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Chateauneuf du Pape scam


Just been reading about this (The Times, online). Most CdPs I’ve tried have left me unimpressed. Perhaps this is the explanation.

Amusing that Jane MacQuitty, on the same day, has a piece in The Times extolling the virtues of Rhone reds.


Oh can anyone read that or is it a subscriber only thing? Very interested


It seems it might be the same story as published in Decanter in August last year, and available to read here:


If you register you can read a few articles a week for free.


Thanks Richard


This is accessible, it may be the same as the scam in Decanter, but the Decanter story named the CEO !

this goes full circle with wine fraud as the tankers of Spanish bulk wine that are attacked in France for undercutting French vignerons are but a fraction of those getting through and where do they end up ?
Not just in France it seems…

and these were found without trying.


No Rhône winemakers have been implicated in any wrongdoing.

I am assuming TWS carefully selects and audits suppliers.


You assume correctly! :smile: And we have a very pro-active quality control team too.


Two Christmas’ ago we had an M&S CDP we were given as a gift and it was so terrible and thin that I found it so hard to believe that it was CDP - completely unrecognisable. I would have thought M&S would be reliable however after reading this sort of stuff I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t the real deal.


Out of sheer curiousity, now does TWS quality control team work?


Good question! I’m not directly involved with them, but I know they’re very good at spotting when a batch of wine isn’t as it should be (eg if it’s ageing faster than we thought or isn’t as good as we were expecting) or if there’s a legal issue like any labelling issues etc. Actually, there’s a good bit about what our quality control buying manager Simon does in his day-to-day work on our website.
And here was me thinking ‘quality control’ meant you just got to taste amazing wine all day just to make sure it’s good… :wink:


Seviral years ago, I bought a bottle of cdp from Asda. It was their own label and really disappointing. A poor wine at any price and I paid £14.

I assumed they’d just taken on a very poor wine from the region purely to let the label do the selling. Now I wonder if there was some sort of fraud going on as it was so unlike a typical cdp, or even southern Rhone wine for that matter.


Wine scam or not, a lot of CdP has been unimpressive for some time. Especially if it’s cheap and just before Christmas.
I wonder what the local AC bigwigs think about it? Has there been a comment from them?
Ironically it was the first area to create an AC, in the mid-1930s I believe.


Completely agree!! A big issue is that the appellation is so large and producers can include up to 13 different varieties of grapes in their blends so while CdP produces some fantastic Grenache heavy blends , there are also producers who are making really mediocre wines.


…and, sadly, using the famous AC as an excuse to whack an extra fiver on the price of a bottle! All things being equal, a £15 Côtes-du-Rhône knocks a £15 Châteauneuf-du-Pape into a cocked hat.


Agreed …! Rightly or wrongly CdP has gained a reputation for delivering excellent wines , non -wine people make the assumption that it’s all great ! Fortunately, us in the know have discovered the virtue of Lirac, Gigondas and Vacqueras along with the great cdr villages :+1::+1:


Funny, me and the better half were just chatting about this, during a lovely walk across the Downs (lots of snow still on the ground!!)… I am no CdP expert, by any means, but have recently enjoyed wines from the wider Rhone AC, as well as from Languedoc-Roussilon for a fraction of the price - which had put me off paying £15 extra (or more) for a CdP. Feels like paying for a ‘brand’ sometimes, when there’s so much good stuff elsewhere to discover!


I agree with all of the above. When you know what you’re looking for in CDP it can produce some of the best wines on the planet. However it also produces some rubbish. However I realised that it’s not the only AOC like this, look at Bordeaux or Burgundy…


Indeed! I think Saint-Emilion can also suffer from this type of famous-AC price inflation at the lower levels, to dupe people into thinking they’re buying something special, when for the same money a wine from the Côtes would probably deliver a lot more.


All the more reason to buy from people you trust, such as, In my case, The Wine Society or my local merchant.