The great Bordeaux wine scandal and the subsequent trial of a number of eminent wine shippers on charges of adulterating their wines, ended yesterday (18 December) with maximum sentences for some of the accused.
GV Palais de Justice, Bordeaux
SCU PAN INT Reporters outside courtroom
SCU PAN Advocates and Cruse cousins leave courtroom surrounded by newsmen (4 shots)
LV & CU Pierre Bert (with glasses) talks with newsmen
SV Advocate talks with newsmen and women
SV PAN EXT People leaving court building
CU & PAN Pierre Bert and M. Balan outside court
SV Bert and Balan leave court TILT UP court
LV & CU House of Cruse et Fils
LV & CU Unlabelled bottles outside building in crates (2 shots)
LV & CU Ship and cargo being loaded (3 shots)
CU & LV Bordeaux vineyards and signs (3 shots)
Initials BB/1944 ???
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Background: The great Bordeaux wine scandal and the subsequent trial of a number of eminent wine shippers on charges of adulterating their wines, ended yesterday (18 December) with maximum sentences for some of the accused.
But the real sentence was upon one of the best-known wine houses in Bordeaux -- the Cruse company. The two heads of the firm, Lionel and Yvan Cruse, were sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence and fines of 27,000 francs. Furthermore, they were placed under surveillance for a period of three years, which, in effect, places their business under the eye of the law during that time.
The instigator of the fraud, in which three million litres of poor wine was sold as vintage Bordeaux, was wine broker Pierre Bert. He was sentenced to one year in prison -- the maximum sentence -- and the maximum fine of 27,000 francs.
M. Bert astounded the court when hearings began last month, by admitting his guild and claiming that three were thousands in the wine trade, who, like himself, used cheap wines to fill bottles bearing expensive labels.
The effect of the scandals on the wine trade in Bordeaux has been a severe loss of confidence in even the most prominent wines, since the trial of the cousins Cruse, Pierre Bert and other defendents, received world-wide publicity.
SYNOPSIS: The great Bordeaux wins scandal and the subsequent trial of a number of eminent wine shippers on charges of adulterating their wines, ended yesterday with maximum sentences for some of the accused. And they included Lionel and Yvan Cruse, cousins who run one of the most respected wine firms in the area. They were fined the maximum of 27,000 francs and ordered to remain under surveillance for three years.
But it was Pierre Bert, the man wearing glasses, who provided the scandal. Accused of instigating the fraud in which three million litres of poor wine was labelled as good vintage, Bert told the court in Bordeaux that there were thousands in the wine trade who, like himself, adulterated wine. The confession brought Bert a one-year prison sentence and fine of 27,000 frances... but the verdict has really gone against the entire Bordeaux wine industry.
It means that the House of Cruse -- previously one of the most respected in Bordeaux -- is now under supervision for the next three years and will have lost much of the confidence it once commanded. World-wide publicity which has resulted from the trial -- dubbed France's 'Winegate' -- has already had a severe adverse effect on the Bordeaux wine trade.
For, despite the protestations of the vast majority of honest Bordeaux wine brokers, ??? recent poll revealed that seven out of ten Frenchmen no longer trust the wines of the Bordeaux region.