Close Menu

Fake Moët Hennessy ‘Côtes du Rhône’ busted in China

Following a formal complaint filed by French luxury group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce has busted a local Chinese wine company which has been selling counterfeit Rhône wines it claimed were made by Moët Hennessy.

The back label of a Côtes du Rhône Sablet wine states that it’s made by Moët Hennessy. (Photo: a screen grab of Beijing TV news report)

The wines in question, purported to be Côtes du Rhône, are distributed by a company called Shanghai Haotuo International Trading Company Ltd(上海豪拓国际贸易有限公司) based in Beijing’s Fengtai District, and each wine carries a back label stating that it’s made by Moët Hennessy, using its trademarked Chinese name 轩尼诗, reported Beijing TV.

In fact, Moët Hennessy doesn’t make wines in the Côtes du Rhône or indeed any part of the Rhône Valley.

Speaking of one of the wines called; ‘Wan De Da Special Reserve’ (万迪达特酿), an officer called Zhang Peng with the bureau, explained that: “This is to mislead consumers to let them believe the wine is produced by Moët Hennessy.”

However, the wine in question has a front label that says it’s a Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet 2003 with a suspiciously sounding French company name called ‘France Henris Co Ltd’. Henris in Chinese sounds phonetically similar to Moët Hennessy’s Chinese name 轩尼诗.

Another imperial bottle claimed to be made by Moët Hennessy with a Chinese name ‘Wei Da Mu Special Reserve’ (威达姆特酿) is described as “the most treasured bottle” in the shop. It sells for a staggering RMB 99,999 (US$15,121) a bottle. The wine’s label says it’s a 2007 Côtes du Rhône Sablet, but its back label says it’s made by Moët Hennessy.

According to the report, police found more than 500 bottles of counterfeit wines with labels saying they are produced by Moët Hennessy. The wines’ retail prices at the shop range from RMB 300 to RMB 99,999.

In a Chinese statement by Moët Hennessy, the company reiterated that it “under no circumstances” had granted Shanghai Haotuo International Trading Company Ltd any right to use its company name, and the products are not produced by Moët.

It’s unclear based on the report if any suspect has been arrested.

This is the latest case taken by Moët to crack down on counterfeit wines using its branded names. Previously the company won a court case against wine auction house Acker Merrall & Condit concerning a counterfeit bottle of Krug Collection 1947.

You can watch the video report below: 

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No