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Wine company denies ‘fake wine’ allegations

The Antique Wine Company has responded to the news that a former client is taking it to court for apparently selling fake wine.

Yesterday’s headlines were dominated by the announcement that a US real-estate manager, Julian LeCraw, was suing AWC and its CEO Stephen Williams for selling him fake wine, including a bottle of 1787 Yquem for $100,000, and for non-payment of several million dollars worth of wine he had consigned to the company.

Williams issued a statement yesterday which said: “The Antique Wine Company strongly denies all the allegations made against it by Julian LeCraw.

“Our lawyers have been in correspondence with Mr LeCraw’s lawyers over these allegations for some months and have provided them with evidence to prove that the allegations made by them are unfounded. This evidence includes extensive information provided at the time of the sales to show the authenticity of the wines and subsequent documents verifying the original information.

“They have co-operated fully in connection with the consigned wines and have made proposals for resolution of this issue.

“The Antique Wine Company, since its inception in 1989, has supplied hundreds of bottles of highly valuable wine to customers around the world.  Ensuring the authenticity of these wines is paramount and they maintain extensive records proving traceability from the suppliers to the company and beyond including documents from chateaux and producers.

“The proceedings brought against The Antique Wine Company will be vigorously defended.”

A lawyer for LeCraw told to the drinks business that between November last year and March of this year LeCraw had tried to settle the matter privately and while it was reassuring to see AWC now say it was important to ensure the authentication of the wine they sold, it was “disappointing” to see Williams continue to claim the veracity of the bottles in question in the face of the evidence to the contrary.

He denied that at any time over those five months had AWC or Williams produced any “evidence to prove that the allegations made by them are unfounded.”

He added that all of the points central to the lawsuit could be found in the complaint that was filed, which can be seen in its entirety here.

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