Like anything else, wine is a combination of chemicals. Ellipse can test for some 500 different attributes and measure the results at the parts-per-billion level. Hidden in that data, Walker realized, were the precise combinations of esters and acids and proteins and anthocyanins and other polyphenols that make a wine taste creamy or flinty, or give it aromas of blueberries or vanilla or old leather—the chemical compositions of America’s most popular wines. Walker also knew that most wine gets a boost from additives such as Mega Purple (for color), oak extract (for tannins and flavoring), and similar chemistry-set concoctions. Using cheap surplus wines readily available on the bulk market and blending in natural additives, he thought, it might be possible to make some pretty convincing copies of popular premium wines.