Tomorrow is taking place the Assembly of the Consortium of Brunello that should discuss (and possibly vote) about whether in the future Brunello should remain a 100%Sangiovese wine or if other grapes may concur for a small part in it.
I already had the possibility to discuss about this and expressed my view for the mantain of the current 100% Sangiovese composition that characterizes strongly this prestigious Italian wine.
I would like to stress that for this meeting 149 producers of Brunello, which should represent about 60% of votes in the assembly, have expressed support for maintaining the 100% sangiovese composition thus anticipating the today's battle. On the other side, Banfi, the large brunello producers owned by the Mariani family, has issued a statement of a different tone, asking to introduce the possibility to use up to 5% of other grapes to "correct winemaking errors in the cellar". This explanation, however, does not correspond to the arguments that have ben used to now, notably by the former Banfi manager Ezio Rivella, who has supported, notably during a debate transmitted in video-conference with journalist Franco Ziliani, that such a flexibility should be used to allow those winemakers who are located in areas not good enough to produce a brunello 100% sangiovese.
Well, tomorrow we will have a first result of this conflict round one of the most important Italian wines.
In the meantime, it is essential to underline that the wine that received the largest prize as the best brunello of 2003 (and notably the only brunello 2003 selected by the Gambero Rosso) is the Brunello Il Greppo 2003 of Biondi Santi, a pure expression of the tradition (ageing in big oak barrels and with great elegance and less extraction). A good sign for the General Assembly.