A year without Il Dottore : Franco Biondi Santi’s Montalcino legacy

by Laura Gray on April 7, 2014

BS Hat This time last year we were all at Vinitaly, in sad little clusters, grieving the passing of Dott. Franco Biondi Santi, “The Gentleman of Brunello. This in fact is the title of a biography about him, written by Montalcino expert, Kerin O’Keefe. Read her touching tribute to him here. The passing of Il Dottore at the age of 91 undoubtedly marks the end of an era in Montalcino, as described wonderfully by Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate Italian reviewer:

The passing of this paternal, almost spiritual figure has left Montalcino an orphan. Without its protective, gentlemanly dottore strolling through town with his cane and his fur-trimmed orange coat, Montalcino is in uncharted waters. There is a budding realization among Brunello producers that they must be cordial, neighborly and rely on each other moving forward. For the first time in years, I experienced a noticeably happier Montalcino during my trip there in January. My hope is that we have entered an era of promise and optimism on the ongoing Brunello calendar.”

What a wonderful legacy she describes – this would indeed be a fitting tribute to the man and his unflagging determination to defend the identity of his wine.

Etichetta BS

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