According to Italian wine regs, any wine labeled Brunello must come from a delimited area south of Florence and contain 100-percent sangiovese grosso (brunello) grapes. But several big-name Brunello boys have been caught Parkerizing their wines with cabernet and other unsanctioned varities. These adulterated wines may be more palatable to some palates, but vineyards, cellars, and cases of wine have been seized by zealous wine wardens. Rules is rules.
You’d think that the Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino would have enough on its hands as it is, but the group has also gone after a California producer, Petroni Vineyards, for calling one of its wines Brunello di Sonoma. “The name refers to the grape and not the place where it is produced,” says owner Lorenzo Petroni. Certainly true technically. Doubtless true stylistically, too.
Taste for yourself at a dinner Petroni is presenting at Oloroso on Tuesday September 29 at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the embattled Brunello, Petroni produces a Rosso di Sonoma, cabs, syrahs, chardonnays, sauvignon blancs and olive oil, most of which chef Josh Cross will be pairing with his Tuscan (oops — should we say Tuscanesque?) menu. For information and/or reservations, call (210) 223-3600.