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Old 06-11-2008, 02:58 PM
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From the Wine Spectator
By: Jo Cooke and Mitch Frank
Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The cloud surrounding the Tuscan hilltop town of Montalcino has spread eastward to its neighbor and historic rival—Montepulciano. Italy's financial police agency, the Guardia di Finanza, has closed the Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano, a large producer, impounding many of its wines, while investigating whether it illegally blended wines from outside Tuscany into its own. Vecchia Cantina is one of the largest producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. And other local producers are also under investigation.

Meanwhile, back in Montalcino, where some producers are accused of using grapes other than Sangiovese in their Brunellos di Montalcino, the president of the local producers consortium has resigned just a day after the Italian minister of agricultural policy announced a plan to temporarily strip the Consorzio di Brunello of its authority to oversee production quality. Luca Zaia, the agricultural minister, appointed a three-person "Committee of Guarantee," made up of outside experts, to "safeguard Brunello's image and guarantee the integrity of the product to consumers worldwide," according to a statement from his office. Zaia is attempting to stave off a U.S. embargo on Brunello, and has been meeting with officials from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco and Trade Bureau (TTB). <snip>

More can be found at Wine Spectator | Articles | Montepulciano Wines Caught in Growing Tuscan Scandal

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