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WSET vs. the Court - Different Ageing Requirements for Brunello di Montalcino ?

Good morning,

I've just completed my WSET Advanced course, and I'm really confused by the large discrepancy in ageing requirements for Brunello di Montalcino between WSET and the Court.  The Court's Guildsomm regulations section for Brunello di Montalcino DOCG lists Brunello as :  2 years in wood, plus 4 months in bottle.   The Court says this information was last updated in 2015.

WSET states: (in the textbook) "The regulations for Brunello di Montalcino stipulate that the wine must undergo a minimum ageing of five years before it is sold, two of which must be in oak."

Why such a large delta here and who is correct, WSET or the Court?

  • Thank you, Gregory.  I see what happened here.  The phrasing is totally different from WSET and the Court.  The Compendium regulations shows this:   Aging Requirements: 

    • Brunello: Minimum 2 years in wood plus 4 months in bottle, may not be sold before January 1 of the 5th year following the harvest
    • Brunello Riserva: Minimum 2 years in wood plus 6 months in bottle, may not be sold before January 1 of the 6th year following the harvest

    So, this makes sense now.  It's just that the WSET is saying 5 years is the total ageing requirement, whereas the DOCG/Compendium phrases it not as ageing per se but 'may not be sold before either the 5th or 6th years folllowing harvests."  That's where the 5 years ageing from WSET came from; it's just not as specific as the Compendium information.

    Thanks again.

  • Of course. Be careful here though. As I read JT, January 1 5th year following harvest really means 4 years of aging, since harvest was only a couple of months previous to that and your fermentation takes a few weeks, especially in the older style Italian wines. I could be completely wrong, but that’s how I read it. It’s why Barolo Riserva reads 62 months following harvest, when most people summarize as 5 years. 

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