Wojciech Bońkowski
Wine & tea writing

Franco Biondi Santi dies

Franco Biondi Santi dies. A personal tribute for Italy’s greatest wine aristocrat.

Monumental Brunellos

Day 3 of Brunello visits, including two monumental wines: 1998 and 1995 Poggio al Vento from Col d’Orcia.

Brunello: exploring the heights

Visiting the top Brunello estates with Tim Atkin MW: quick summary & photos.

Drinkable Brunello

Brunello 2007 is fun to drink, at long last.

The Italian disease

Absenteeism is poisoning the Italian wine industry. Producers are shamelessly taking advantage of others.

Montalcino still at war

Montalcino is still at war. The idea of allowing grapes other than Sangiovese into Rosso di Montalcino has boomeranged. But is it really Montalcino’s biggest problem? I don’t think so.

Extra virgin upper crust

Fantastic tasting of extra virgin olive oils from the DOP Chianti Classico area. Controlled appellation oils are really classy – unlike for wine, DOP for oil is a seriously reliable endorsement.

Out of the pink

I’ve got a great idea for Brunello di Montalcino producers to ease themselves out of the sales crunch. Make rosé. Not only because it’s fashionable, but because Montalcino pinks can be seriously good.

Brunello depression

Montalcino – formerly one of Italy’s most prestigious wine locations – has become an evil place with plenty of bad energy and hidden agendas. No wonder many wines taste completely charmless, including from the newly released 2006 vintages. Expectations were high but many wines are disappointing. Click to find out which aren’t.

Agony and ecstasy

2005 is by no means a bad vintage for Tuscany, but in Montalcino almost everything has been done to make it worse than it could have been.