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Château Margaux’s New Bubble Tag

By Nellie S. Huang

Chateau Margaux
The estate’s new bubble tag

In a bid to ward off counterfeiters, Château Margaux — maker of the Grand Cru (premium class) Bordeaux wine of the same name — has created a new “bubble tag” security system, the estate announced today.

A small plastic label attached to the neck of each bottle packaged since March 7 includes a bubble pattern, an alphanumeric code and an Internet data matrix created specifically for each bottle. To verify the authenticity of a bottle, the owner can log onto the château’s website, enter the alphanumeric code and compare the bubble pattern on the tag with an image that appears on the screen. According to the château, each bubble tag is unique and impossible to replicate.

This isn’t the first time the wine estate has incorporated authenticty strategy measures: Since the 1990 vintage, bottles produced at Château Margaux have been etched with a laser code.

Concerns about counterfeit bottles of top wines, especially Bordeaux, have risen aswine prices for premium labels have sky-rocketed.

Other estates and even auction houses have implemented security measures as well. California-based Spectrum Wine Auctions, for example, now puts 360-degree high-definition photos of all the bottles it sells on its website before auctions. The photos will show nicked labels, corroded capsules or protruding corks, which are all clues as to how well the bottles have been looked after, and can be an indication of how the wine will taste.




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