Local magistrates have released approximately half the production of Marchesi de' Frescobaldi's Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 2003 from impoundment after laboratory tests concluded that the wine contained only Sangiovese, as required by Brunello DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) regulations.
According to Lamberto Frescobaldi, who oversees production of all his family's estates in Tuscany and beyond, the cleared wine consists of 469 hectoliters (equivalent to around 5,200 cases) of yet-to-be-bottled Brunello. The winery has already bottled 5,000 cases, which remain under the scrutiny of the magistrates, who have not said when Frescobaldi can expect further results.
"This is a welcome step in the right direction," said Frescobaldi. "But it's going to take some time yet before things are cleared up completely in Montalcino."
Frescobaldi is the second winery in Montalcino to receive clearance from the magistrates; the first wine to be cleared was Antinori's Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2003, in June. The Italian finance police, the Guardia di Finanza, seized Frescobaldi's Brunello in April 2008, together with the Brunellos of Antinori (Pian delle Vigne), Argiano and Castello Banfi, as part of an investigation led by Siena public prosecutor Nino Calabrese. The producers were suspected of blending in varieties other than Sangiovese.
Argiano declassified its Brunello 2003 in June and released it as a Toscana IGT, Il Duemilatre di Argiano (the 2003 of Argiano), to avoid delays as the investigation proceeded. Castello di Banfi is still awaiting clearance.
Tom Blair — Little Silver, NJ — October 3, 2011 6:19pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions