The Labouré-Roi wine trading house, belonging to Cottin Frères since 1974, is the biggest supplier of Burgundy wines for France’s airlines. About 50 percent of the Labouré-Roi portfolio, which has under contract hundreds of producers from Burgundy, is being exported from now on.
During a press conference, attorney Eric Lallement said that the initiative for the investigations came from the Office for the Combat of Fraud. The reason was the company’s alerting amounts of wine bottled and of grapes harvested beforehand. “The figures substantiate Labouré-Roi to have vinified 100 percent of its must – which is not possible”, Mr. Lallement explained.
During investigation, the police found as many as several specific frauds. Among them being admixtures of table wine that made the amounts of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and village appellations increase to an incredible extent. The fraud amounts to as much as a fabulous 500,000 bottles valued at 2.7 million euro. The second charge of fraud concerns the labeling. There are suspicions of 1.1 million bottles being labeled incorrectly, in other words: labeled as to be of higher quality.
“This cannot be called a pardonable mistake”, attorney Eric Lallement summarized his explanations. Moreover, he admitted that, so far, the persons suspected have not been accused formally yet because investigations were still in progress. Mr. Lallement confirmed, however, that the enologist responsible, the managing director and Armand and Luis Cottin (82 and 83 years old), the two owners, have been arrested.
Emmanuel Touraille, lawyer of the Labouré-Roi company, is being quoted in “Le Bien Public”, the local newspaper: “Now, three years after the first reproaches, it is obvious some things to be incorrect, but all of them have been corrected. Furthermore, my clients are fully cooperating with the authorities investigating.”
The Labouré-Roi company and the Cottin Frères do not comment the current incidents, and the traders and importers that are internationally linked to the company do not, either. We will continue to observe the incidents and to report about them. (red.yoopress)