Important: TTB Guidelines for Brunello Imports

Today, the U.S. Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade bureau published guidelines for Brunello imports as of June 23, when all importers will be required to submit a statement by the Italian government that wine has been made from 100% Sangiovese grapes in accordance with the appellation regulations.

At Il Poggione, we have had our wine tested by an outside laboratory since 2003 and all of our Brunello has been certified as 100% Sangiovese. In order to determine whether the wine is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, the laboratory analyzes the "anthocyanic composition" of the wine. If the wine contains more than 5% malvidin 3 acetylglucoside (a flavonoid), then it contains grapes other than Sangiovese.

Here are the guidelines (published in a TTB "industry circular":

    TTB Actions and Required Statement for CBP Release

    TTB has requested CBP [the United States Customs and Border Protection], beginning on June 23, 2008, to withhold the release of all shipments of Brunello di Montalcino wine from CBP custody unless the importer submits to CBP a statement from the Italian Government attesting that the Brunello di Montalcino meets the requirements of the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and is acceptable for sale as such in Italy.  This statement must be in English or, if in Italian, accompanied by an English translation.

    A copy of the required statement must be maintained at the importer’s premises.  Permittees are cautioned that the marketing of a mislabeled wine is unlawful under the FAA Act.  Until further notice, if TTB finds Brunello di Montalcino wine in the U.S. marketplace which was released from CBP custody on or after June 23, 2008, and the importer does not have the corresponding required statement, TTB will consider it a willful violation and may take appropriate action which could include suspension or revocation of the importer’s basic permit.


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