My father Fabrizio Bindocci remembers Giulio Gambelli

A few days ago, Giulio Gambelli passed away. He was a historical figure in Tuscan enology, with a great palate and innate ability as a taster, a talent he refined over the course of many years. A highly capable man but at the same time a paragon of modesty who believed in the potential of Tuscan wines produced using only Sangiovese. He always said that winemakers are the ones who make the wines together with the land and the vine. He was a simple taster who gave his advice to winemakers on what to do in the cellar without forcing them to denaturalize their wines. He made his first visit to Montalcino in the early 1970s when the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino asked him to visit all of the producers in the appellation. He drove his famous Renault 4 from winery to winery, tasted the wine from the barrel or vat, and then he would patiently and phlegmatically explain the importance of cleanliness in the cellar, precision in vinification, the importance of racking, etc. But always with the humility typical of the greats in the world of wine. When he came to visit us at Il Poggione, we liked to have him taste from cask. After our tasting, we would head over to the Trattoria Il Pozzo where we would continue tasting wines from bottle paired with classic Tuscan dishes. I was proud to know him and our friendship was the source of great joy. Every year, we would speak to catch up and wish each other happy holidays. But this year, season’s greetings didn’t arrive. He was... Read more >

Requiescat in pace: Giulio Gambelli

Photo from the Lavinium. Necrology by the Decanter Magazine. Giulio Gambelli, one of the giants of Tuscan wine, has died at the age of 86. Gambelli – who was known as Bicchierino (or ‘Little Glass’) – was celebrated as one of Italy’s greatest connoisseurs of Sangiovese, and recognised as a superb taster. He was born in 1925 in Poggibonsi in Siena, and joined Enopolio de Poggibonsi, which was then one of the largest wineries in the region, at the age of 14 as a cellar hand. At Enopolio his tasting skills came to the notice of its director, Tancredi Biondi Santi, who took him on as his assistant in the company’s laboratory, where Gambelli started a lifelong study of Sangiovese. In a career spanning nearly 70 vintages Gambelli's most renowned consultancies were with the Brunello di Montalcino of Soldera and Chianti Classico of Montevertine, but his importance was as an unwavering proponent of the use of the Sangiovese grape as a monovarietal at a time when Tuscan wineries were busily experimenting with blending Sangiovese with international grapes. In this he was far ahead of his time. The importance of Sangiovese, in its own right, is now undisputed in Tuscany, and, arguably, it was Gambelli's work that led to that recognition. Among many plaudits he received, Le Pergole Torte of Montevertine, on which he consulted, featured in Decanter's 2008 list of Italy's 50 Greatest Wines. Journalist Carlo Macchi, who published a biography of Gambelli in 2007 (pictured) described him as ‘the last Sangiovese butterfly [that] for the past sixty-five years, instead of flying off, has been creating wines that make you feel... Read more >

Vintage 2010 Brunello: Benfinita meal to mark the end of a good harvest

As every year we have celebrated the "Benfinita" last Sunday, celebrating the end of the harvest. Over 160 people, including our workers and their families, attended, for a great lunch inside our winery.   We drank the most recent vintages of Il Poggione wines and ate typical food, like pinci with wild duck sauce, wildboar, and roasted larks cooked on the roasting spit... Read more >

Our support of Mr. Franco Ziliani

  The man in the right of the photo is Mr. Franco Ziliani, standing next to my father Fabrizio Bindocci. Mr. Ziliani is one of the best Italian wine writers and his blog, which is called "Vino al Vino", is one of the most popular wine blogs in the Italy. Earlier this year, he and my father led a vertical tasting of Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino from the 1973 to 2004 vintages at the historic Villa Braida in the Veneto. Last week, Mr. Ziliani has decided to suspend his blog.  This post is dedicated to Mr. Ziliani: we wish to thank you for your important voice in the world of the wine blogging and the "enogiornalismo".  And we most sincerely hope to read your writings again very soon, whether in your blog or in the many "testate" that you write for so many important wine revues. We also thank you for your great support of Il Poggione and our traditional Brunello di... Read more >