Q: How do you “reverse engineer” the wine?
A: The lab with which we work, Ellipse Analytics, has analyzed nearly 2,000 wines and over 60 chemistry markers, amassing the largest alcohol flavor profile database in the world. Ellipse Analytics is in the process of implementing a testing panel that contains 560 “analytes” or chemical compounds that can be identified and measured including aromas, flavors, mouth-feel, color/tint, purity, and structure. Replica’s® winemakers then use classic wine blending techniques, and grapes sourced from vineyards in California’s North Coast, Oregon and northeastern Italy, to create Replica. Although we leverage key scientific insights to create our master forgeries, our winemaking is grower-centric with a focus on craft, integrity and purity. Ellipse Analytics then assures, through testing at various stages of the blending process, at least 90 percent chemical similarity in flavor profiles* before the wine is passed to Replica’s® Chief Wine Officer Brett Zimmerman, a Master Sommelier. As one of fewer than 300 individuals in the world to earn the wine industry’s highest certification, Brett’s highly trained palette is the final test in quality assurance. If he does not think the wine tastes amazing, and nearly identical to the wine that inspired it, it is not bottled.
Q: What is Ellipse Analytics?
A: Ellipse Analytics is the analytical chemistry lab at the center of the Integrated Beverage Group Replica research and development strategy. Ellipse Analytics uses state of the art analytical equipment to test for the taste & aroma chemical markers to help guide the artisanal wine blending. In addition to the taste & aroma, Ellipse Analytics also tests for the wine structure and wine purity, color/tint, mouthfeel and product purity by testing for toxic metals and pesticide residues.
Ellipse Analytics is ISO 17025 accredited in methods listed below, meaning that Ellipse Analytics follows international best practice for the consistency and accuracy of test results.
Q: Do you utilize chemicals to create wines that taste like other, well-known brands?
A: At Replica, we use science to help us identify the roadmap of America’s favorite wines. We then use the artistry of classic wine blending techniques, and the quality control of world-class winemakers and a master sommelier to create replica wines. Although we leverage key scientific insights to create our master forgeries, our winemaking is grower-centric with a focus on craft, integrity and purity.
Q: How is it that Replica® has not been sued by the wine companies it replicates?
A: Creating a product inspired by another popular product, but for a better value, is not unlawful. Just as you might find a “generic” brand in a supermarket, almost identical in quality to the original, Replica® is nearly indistinguishable in taste from the wines that inspired it, but not an exact copy. We hope other winemakers are flattered to know their wines inspired Replica. You know how they say, “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery?” We chose the wines that inspired Replica because consumers are paying too much for their favorite wines. We deliver those flavors at a better price.
Q: Where can I find Replica®?
A: Replica® wines are now available for purchase at wine retailers in more than 35 states. If you can’t find Replica®, ask your local store to stock it!
Q: Will you have additional varietals available this year?
A: Yes! We will continue to introduce new Replica® SKUs. And, while it takes time to replicate a wine, we are anxious to create more, and looking forward to consumer feedback as to which they’d like us to tackle next.
* According to the Ellipse Analytics proprietary methodology.