Bordeaux owner fined for illegal addition of carbon

Friday, 1 March, 2013
The owner of an estate in Lussac Saint Emilion has been fined €5,000, with a further €5,000 suspended, for adding oenological carbon to his finished wine.
The adding of carbon is only allowed in red wines before or during vinification. The winemaker, who has not been named, added the carbon to 230 hectolitres of wine for the 2008 vintage, 199hl of which were then sold in bulk as AOC Lussac Saint-Emilion to a Bordeaux wine merchant. The wine itself was then bottled and sold on to the public.

The addition of activated carbon from charcoal is allowed under certain circumstances in white wine, but under EU law is only allowed for reds in the early stages of their production. It is used in powder form as an anti-contaminant to remove certain unwanted flavours – in this case earthy and barnyard ‘off’ flavours that can be prevalent in grapes affected by rot.

If the wine remains tainted after the completion of malolactic fermentation, no further additives are permissible and the wine must be destroyed

Jean-Philippe Daugas of the French government wine fraud squad (the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes, or DGCCRF) was part of the investigation team in Bordeaux that uncovered the offence.

Read more HERE.


Winemakers are tempted in difficult vintages
Winemakers are tempted in difficult vintages

more news