Italians 'spoofing' wine

This doesn't seem to be a new story, though it is interesting that it comes on the heels of most importers raising prices. There are two stories here; One is about companies like Banfi and Antinori blending their Montalcinos (which should be 100% Sangiovese), the other about cheaper wines having chemicals added.

The latter story isn't anything new at all. To save money, cheap wineries boost certain flavours of wine with chemicals. A decade ago, we were hearing about oak chips being used to 'adulterate' wines. Everyone was up in arms over the concept that California wineries (and Australian, to a lesser degree) were putting oak chips in their must, rather than fermenting in a new oak barrel. As it has been discovered, it makes for pretty terrible wine.

What I'd like to know (and probably won't for a while) is which vineyards are accused of doing so. My guess is that it's the more commercial cheapies, which means none of my wines are affected. I should probably make some calls, though, and find out directly from my distributors whether my two cheap wines are at issue.

In regards to the former story...

Duh. There is more demand for wine these days, especially from the big guys like Banfi. Their vineyards are not getting any bigger, and their vines are getting older, and producing fewer grapes. Which means less must, which means less wine. With the current obsession by collectors of buying futures, less wine is available for public purchase. So they turn to blending to have enough wine for everyone who wants it.

Capitalism strikes again. And they got caught. Oh, big surprise. The Italians aren't very good about things like quality control (their DOC and DOCG classifications don't really mean a whole lot when it comes to quality), but they're great about policing after the fact.

I'm going to go pick up a bottle of tasty Dolcetto. They can keep doing what they want. As long as it tastes good, people will buy it.

ON EDIT: It should be Brunello, not Montalcino.

No comments: