More Brunello gets the nod

The Italian authorities have released more Brunello wines after failing to prove they were anything other than 100% Sangiovese.

The Siena prosecutor's office has cleared all Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2003 after tests proved that the wine adheres to appellation rules. Prosecutors have already released seized consignments of Antinori and Fresconaldi wine following an investigation involving 90 estates.

But some are now saying the Brunello DOC rules are too tight and producers should have the flexibility to blend other varieties in small quantities.

David Gleave MW, managing director of Liberty Wines, said: "Trying to stick with 100% Sangiovese will just mean that the law will become devalued.

"I remember in 1989 Pierluigi Talenti, then the manager of Il Poggione, saying

it was only with the advent of DOC in 1967 that Brunello became 100% Sangiovese. Up until then, most producers, though not Biondi Santi, had made Brunello primarily from Sangiovese, but with other varieties in the blend.

"Many producers have carried on using what the Italians call a 'corretivo' for their Brunello, a bit of another variety to help the notoriously difficult Sangiovese .

The law should change so that producers can use up to 10% of other varieties."