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Chateau Giscours fraud case


The Ch Giscours fraud case has reached a conclusion though there is an appeal going in.
The court order is to destroy 53,000 bottles of the chapitalised wine, I have no idea what the rules are in France but surely as the wine has not been bottled yet it could be sold as Margaux at a reduced price, de classified, 53,000 bottles of Margaux down the drain is more criminal than the offence committed.


It has been announced on dB website that the owner of above has just died.


I don’t think it could be sold as Margaux as the relevant vats contained Merlot which is not allowed to be chaptalised at all under the Margaux AOP rules.

It does seem to have been a series of technical errors if what I read is correct.


If they’re willing to scribble Vin de France in marker pen on the label and flog it for tuppence ha’pny, I’ll be happy to take a case or two off their hands :+1:


They were given permission to Chaptalise for 1 degree alcohol, then 45 minutes later another email arrived saying permission did not cover Merlot.

By then they’d done two tanks on Merlot. These were held apart, never added to main blend.

They are appealing the decision to fine them and the suspended sentence on their MD.

Details and Giscours appeal statement is here


It does sound rather harsh.

Now that’s the kind of rapid-fire chain of command and hop-to-it work ethic we need on this side of the channel!



It is rather surprising :wink:


Although reading the whole article it seems they didn’t read the " not merlot" mail till the following day, which perhaps allows for a more likely pace of work.
It does seem very harsh, though it’s hard not to wonder if there is some element of taking advantage of what you know or suspect is a mistake. Who really knows?
Anyway I imagine there will be some sort of compromise made, which sadly won’t allow us to pick up the wine for a pittance. But you can always hope …


Hey, it might turn up in Lidl for £15 a pop ten years down the line…!


Perhaps to support my cynicism I should say that I remember helping with a couple of harvests near Castillon some 40 years ago, and the patron regularly popping out at night to pour sugar in his tanks. It didn’t seem such an unusual activity!


If the grapes have riped properly with good vineyard management it shouldn’t need such a large adjustment in vat.


They seem to be coming at regular intervals now…


No one seems to know how much of this is really going on, one things for sure it is far to easy to substitute wine from a different source than the label suggests, this case is from where one would think all was squeaky clean, obviously not…


Hi @cerberus . Yet again we have a different take :slight_smile:

It’s not ‘obviously’; an allegation has been made, those accused haven’t entered a plea, and there hasn’t been a court case.

An allegation has been made

Innocent until proved guilty…


I go with the innocent until bit, yet if the Ministry is involved and the Wine Union is not backing the Company it does not look good.
The French have taken some stick for attacking tankers of wine from Spain but recent cases have held up the suspicions the wine was being used for fraudulent purposes and the recent Rhone case was big affecting many “names” distributed here, it is a problem and as and when the Chinese get involved as they have already it becomes a bigger problem, it would sadly seem that as in other spheres of commerce fraud is becoming very lucrative and difficult to stop, sad really as wine is not an obvious target for fraud and that is why when cases like this emerge you wonder how much else is going on.
There was another one in France reported in the Times last month but I cannot find it now.

Just to show how universally accommodating I am :wink: I took a neighbour to the train station this morning in the city center, as I am low on cheap white summer wines I popped in to the very large Morrisons ostensibly to buy their highly praised Gran Montana Chardonnay at a very good price, low and behold I saw a Morrisons the best Pinotage that got 90 points in the latest Decanter awards and put a bottle in trolley, now of course as this is your niche you may well say it is rubbish but I will give it a go, who knows I might convert !


We carry out regular audits to ensure that the wines we sell are traceable as highlighted in a recent travels in wine:


I have never doubted or suggested that the WS does anything less than protect the validity of its wines by any means possible, this is not about the WS but on a more general level, the recent Rhone case was big and many wines sent to this country under well known brands must have got through, all I am suggesting is how much do we really know about wine fraud after all these negociants and the growers they collude with are hardly going to tell anyone, it takes a whistleblower to start inquiries many experts have been easily fooled in the fine wine fraud cases.


No one found guilty here yet ! but they keep on coming, judging from the Pingus release statement they have had to pursue this largely themselves.

plus Penfolds in China have been chasing down several cases of fraud.


Morrison’s Best Pinotage used to be a rebadged wine from Bellevue, bottled at the winery, an estate I rate highly and it was excellent.

As discussed in another thread, using an own label means the seller can change the supplier of the wine at any time, and I don’t know now who that it. I’m assuming too that it is bulk shipped.

I don’t think any of the supermarkets sell bad wines, their quality level - for the price point is good.

I’ll be interested in your feedback on it. Cool it in the fridge before serving.


There’s a lot of fraud, not just on expensive wines - even Jacob’s Creek -see here
spotted because the fakers had misspelled ‘Australia’ and I fake vodka being made.

This thread is labelled Ch Giscours fraud, but as far as I can see it was an administrative error and no consumers were defrauded.

Fake vodka can blind the buyer and relabelled wine cheats the consumer and defrauds the taxes, thus all of us.

While alcohol taxes in UK are so high - £2.60 on a bottle of £5 wine - no wonder crooks target the sector