Italy has gotten a two-week reprieve from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) plan to stop shipments of Brunello di Montalcino wines from coming into the country.
Italian authorities, investigating reports that major producers of the Tuscan wine were using other grape, thus violating the law.
The TTB originally told the Italian government it would begin banning Brunello imports on June 9 and would continue to do until Italy provides a list of producers and brand names and vintages of the affected products.
The Italians have been reluctant to comply, and asked for a two-week delay. They now have until June 23 to produce the documents.
Lars Leicht (above), an executive at Banfi, one of Italy's largest Brunello producers and one of its largest U.S. importers, told the Reuters news service that about 20,000 cases of the 2003, or roughly half the vintage, was being held up by Italian authorities "under optimal conditions at the winery."
A quarter of Brunello di Montalcino's annual production is sold in the United States.
To catch up on earlier posts on the topic, check these links:
• Brunello flap gets results
• Brunello di Montalcino production probed
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