Italian police have closed their investigation into the alleged adulteration of Brunello di Montalcino.
The investigation followed Siena public prosecutor Nino Calabrese’s 2008 accusation that several Montalcino wineries had used grapes other than Sangiovese in their Brunellos di Montalcino and Rossos di Montalcino.
This would have been a violation of strict appellation rules.
In the spring of 2008 Calabrese confiscated 6.5m litres of Brunello di Montalcino and 700,000 litres of Rosso di Montalcino from producers including Antinori, Frescobaldi, Argiano and Castello Banfi.
Biondi Santi and Col d’Orcia, who were also involved in the original investigation, were fully cleared of any wrongdoing.
The wines were subjected to laboratory tests conducted by a government agricultural office in Florence.
Police have not given specific test results but say that 1.3m litres of Brunello and 680,000 litres of Rosso, Chianti Classico and other reds were compulsorily declassified to the less strict Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) category, while 100,000 liters of the non-Brunello wines were ordered to be distilled.
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Written by David Furer