Houston Sommelier Association Hosts Iconic Brunello Producer Alessandro Bindocci
More than 20 of Houston's top wine professionals gathered yesterday at the weekly meeting of the Houston Sommelier Association. The occasion was an advanced seminar and guided tasting with winemaker Alessandro Bindocci from the Tenuta Il Poggione, iconic producer of Brunello di Montalcino and one of the appellation's oldest wineries.
Photo by Jeremy Parzen. The Houston Sommelier Association seminars have been attracting some of the world's top winemakers, including Brunello producer Alessandro Bindocci, who spoke yesterday at the group's weekly gathering.
Attendees included three Houstonians who are poised to become Master Sommeliers within the next 12 months: Steven McDonald (now wine director at the flagship Pappas Brothers Steakhouse); HSA co-founder Ben Roberts of Masraff's; and HSA co-founder David Keck of Camerata, the venue generally used for the association's tastings and where yesterday's event was held.
(The Court of Master Sommeliers is considered by many to be the world's most prestigious guild for wine professionals; the admission process submits candidates to a grueling series of examinations that cover wine service, blind tasting and -- the most unforgiving of all -- theory.)
Although the "vertical flight" -- the set of different vintages of the same wine -- was incomplete thanks to the government shutdown and bottles (the 2003 and 1999) that had been waylaid by an overburdened and understaffed customs agency, association members and auditors tasted the Tenuta Il Poggione's Rosso di Montalcino 2011, the Brunello di Montalcino 2008, the Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Riserva Paganelli (single-vineyard designate) and the Brunello di Montalcino 1985 Riserva.