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Italian police seize fake Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti wines

Brunello di Montalcino producers will join police in prosecuting suspected fraudsters after authorities seized thousands of bottles of alleged counterfeit Italian wine fine.

No local producers were involved in the counterfeiting, says Brunello di Montalcino Consorzio

Italian police said last week they have uncovered tens of thousands bottles of suspected fake wines that claim on labels to be among some of Italy’s best, such as Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico.

The seizure suggests that wine counterfeiting could be as much a problem for Italy’s best wine regions and top estates as it is for their counterparts in France.

Precise details of the wines seized are not fully known at this stage, although the winery of Andrea Bocelli, the renowned Italian tenor, is reported to have been among those targeted.

The news has caused disappointment and anger among Italian producers.

‘This affair damages not only us, as a great international wine brand, but also high quality Italian production as a whole,’ said Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the Consorzio for Brunello di Montalcino wines.

He underlined that there is no evidence of any involvement by the region’s wine producers. ‘The entire issue took place far from Montalcino and the key players have nothing to do with the world of wine,’ he said.

The Consorzio plans to join any criminal proceedings against suspected counterfeiters as a civil party.

Some producers praised Italian police for their efforts. ‘It’s a good thing that they have been caught,’ said Olalla Lopez-Corona, export manager for Barone Ricasoli.

‘We must say thank you for the controls in place,’ she told Decanter.com at this week’s London Wine Fair.

Written by Chris Mercer

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