I just received news that the TTB has backed off from its demand for laboratory analyses from Montalcino. In April, the TTB or Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade bureau had requested a list of Brunello producers implicated in the current Brunello controversy. In May, after the Consortium of Brunello producers and the Italian government had failed to respond, the Americans informed them that unless they received the list by June 23 (the original date was set for June 9), they would block imports of Brunello unaccompanied by laboratory analysis certifying that the wine was made from 100% Sangiovese. Evidently, following meetings last week between the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Luca Zaia, and his American counterpart, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, the Americans have agreed to lift the requirement.
This is great news. It came to me via a letter circulated by the National Association of Beverage Importers.
Frankly, I feel that the whole issue had been blown out of proportion by a series of misunderstandings and mishaps.
I’m writing from the road today (stayed in Vegas last night) but will post more tomorrow on what this will mean for Brunello and for us Brunello lovers (an association of which I am a card-carrying member!).