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Saturday 1 November 2014

Argiano acquitted in ‘Brunellogate’ trial

10th July, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Italian wine producer Argiano has been acquitted of the charges relating to 2008 “Brunellogate” scandal, in circumstances that are only just being reported.

Argiano-4by6A Siena court announced in May that there was “no evidence” to support the accusation that Argiano had adulterated its supposedly 100% Sangiovese wines with international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

In a statement released through its US importer, Vias in New York, the winery declared: “This ruling, following the media hype which caused the scandal that enraged wine lovers throughout the world, sees Argiano emerge as the only winery in Montalcino to be prosecuted, appeal and be ­absolved of all charges.”

The scandal (referenced in the drinks business’ Top 10 Wine Scandals) saw some of Brunello di Montalcino’s most prestigious winemakers accused of mixing illegal grape varieties into their DOCG wines.

Thousands of bottles were declassified to IGT status, Argiano alone declassifying 80,000 bottles.

Argiano was recently bought by Brazilian investors from the Countess Noemia Marone Cinzano, who had been the owner since 1992.

Administrator Giorgio Gabelli said at the time of the acquittal, that the decision had been a “promising source of satisfaction for the whole company, and gives us a renewed enthusiasm for development programmes that the new owners intend to continue in order to increase and improve the vineyards of this historic and unique estate.”

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