The Italian government has created a certification process for Brunello producers exporting to the United States, which has effectively ended the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's (TTB) embargo to ban all Brunello. The threats were made after the Italian government was unable to guarantee that exported Brunello was made with 100% Sangiovese grapes.
Since November 2007, the Italian police have been investigating whether Montalcino producers are using grapes other than Sangiovese in their Brunellos, in violation of DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) rules. Although investigations continue in Italy, Brunello producers that pass an inspection are clear to export to the United States, reports Wine Spectator.
The Florence office of the ICQ (Central Inspectorate for the Control of Quality of Agri-food) is now responsible for authenticating Brunello wines with lab tests. Successful producers should receive a certificate within 15 days allowing them to export to the U.S. The TTB confirmed the certification process satisfies the agency's requirement.
Wine & Spirits Daily