Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 1997

Fresobaldi Brunello 1997 #3Frescobaldi Brunello 1997 #4Quite an evolved color; more brown-mahogany at this point.  Denuded, evolved nose: just a bit of tertiaries now, some decay and sous-bois.  This offers so little.  Surely this is a bad bottle, right? We opened a second bottle.  Consistent with the first bottle.  Skip over the conversation about the quality of the tannins, the acidity, the body of the wine; this is not deserving of such a discussion, its that poorly made.

No selection (was ANY of the fruit rejected?).

Cheap, feeble and dilute.


Bankrupt of any merit, character or soul.

Now, throwing aspersions like this has become easy and commonplace in the blogsphere.  I do not want that to be our story.  It should never be easy to trash someone’s work.   In an effort to learn about the Frescobaldi’s Brunello, we have, over the past year, sat down with bottles of Castelgiocondo from what are considered to be good to great years for Tuscan wine: ’88, ’90, ’95, ‘these ’97s, ‘ 98,  ’99.   All save the the ’98 and ’99 were similar to these ’97s and left us cold.  Actually, the feeling is more akin to having just been robbed.  So much so that I am left asking what should be considered very insulting questions: how is Frescobaldi considered one of the great names in Tuscan winemaking?  This is the best you can do in a great vintage like ’97?  Would it not be better to declassify this as Rosso?  Better yet, why bottle this in the first place?  You may think I am being hard, you say.  What about the ’98 and ’99 you referenced?  They were, at best, ‘fair’, certainly not ‘good’; or to put it another way, about what you can get from a decent Chianti Classico from the same vintages .. so why would I recommend that anyone pony up the cash to buy the Castelgiocondo Brunello?  Perhaps you would conclude that the Castelgiocondos from Frescobaldi are not meant to be aged.  And I would ask you what in heavens name is the point if a Brunello … a standard bearer for the best wine Tuscany can produce .. was meant to be consumed in its youth.

Our only recompense is that other folks who are as passionate about wine as we are will think long and hard before forking over any of their hard earned money for any wine that bears the name ‘Frescobaldi’.  From having tasted the aforementioned Castelgiocondo lineup, our humble opinion is they are in it only to steal from you.

Frescobaldi Brunello 1997Frescobaldi Brunello 1997 #3

One thought on “Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 1997

  1. When I read your posts I am taken on a journey with words. The eloquence of your phrasing allows me to feel as if I too am part of the experience. Thank you.

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