PLEASE do not say BABY BRUNELLO! And hypertextual blog love

Above: Sangiovese 2010 at Le Presi.

Do Bianchi is by no means a “rant blog” so let me put this as gently as possible.

PLEASE DO NOT SAY “Baby Brunello” (or “Baby Barbaresco” or “Baby Barolo”)!

(And while we’re at it, please do not say “Super Tuscan” either!)

Baby Brunello: I recently heard this abominable lemma uttered by a colleague, whom I admire greatly for both his palate and his experience in the field, and I felt obligated to speak up against this oft repeated aberration.

Although fruit intended for Brunello di Montalcino often ends up in Rosso di Montalcino, the latter undergoes an entirely different vinification process (generally shorter maceration times) and is primarily made from younger vines and fruit grown in sites not suited for Brunello di Montalcino.

Rosso di Montalcino is intended for drinking its youth and is generally less tannic and more approachable early on. There are exceptions, like Poggio di Sotto’s 2002 Rosso di Montalcino, where Palmucci reclassified his entire harvest as Rosso. But why did he do that? Because the juice, however lip-smackingly delicious, was not worthy of the epithet “Brunello.” (Please note my use of the term in its etymological sense, Lat. epitheton.)

So, please folks, be Brunello and be proud or be Rosso and be proud but don’t use the [ugh] “baby” word!

Tracie P calls me “baby” but she don’t call no Brunello “baby”! ;-)

In other news…

Some wonderful hypertextual blog love has been happening this week. After our friend Giuseppe Vaira sent me and McDuff a stunning photo of sunrise over the Bricco delle Viole in Barolo, McDuff posted this fantastic topographical survey of the growing site and croosadabilia wrote a lovely ode to Piedmont over at ‘na cica de vino. (If you don’t know croosadabilia’s blog, check it out!)

I love (and am fascinated by) the way the blogging medium generates hypertext.

In my case, I quoted a Neil Young lyric, McDuff went the technical contemplative route, and croosadabilia waxed epigrammatic.

How groovy is that?

16 Responses to PLEASE do not say BABY BRUNELLO! And hypertextual blog love

  1. David McDuff says:

    Technical, huh? I resemble that remark! Love how that shot brought out such immediate responses from all of us. The link love just comes naturally in such cases.

  2. Do Bianchi says:

    You are entirely right, my man. Technical is definitely the right word (attribute it to my haste to post this morning). Duly noted and corrected. :-)

    So glad to be part of this community with you man. Good stuff to come…

    happy weekend…

  3. adrian says:

    :-) d’accordo.

  4. Joe says:

    In all due respect (& IMHO) I think that “baby Brunello” is an appropriate nickname for a RdM (that has has Brunello like characteristics) considering that…

    1. “Baby” is a term of endearment (just like when Tracie P calls you “baby”)

    2. Some RdM, like the Poggio di Sotto’s 2002 RdM, are born from declassified Brunello.

    3. Sommeliers & Wikipedia are using the nickname… http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a200906156.html

    4. It’s an easy & fun way to get the point across that the RdM has Brunello like characteristics.

    5. Other nicknames aren’t as cool. “Il Fratello piu’ Giovane del Brunello”, “Brunello’s little brother” etc

  5. Do Bianchi says:

    @Joe thanks for stopping by. “Baby Brunello” isn’t going away, I know that for sure! As per what Kevin wrote (see this post http://dobianchi.com/2010/10/17/things-not-to-say-to-a-wine-professional/), the expression is literally offensive to the Italians who make Brunello, Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone etc. To use the diminutive “baby” in a cognate with austere, regal wines diminishes the wines in their perception. Having said that, our English forms of word play are much different than the Italians’s word play and so I know that know harm is meant. But we often miss the harm perceived by the listener, especially when that listener comes from a different country with different customs, where a different language is spoken.

    Glad to see you here and thanks for the truly thoughtful comment.

    • enotecajoe says:

      No barrique, No “baby Barolo”

      I haven’t heard baby Barolo & baby Barbaresco as much. Ranking the nicknames, most heard to least heard, I would say: 1. baby Brunello (I’ve heard the most) 2. baby Amarone 3. baby Barolo 4. baby Barbaresco

      If Brunello makers want to put an end to the nickname, they should tell their sales people to stop using it. I’ve heard it used at tastings sponsored by the Consorzio Del Vino BdM.

