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Margaux creates new security system and third wine

The "bubble tag" system has been developed by Château Margaux toprevent counterfeiting and has been placed on every bottle packagedsince the first week of March.

The tag comes in the form of a small plastic label and includes a bubble pattern, an alphanumeric code and an Internet data matrix that is unique to each bottle.

To verify authenticity, the owner simply goes to the estate’s website, enters the alphanumeric code and then compares the bubble pattern that appears. Each pattern is apparently impossible to duplicate.

This is not a new step for the château, since 1990 all bottles have been etched with a laser code as a guarantee of their provenance.

Counterfeiting and provenance are the constant headache for Bordeaux’s top estates, auctioneers and collectors alike.

Allegations of counterfeit or fake wines have haunted houses such as Christie’s and Acker Merrall & Condit, notably at the hands of millionaire wine collector, Bill Koch.
Then again, the guaranteed provenance of first growths from companies such as Bordeaux Winebank has been shown to be hugely beneficial in generating healthy returns.

The news comes as the château announced it would be launching a third wine to complement the estate’s named offering and second wine, Pavillon Rouge.

The name of the new wine is not yet known but it is reported that it will not be offered en primeur.

Apparently, the high quality of the 2009 vintage was the catalyst for this event. Normally, wine not considered good enough for the first or second wines is declassified and made into a generic AOC.

The success of 2010 also made it “highly likely” that a third wine would be made from that year too according to managing director Paul Pontallier.

Rupert Millar, 31.03.2011

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