Top Burgundian négociant implicated in “massive” wine fraud

One of Burgundy’s leading négociant, Labouré-Roi, has become embroiled in a wine scam.

Reports state that four of the négociant’s directors, including the owners Armand and Louis Cottin, have been taken into custody in the wake of a wine scam that came to light last week.

According to local paper Le Bien, the four are accused of wilfully mislabelling bottles, mixing wines from appellations and using incorrect medals on bottles.

The newspaper said that over the past 18 months the gendarmerie in Dijon had been conducting an investigation into the house alongside the direction de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF).

They claim to have discovered a “massive and very organised” fraud operation, which was revealed in “hundreds of documents” in the négociant’s accounts spanning the period 2005-2009 and presented their findings last week.

A report issued yesterday from the authorities in Dijon stated that as many as 500,000 bottles may have been doctored with wines from other appellations and a further 1.1m were wrongly labelled.

The statement continued: “During the period in question the company sold 36m bottles. In view of the number of bottles involved, it is clear that this was not an error but rather had been organised.”

Emmanuel Touraille, the négociant’s lawyer, told Agence France Presse that his clients were co-operating fully with the inquiry.

No decisions have yet been taken on charges the four men in custody will face.

 

Correction: In the original picture on this story there featured a picture of the castle at Aloxe Corton, the roof of which is used by another négociant Pierre André. the drinks business would like to stress that there is absolutely no link between Pierre André and this on-going investigation.

One Response to “Top Burgundian négociant implicated in “massive” wine fraud”

  1. Fruttifera says:

    Back in 1995, a large Italian merchant has been condemned for fraud. Marks and Spencer who sold their wines sent them all back immediately, even though M and S wines were not involved, and their UK agent resigned from the agency.

    Today, this investigation into Labouré Roi leaves little doubt on the scale of the fraud: the million bottle figure quoted is a large one refering to Burgundian volumes. Yet, two, and possibly more, large UK retailers happily continue selling the wines from this producer.

    Ethics?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The Global Riesling Masters 2018

View Results

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

Click to view more