  6. Fred Man says:

    Amen, fratello! ;-)

  7. Lars Makie says:

    Just got an email offer this morning for a wine being touted as a ‘Baby Taurasi’. Who would’ve thought it? The first thing I thought of was this entry and had to share.

  8. Lego says:

    Too true. My pet peeve is how people refer to so many wines these days as ‘Burgundian’. It is one thing to use this term for new world Pinot made in an old world manner, but when I hear people using this word about Barolo/Barbaresco etc my blood pressure starts to rise.

  9. Joe says:

    I want my baby back! My baby Brunello; that is.

    Do Bianchi: You say that “the expression is literally offensive to the Italians who make Brunello”

    How many Brunello producers have told you this?

    I heard back from a friend, who makes Brunello, and she is not offended by the term “Baby Brunello”.

    Maybe she’ll post here…

  10. Do Bianchi says:

    @Joe thanks for the follow-up! I would love for your friend to comment and share (who is she?).

    The funny thing is that not long after I posted this, an Italian colleague of mine wrote “Barolino,” in reference to a Langhe Nebbiolo, essentially calling it a Baby Barolo.

    I can name at least two Brunello producers who share my sentiment, Le Presi and Il Poggione.

  11. Joe says:

    Francesca Padovani from Fonterenza

    I asked her if she was offended by the nickname “Baby Brunello” or if she thought that other Brunello producers are offended by it and she said “No why?” So, it must depend on the producers.

    I sent her a link to this article.

  12. Do Bianchi says:

    I know Francesca! Tasted with her two years ago at Vini Veri! Would love to hear her voice here at Do Bianchi!

  13. Joe says:

    Cool! I’ve been wanting to go to Vini Veri. I see her out here, in SF. She’s very nice. She’s done the Consorzio Del Vino BdM tastings and Farm Wines a couple of times too.

  14. markas says:

    “”” and is primarily made from younger vines and fruit grown in sites not suited for Brunello di Montalcino.

    Rosso di Montalcino is intended for drinking its youth and is generally less tannic and more approachable early on. There are exceptions, like Poggio di Sotto’s 2002 Rosso di Montalcino, where Palmucci reclassified his entire harvest as Rosso. But why did he do that? Because the juice, however lip-smackingly delicious, was not worthy of the epithet “Brunello.””””

    Like you said “BABY BRUNELLO”…lol…your own words make you look like a pompass idiot. No one I know intends the term to be official in any sense or uses it in a way other than as a useful descriptor. It is an easily understood term for communicating with others who are generally less experienced or less serious wine consumers or drinkers. I certainly am in favor of providing the clarifying distinctions and differences between a Brunello and a Rosso, a Barbaresco, Barolo, etc. and any other additional information to those interested in gaining a greater education in wine classification and winemaking, but not everyone has such an interest. Many people simply want to know what they are purchasing or what is in their glass. Semanticism by pretentious wine snobs needs to be put in it’s place and kept from negatively influencing casual or new drinkers. Marketers and producers copyright, tradermark and regulate new terms such as Meritage and Super Tuscan on a regular basis. Also, the use of “official designations” in general is a fraud at it’s core, and usually has nothing more than the benefit of time and money on it’s side as far as what is behind such established classifications being accepted and recognized as “official”.

    I think I’ll go open a wonderful bottle of 1995 Mouton that “baby” first growth, or is it a “super” second growth. I guess I can call it a Premier Crus Bordeaux, the Rothschilds are very wealthy and prominent members of the Primum Familiae Vini(PFV) and it did take them a long time to jump through all the right hoops and schmooze the right people. Mouton, a first growth…lol…I can hear my bottles of ‘Petrus and Cheval Blanc starting to rattle in my cellar.
    After all is said, it’s nothing more than fermented grape juice.
    Enjoy whatever is in the glass in front of you in the moment! Peace out & listen to some Dub FX! Do DMT!
    markas
    “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
    -Terence McKenna

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