Top US wine writer John Foy profiles Mazzoni winemaker Alessandro Bindocci

This week, syndicated US wine writer John Foy profiles Mazzoni winemaker Alessandro Bindocci (below) and the Tenuta Il Poggione where Mazzoni wines are produced…

alessandro bindocci

Brunello di Montalcino has gone through a sea change since the 1970s, but one of the anchors of this area and its wine is Il Poggione.

In the late 1800s, Florentine landowner Lavinio Franceschi trekked from his estate to the distant hills of the Montalcino area south of Siena. He wanted to see the land where his Shepard moved the flock of sheep for their regular winter stay, singing praises of the area’s beauty. After seeing it for himself, Franceschi purchased land in 1890 in Sant’Angelo in Colle, part of the Montalcino community.

Today, the property, named Il Poggione, is in the hands of Franceschi’s great-grandchildren Leopoldo and Livia Franceschi. They continue the mixed agriculture of vineyards, crops and animal-raising started more than a century ago by their adventurous and enterprising ancestor.

The region’s wine, Brunello di Montalcino has undergone a profound transformation. What was a locally consumed rustic red wine is now an internationally acclaimed wine of various styles. Some producers make New World-styled brunellos using overripe fruit and designer flavored yeasts, aging all the wine in new French oak barrels, and other winemaking tricks. Other wineries, such as Il Poggione, use modern technology but restrain the winemaking manipulation. They offer clean, fresh brunello di Montalcino that holds its heritage high.

Winemaker Alessandro Bindocci, 32, visited New York two weeks ago with his latest Il Poggione wines. Bindocci is following in the footsteps of his father, Fabrizio, who began his career at Il Poggione in 1976 as the assistant winemaker, and progressed to winemaker and director.

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