According to a report published today by Wine Spectator online, the TTB (U.S. Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) has announced that it has blocked imports of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano pending clarification by the Italian government.
In June 2008, Italian officials impounded wine and seized records at an undisclosed number of wineries in Montepulciano (in the province of Siena). Winemakers are suspected of releasing wine that does not meet Vino Nobile di Montepulciano appellation requirements.
“We’re holding any new applications for certificates of label approval while waiting for clarification” from the Italian government, TTB spokesman Art Resnick told Wine Spectator. “We’re not rejecting them, but we’re not approving them.”
Writers Mitch Frank and Tina Benitez report that the TTB contacted the Italian government requesting information on the investigation after news of the inquiry circulated in early June.