Michel Chapoutier is considering taking the manufacturers of the Nomblot egg to court.
A Nomblot Egg in use at Domaine Les Bruyeres in the Rhône
Speaking in London yesterday during the first trade tasting of his wines from the 2011 vintage, he said, “The vat in an egg shape was stolen by Nomblot against my will and I’m probably going to take them to court.”
The first egg-shaped, concrete fermentation vessel was commissioned in 2001 by Michel Chapoutier, following discussions with French vat manufacturer Marc Nomblot, whose company has been making concrete wine vats since 1922.
Chapoutier explained that he had asked Nomblot to produce a prototype for him based on two years of research, but that he had never signed anything to protect the invention.
“Mr Nomblot took my two years of research papers,” said Chapoutier.
However, Chapoutier added that his wrangles with the manufacturers of the egg-shaped vats began after Marc Nomblot left the company last year when the business, based in Beaune, was bought by a larger corporation.
“Mr Nomblot was honest and a dreamer… but his company was bought by a bigger one and they don’t have the same sense of honesty.”
Chapoutier implied that the new owner of Nomblot, the Bonna Sabla Group, want to develop sales of the concrete egg.
He also said that he had had tried to reach an agreement with the group, but this had been turned down.
“I have tried to negotiate with them,” he stated, “but these people only understand a strong fight”.
He also pointed out that he has never received a single “centime” from Nomblot even though the idea is attributed to Chapoutier.
“It was two years of work by me and my team and one second of stealing by Mr Nomblot.”
Click here for an analysis of the proposed benefits of concrete egg-shaped fermentors.
The drinks business will be bringing a report from Chapoutier’s first trade tasting of his wines from the 2011 vintage in a later update.