La Mitrale, a stamp of quality
United under a meticolous Quality Charter, which regulates the use of "La Mitrale", the winegrowers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape pledge to ensure flawless quality in order to offer you the very best wines possible in these exceptional bottles. These bottles are signs of unvarying, unquestionable quality....
Wine makers or wine merchants wishing to bottle AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines in the Mitrale bottle must apply in writing to the association for authorisation to do so.
Authorisation to use La Mitrale is not dependant on belonging to a professional body.
Further to examination of the application by the association’s board, the President will notify the applicant of the board’s decision in writing, the said decision may be full or partial approval or refusal.
Only AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines may be bottled in La Mitrale.
The other conditions of use are related to the quality standards of the wines. These conditions are based on analytical and organoleptic standards plus procedural conditions related to bottling, corks and date of sale.
Prior to bottling, users of La Mitrale must carry out an analysis of the wines to be bottled. In addition to this obligatory analysis, we recommend tasting by a consultant oenologist.
The corks used with La Mitrale must be at least N°1 quality (standard retained by the Cork Makers’ Quality Charter).
Sale of red wines may only take place from 1st August in the year following the harvest and sale of white wines may only commence from 15th December in the year of the harvest.
In addition, a maximum period for bottling must also be respected:
- red wines: within 30 months of the date of the harvest declaration,
- white wines: within 18 months.
In the event where the above periods cannot be met by the user, 2 bottles of samples of the wine intended for bottling in La Mitrale must be sent to the association. This wine will be submitted for tasting and deliberation. The user will be notified of approval or opposition for bottling within a period of 5 days of reception of the samples.
Regarding red wines, bottling in Mitrale containers is forbidden beyond 42 months from the harvest declaration.
Bottling must be carried out by the approved users exclusively on the production or maturing location and within the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation area, i.e. within the geographic limits identified to the north by the commune of Saint-Cyr-sur-le-Rhône and to the south by La Durance river and Avignon, in compliance with Decree n° 96587 dated 24th June 1996 relative to the Côtes du Rhône appellation, the east-west limits are also set out in the said decree in the administrative departments of La Drôme, Le Gard and Le Vaucluse.
Bottles must be filled, closed and labelled under the responsibility of the approved user. Labels on the bottle must show the user’s name, to the exclusion of any other entity of which the user may be a member.
Each user must provide his quarterly buying forecasts and his stock of empty bottles on the 31st december of each year.
Bottles may not be used for any other purposes.
Users wishing to bottle wines in La Mitrale must respect certain procedures which differ in relation to whether the bottling takes place on or off the estate.
Estate bottled wine:
The user must submit a ‘Pre-bottling declaration’ (DPE) to the association. The DPE must detail the number of bottles to be used for the year and must be sent to the association at least 3 days before bottling.
Wines bottled off the estate:
In addition to the DPE the user must send an analysis of the wines to the association. In addition, the user must submit 2 samples of the wine it wishes to bottle. These samples will be used for tasting and deliberation. The user will be notified of approval or opposition for bottling within a period of 5 days of reception of the samples.
Over and above the preliminary formalities required for approval to use La Mitrale, post-bottling inspections may be carried out which are aimed at checking that the bottle is being duly used with respect to its quality requirements.
A representative will visit and take 2 sample bottles from the bottling line. The frequency of such verifications is based on the information provided on the DPE, i.e. a minimum of:
- 1 annual visit when the user bottles 1 to 3 times per year,
- 2 annual visits when the user bottles 3 to 10 times per year,
- 3 annual visits when the user bottles more than 10 times per year.
Along with the samples, the user must provide the association’s representative with an analysis of the wines being bottled. The representative is authorised to inspect the bottling log and may make a copy if required.
Sample wines collected during inspections will be tasted on an anonymous basis by a Committee comprised of approved users and persons appointed by the association. The Committee will communicate its observations to the association’s Board.
If a problem is detected which renders the wine non compliant with the required quality standards, the Committee will order that a sample be taken upon every bottling operation for a period of 18 months.
The user undertakes to take part in training sessions proposed by the association, notably when problems have been detected by the Tasting and/or Control Committee. In addition, a consultant oenologist may be appointed by the Control Committee in order to improve the quality levels of wines bottled in La Mitrale.
If an inspection concludes that the user has not respected the conditions of use for La Mitrale, notably those relating to quality objectives or the formalities required for being authorised to use the bottle, the Board will be convened to deliberate on resulting actions which may extend from a simple warning to withdrawal of the right to use La Mitrale.
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