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Vega Sicilia offers to replace 100,000 bottles

Spanish producer Vega Sicilia has offered to replace 100,000 bottles of its Pintia wine and won't release a 2010 vintage of Alion, due to excessive levels of sediment.

Vega Sicilia’s managing director, Pablo Alvarez, wrote to clients on 1 April to apologise for the problems with 2009 vintage Pintia. He offered to replace them with either the 2008 vintage or the upcoming 2010 release, although also advised consumers to try decanting the wine first.

Pintia is a relatively new venture for the Alvarez family, and is produced from grapes in Spain’s Toro region. The first vintage was released in 2001 and around 250,000 bottles were produced from the 2009 vintage.

‘Last year, we noticed above-normal levels of sediment in our 2009 Pintia wines and our subsequent analyses have shown an excess of anthocyanins,’ Alvarez told Decanter.com. ‘It is simply a clarification error in the winemaking process, nothing more.

‘It’s a great shame because the 2009 was a superb vintage of Pintia, but we understand a wine like this cannot remain in the market,’ he added.

The estate will also not release the 2010 vintage of Alion, which has suffered similar problems of excess sediment in the wines.

According to Alvarez, the issue has affected more than 500,000 bottles of wine in total, at significant expense to the estate.

‘Of course, this was a hard decision, and a costly one. But ultimately, we have shown great respect to our clients. We told the truth, declared a problem and acted in the best interests of our customers.’

This article was updated on 06/05/2014, exchanging the term ‘recall’ for ‘offers to replace’ and to make clear that Vega Sicilia has also encouraged consumers to try decanting their bottles of Pintia 2009.

Written by James Lawrence

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