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TCA problem in Languedoc, says Tanzer

Published:  23 July, 2008

"The serious boys in the Languedoc buy new barriques"

The Languedoc has a major TCA problem, according to a leading US wine writer, Stephen Tanzer. Writing on the website, Tanzer has claimed that at least 12, unnamed, Languedoc estates have produced wines tainted by TCA (trichloroanisole). Tanzer said that the TCA taint comes from barrels purchased from chteaux in Bordeaux. "It does not take many tainted barrels to compromise a cuve's fruit aromas. In the Languedoc this spring, I encountered one or more wines from a good dozen estates that showed a distinct mustiness on the nose," said Tanzer. However, according to Thierry's Wine Services' Dominique Vrigneau, it is no longer a problem in the region. Thierry's imports the wines of the Languedoc producer, Mont Tauch. "The serious boys in the Languedoc buy new barriques," he told Harpers. "The days when producers there bought from Bordeaux are a thing of the past. I know of two estates in Corbires that buy from Bordeaux, but they are the exception." Vrigneau admitted there may be a problem with the pallets carrying the corks, but not at many wineries. "These tend to get re-used after travelling to different wineries. At Mont Tauch, however, we use plastic pallets." TCA in barrels is believed to be caused by insecticides and sealants used to treat wood surfaces in wineries in France.