Many of you will know that last year Gianfranco Fino accomplished the unthinkable. His Primitivo di Manduria Es 2009 was ranked joint number 1 – with Sassicaia 2009 – in Italy in a survey of all 2012 Italian wine guides performed by Gentleman magazine. This feat was unprecedented in southern Italian wine history and was the cause of much pride in the South, Apulia in particular. In many ways, this marked a sort of coming of age for southern Italian wine, the starting point from which this area undoubtedly (and even if I have never doubted, many have) had to be taken extremely seriously on the world stage. After all, it bested many wines that are routinely considered great by Italians and non-Italians alike.
It is no fluke that Gianfranco got this far. His seriousness, extremely hard work and attention to detail – and above all his great passion – have very few peers. Nonetheless, one could of course fear that this was a single event, never to be repeated, thus empowering any detractors. Well, no such luck for whatever few detractors might be left out there! Gianfranco has just done it again, and this time reigns supreme. His Es 2010 is the best wine in Gentleman’s 2013 guide survey, and this time does not have to share the honours with anyone.
I have by now had many opportunities to taste Gianfranco’s wines, and he seems to be going from strength to strength. So, while this new accomplishment is no doubt great, I am in no doubt that Gianfranco will never rest on his laurels. More and better is still to come, even if one might have difficulty imagining that these wines can get much better.
Huge and heartfelt congratulations from cold, wintry Copenhagen to Gianfranco and his wonderful muse Simona. Your wines – liquid sunshine if ever there was – light up our darkness here.