False Labels on Pinot Noir Wine Bottles Scam
Investigations are underway between US officials and French counterparts after they were alerted to millions of gallons of wine being sold with the Pinot Noir label.
The suspected fraud of the wrongly labelled wine bottles came to light after discrepancies were found in the significant levels of Pinot Noir export figures in the Languedoc-Roussilon region.
A French newspaper, La Depeche told of an informant giving details of the process of bottling an inferior red wine that was half the price of Pinot Noir and selling to the U.S over the last four years.
Art Resnick who is a spokesman for the U.S Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said, "It's still early. We are in communication with the French authorities to determine the nature and the scope of this problem."
"After we've established all the facts, we will take the appropriate action."
Red Wine sold to E&J Gallo
Further investigations continue with questions being asked of Sieur d’Argues, a wine company in France, regarding the selling of falsely labelled wine to E&J Gallo which is the largest privately held wine company in the U.S.
E&J Gallo Winery when told of the fraudulently labelling scam were shocked to learn of Sieur d’Argues being under investigation.
"These are serious allegations. We are actively working to learn more and we will be closely following the situation... Our company is committed to producing and selling wine that meets the highest standards and we expect the same from all our suppliers,” John Segale from E&J Gallo Winery told Reuters.
No comments as of yet have been made by Sieur d’Argues, who supplies red wine sold under the name of Bicyclette to Gallo.
It is believed that over three million gallons of falsely labelled Pinot Noir could have been exported between 2004 and 2008.