Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pour encourager les autres? (Bad boys in Bordeaux)

It is always important to get your priorities right. Georges Duboeuf was charged recently with the crime of adding Beaujolais Villages to Cru Beaujolais - and suffered global opprobrium. A few years ago, in Bordeaux, Chateau Giscours suffered similar public shame when it was revealed that it had used oak chips in its second wine. (So, it seems had several other chateaux in the region, but they got away with it). Both these offences would probably have passed unnoticed in the New World (provided the Duboeuf blending complied with the 85/15 allowances), but in France's Appellation-driven world they were seemingly little short of worthy of the guillotine.

Unlike the behaviour of a Bordeaux negociant called Savas which has just been found trying to sell customers in Taiwan 14,400 bottles of "Bordeaux" which was in fact basic vin de table. For this little lapse, Savas will have to pay the princely fine of EUR5,940 ($US 7,442). Savas is evidently quite a careless company when it comes to AOC rules - they were also charged with illegally tinkering with the equivalent of some 22,500 bottles of wine to make it come up to Appellation standards - but not as well known as Giscours or Duboeuf, so the world is less likely to learn about this particular scandal...

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