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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
3 Jun 2010

After dramatic last-minute machinations, it has just been revealed that the secret ballot to elect the new president of the Brunello di Montalcino consortium revealed that arch-modernist Ezio Rivella of Banfi garnered most votes and will now direct the fortunes of this controversial wine.

Until very recently it looked as though the most prominent woman in Montalcino, Donatello Cinelli Colombini, would win, but at the eleventh hour, in a move that took many by surprise, she withdrew her candidacy and threw her weight behind Rivella. Concerned that this would be the final nail in the Brunello coffin, and that Piemonte-born Rivella would encourage the use of grape varieties other than Brunello (Sangiovese), veteran winemaker Fabrizio Bindocci of the respected estate Il Poggione declared his own bid for the presidency yesterday.

In an open letter sent to and published by Italy's leading wine blogger Franco Ziliani, traditionalist Bindocci asked his fellow council members for their support, having previously endorsed Cinelli. An English-language version of the letter can be found on his son Alessandro Bindocci's blog, MontalcinoReport.com, where the result of the ballot has just been published.

It seems as though the juggernaut rolling towards the likes of Syrah di Montalcino is unstoppable.