The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2013

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Page 82 of 152

True to the Roots DEPARTMENT HEADER PHOTO COURTESY OF TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL A DEFT BALANCE OF INNOVATION AND TRADITION ALLOWS IL POGGIONE TO STAND OUT IN MONTALCINO by Tom Caestecker, Jr. T he aspect of tradition is so axiomatic in Italian winemaking that, for some in the industry, it might produce a bit of obstinacy. This can be true for both government authorities loath to tweaking regulations, or insistent and stubborn vintners who cling to a hard line. Alessandro Bindocci, winemaker for the famed Montalcino-based Il Poggione (along with his winemaking father, Fabrizio), is not bound by intractability. To be sure, he's reverent toward the example of his father and Tenuta Il Poggione's historic mastery of Brunello. But Bindocci is always on the cutting edge of both enology and technology—and not merely because his trusty smartphone monitors the minutiae of the winemaking process. His blog, Montalcino Report (, is unique to the region. He has also introduced critical winemaking techniques that have dovetailed nicely with the bevy of traditional practices. Inventive Enology Alessandro Bindocci is the winemaker for Il Poggione and Mazzoni, along with his winemaker father, Fabrizio. Global climate change has drawn out the inventiveness and spirit of the Bindoccis. They have long argued that irrigation will be necessary in future vintages, with prolonged heat droughts more likely. Montalcino's bureaucracy has, until recently, been reluctant to change the regulations involving irrigation. But this past summer, emergency irrigation was finally allowed. "Although it does not affect the 2013 vintage, it will apply to 2014," says Bindocci. "It took some time and a lot of talking to the officials, but [obtaining] emergency irrigation is a great achievement." PHOTO COURTESY OF TERLATO WINES One of the original three producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta Il Poggione was founded at the end of the 19th century and is still owned by the fifth generation of the Franceschi family. Despite the romantic appearance, winemaking is state-of-the-art. 82  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2013 TP1213_064-103.indd 82 11/25/13 8:21 AM

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