7th June, 2013 by Rupert Millar
An online retailer, 1855.com, has been criticised for apparently trying to sell Château Yquem 2012 en primeur – even though that vintage was not produced by the estate.
Several Sauternes châteaux announced that they would not be producing a 2012 vintage because of poor conditions.
However, according to French newspaper Sud-Ouest, this did not stop the fine wine retailer trying to sell 2012 Yquem.
The paper managed to capture a page from the site, which it claimed showed that 1855.com promised customers delivery of the wine by 2015 and available at the soonest possible price.
The page has since been taken down.
In reply, 1855’s president, Emeric Sauty de Chalon, wrote to Sud-Ouest: “1855 has never put Yquem 2012 on sale; no price was ever announced, there was no possibility to buy this product and it was never available to our clients and, evidently, no bottle was ever sold.
“Only the possibility of being informed of its availability was accessible to our clients.
“1855 very much regrets that Sud-Ouest did not contact the company before distribution of the article, the objective of which seemed to be to blacken the image of our group more than faithfully inform its readers.”
As Sud-Ouest pointed out, and as the drinks business reported at the time, Yquem announced in December of last year that it would not be producing a 2012 vintage.
The newspaper has previously reported that 1855.com has been censured before for late and damaged deliveries and even not delivering wine at all to some 200 clients.
There have also been questions raised concerning an affiliate company of 1855.com, ChateauOnline.com, by Château Conseillante in Pomerol, which said that the site was offering its 2012 vintage at a “ludicrously reduced” price and that it feared there was “very little chance” of buyers receiving the wine.
Reports of dissatisfaction with 1855.com date back at least as far as 2011, as this French site “Into The Wine” makes clear.