it).
It’s hard to believe that nearly ten years have passed since the disastrous 2003 vintage and more than four years since the Brunello controversy exploded in 2008.
In my view, Rivella’s presidency only prolonged the issue (remember when Rivella told an Italian journalist that 80 percent of Brunello was made with grapes other than Sangiovese?).
Fabrizio is a Tuscan (Rivella is from Piedmont and didn’t even keep a residence in Montalcino while president, opting instead to commute from Rome); he was born and raised in Montalcino; he has worked for Il Poggione since 1976; and he is one of the most respected and beloved winemakers in Tuscany today.
His presidency marks a new (and happy) chapter in the saga of Montalcino and I — along with many other lovers of Brunello — could not be more thrilled.
Tracie P and I will visit with Fabrizio later this year when we travel to Montalcino.