Giscours not at fault in chaptalisation confusion

Margaux third growth Château Giscours has said it did mistakenly chaptalise some of its wine in 2016 after an administrative error on the part of the controlling bodies.

As reported yesterday (28 March), Giscours found itself facing a difficult situation when it was accused of having chaptalised some of its Merlot from the 2016 vintage.

The château refuted the suggestion it was engaged in fraudulent activity, saying it had acted in good faith and there had been an error on the part of the Organisme de défense et de gestion (ODG) Margaux.

In a letter seen by the drinks business the president of the ODG admits that on 10 October 2016 authorisation was given to producers to chaptalise their wines by 1˚ but it did not say that Merlot was excluded from this permission.

A following email sent some 45 minutes later did mention that Merlot was not to be chaptalised and this was confirmed the following day (12 October) by the INAO.

However, in the intervening period between the two emails the wine had already been chaptalised by Giscours.

The president of the ODG, Gonzague Lurton, said: “It seems to us that the slowness and complexity of the chain of command led to this situation and does not constitute a deliberate flouting of the rules.”

Furthermore, the château issued a statement saying that once the error was relaised, the cuve containing the chaptalised wine was separated from the others and has not been bottled or distributed in any way.

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