Montalcino, 25th February 2012 – The early harvest was rewarded with four stars for Brunello di Montalcino2011. These were assigned by the jury of experts and producers that this morning, on the occasion of the Benvenuto Brunello, announced publicly their evaluation of the quality of the harvest. The decision to pick the grapes 15 days in advance balanced the effects of the heat wave that struck the Tuscan territory last summer, making the year 2011 another high-level vintage. Now we shall have to wait the regulation 5 years (6 for Riserva) before tasting the Brunello 2011 and having a confirmation of the excellence and high quality of this wine that, potentially, a 4 star harvest provides for. The rest will be guaranteed by the ability of each producer.
Mean time the international 2012 preview continues with the other usual events of Benvenuto Brunello: today the affixing of the commemorative plaque and the assignation of the Leccio d’Oro prizes.
An artist design for the 2011 harvest plaque affixed, following the tradition, to the outside wall of the Montalcino’s Palazzo Pubblico: the image was created this year by the stylists of “Salvatore Ferragamo”, griffe of the internationally renowned fashion house. The same design has been reproduced on T-shirts and sweatshirts for sale at the event. The proceeds of their sale will be used entirely to finance the acquisition of a new ambulance for the Confraternita della Misericordia of Montalcino. The plaque represents an original floral composition in which the vine leaves, stems and bunches of grapes are the background of a glass and a bottle of wine, that take the shape of delicate white and pink flowers. Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo, Salvatore’s daughter, presented the design of the plaque which was reproduced on the T-shirts sold for the purchase of an ambulance donated to the Confraternita della Misericordia di Montalcino.
The “Brunello calendar” that can be admired in the historic centre of Montalcino, is a veritable art gallery with works by artists such as Sandro Chia and Oliviero Toscani, fashion stylists such as
Roberto Cavalli and Ottavio Missoni, cartoonists such as Emilio Giannelli or sport champions such as Deborah Compagnoni.
The recipients of the Leccio d’Oro this year were GAIA RESTAURANT of Hong Kong for the restaurant sector, the BIONDIVINO WINE BOUTIQUE of San Francisco (USA) for the wine shop sector and the ANTICA TRATTORIA SUBAN of Trieste for the bistrot sector.
The Gaia Restaurant (www.gaiagroup.com), one of the best Italian restaurants of Hong Kong, was the first place to be opened by the “Gaia Group” that started in 2000 and spread rapidly throughout China with the opening of several other restaurants and bars. Gaia Restaurant of Hong Kong is managed by Pino Piano: Neapolitan by birth, Piano has travelled all over the world, moving from London to New York until he landed in Hong Kong. The wine lists contain more than 600 bottles, between Italian and French labels.
The Biondivino wine shop (www.biondivino.com) of Ceri Smith was founded in 2006 and is mainly specialized in Italian wines. This exclusive “Italian wine boutique” of San Francisco comprises in its wine list something like 490 wines of twenty different Italian regions of which 150 have a shelf cost of under twenty dollars.
The Antica Trattoria Suban (www.suban.it) of Trieste was born back in 1865 and since then four generations of restorateurs have done their best to carry on the gastronomic tradition born of the fusion of different people, religions, habits and customs. The trattoria was opened and to this day still stands in the Rione di San Giovanni, a stipover area and a passage for the traffic between the Carsica Plane and Trieste. Today the trattoria is managed by Federica Suban.
The jury that chose the candidates is composed as usual by the President of the Consorzio Ezio Rivella and the members of the Committee of the Presidency Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Marco Cortonesi, Giancarlo Pacenti and Fabrizio Bindocci, and of experts Allan Bay, renowned journalist in the food and wine sector and Corriere della Sera writer of the “Vivi Milano” column; food and wine writer of food books for the US market Faith Willinger; President of the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS) Antonello Maietta and President of Gruppo del Gusto of the Foreign Press in Italy Alfredo Tesio.