How much information is locked-up in a label?

Mise en Bouteille means ‘put in bottle…(by)’. We usually have plenty of additional information too – au domaine – means that in this case it was bottled by the owners of the vines.
Variations on this theme could be:

  • “recolte, eleve et mise en bouteille au domaine” – harvested, matured and bottled by the owners of the vines
  • “vinife, eleve et mis en bouteille par Albert Bichot” – in this case no indication that Bichot are the owners (domaine or proprietor is not mentioned) of the vines or that they harvested them – indeed Bichot for these bottles acted as a negociant, but obviously did the grape sorting, fermenting and maturation of the wine
  • “mis en bouteille par Maison Clavelier” – here there is no indication of ownership or other activities – so Clavelier most likely bought a barrel of (finished) wine, and bottled it with their labels.

The lot number.
For traceability, since 1991 all bottles should show a lot number, but it can be placed either on the main label, a back label or a neck label if the bottle wears one.

Alcohol Content.
Usually expressed to the nearest half a degree e.g. 12.5% or 13.0%, though you will sometimes see other numbers – e.g. 12.6%

The name of the wine
As defined by its AOC, in this case, ‘Appellation Romanée Saint-Vivant Contrôlée’. Any wine that has it’s own AOC will insert that name between Appellation and Controlee e.g. Appellation Beaune 1er Cru Controlee.
Armand Rousseau’s Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos des Ruchottes is not an AOC in itself but is a long-established walled vineyard within the grand cru of Ruchottes-Chambertin, so this long-time prior use of the name is allowed on the label. Only for regional wines (Bourgognes) it is allowed to also show the name of the grape; e.g. Bourgogne Chardonnay

Producer’s name and address.
It is mandatory that this is on the label, though a postcode usually seems sufficient.

How much wine is in the bottle: Typical bottles measure 75 centilitres or 750 millilitres, but there are, of-course, half bottles, magnums etcetera

Country of Origin.
All bottles to be exported from France must show the country of origin on the label.

A somewhat rarer sight on a label. There are ~120 monopole vineyards in the Cote d’Or, that is to say vineyards with only one owner.

Sometimes on the label or sometimes just on a neck label. Interestingly there is no requirement to show a vintage on a bottle. The only stipulation is that IF a vintage is shown, then 100% of the contents of the bottle must come from that vintage.

Burgundy Report

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