Author of ‘cruel’ St Emilion book sued

13th March, 2014 by Rupert Millar

A journalist who wrote a book “exposing” the wine industry and lambasting Saint Emilion as “cruel” is facing legal action from Angélus’s owner, Hubert de Boüard.

Hubert de Boüard of Château Angelus

Hubert de Boüard of Château Angelus

As reported by the drinks business, French journalist, Isabelle Saporta, recently published a book called Vino Business in which she compared the prestigious Bordeaux appellation to the US TV show “Dallas”, as well as claiming that the big château “rigged” classifications in their favour.

One target in the book, particularly in relation to the 2012 classification, is de Boüard who is now suing Saporta and her publisher for defamation.

According to local paper Sud-Ouest, de Boüard is cited more than 60 times in the book and is accused of “manipulating” the classification to the benefit of himself and his clients.

A statement released on behalf of de Boüard, stated that the classification was overseen by “independent certification agencies” and that it was ratified by the ministries of Agriculture and Finance.

Alan Reynaud, president of the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux, told the drinks business that he thought: “Before she came to Bordeaux she had her own idea of what she wanted to published.”

He said that he too had been interviewed and subsequently “felt frustrated” when, in the finished book, his role in Bordeaux was described merely as “presenting wines to Robert Parker”.

“I am very sorry she has printed this book presenting myself and Hubert de Boüard in that way,” he continued before adding that there although some of her staements were inaccurate, there was some though provoking work included too.

“She has made some mistakes but she has done some interesting work as well,” he said.

There are rumours that Saporta is contemplating turning her book into a “Mondovino” style documentary film as well.

One Response to “Author of ‘cruel’ St Emilion book sued”

  1. fernando says:

    Well! I do not know if defamation is a mistake. In my opinion is a crime. And I do not understand the real position of Monsieur
    Alain Reynaud. One side he said that the wine writer came to Bordeaux with a previous of what she want to do.On the other side he said that she made very interesting things too. And more: – The same Monsieur Reynaud is a wine deliver for Mr. Robert Parker. Why do not ask to the “wine writer” why she has made so many accusations. For herself or for other obscure interest?
    The big problem is the support given to the wine writers as if they are a sort of miraculous people. Be sure that they are not.

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