Above: A political cartoon poking fun at Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi who called a fan a “ball breaker” at a rally last year.
The Latin expression par condicio is used in contemporary Italian to denote “equal air time.” (See my explanation of its origin here.)
In keeping with our “fair and balanced” policy of reporting Italian wine news, Franco and I have published this enthusiastic review of the 2004 Brunello di Montalcino by Banfi by our friend, respected colleague, and Italian wine authority Charles Scicolone at VinoWire. Charles called it “classical” in style and “the best Brunello that Banfi has ever produced.”
I haven’t tasted the wine yet but am looking forward to tasting it at the earliest opportunity and I will promptly post my tasting notes.
Another authority on Italian wine, Kyle Phillips, also gave the wine a good review in his excellent overview of 2004 Brunello. I really like what Kyle had to say about the annus horribilis in Montalcino and how the 2004 bottlings tend toward “garnet” in color as opposed to the opacity favored by certain producers in the past:
- It is quite possible that those who in the past bent the rules, adding other things to make their Brunello more appealing to the international markets before bottling it (while some people to blend wines made from several varietals at the outset, many prefer to keep the varietals separate until bottling, because doing so allows them more control over the wine) decided to forego the practice, and I cannot but view this development favorably, as I think that a well-made Sangiovese has no need of crutches. I also think it is sad that it took the concrete threat of criminal investigation to deter the practice, and can only hope that garnet will continue to be as prevalent in future vintages as it was in this one.
I, too, hope that “garnet will continue to be prevalent” and — to borrow a phrase from James Suckling — that Montalcino producers will continue to “let Brunello be Brunello.” (For the record, Suckling liked the 04 Brunello by Banfi as well and gave it 93/100 points.)