Hubert de Boüard and Philippe Castéja contest their indictment

Monday October 08 2018 by Vitisphere

Hubert de Boüard was indicted on 18 September and Philippe Castéja on 19 September, after being taken into police custody on 28 February, revealed the french press.Hubert de Boüard was indicted on 18 September and Philippe Castéja on 19 September, after being taken into police custody on 28 February, revealed the french press. - Photo credit : DR

If there is one Bordeaux case that is not classified, it is the Saint-Émilion classification in 2012. Winemaker Hubert de Boüard and Bordeaux merchant Philippe Castéja have been indicted by the Bordeaux Regional Court. The two men, who are key figures of the Bordeaux elite, are suspected of having influenced the classification of the Saint-Émilion Grands Crus Classés in 2012 for their benefit as part of their mission for the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO). The indictments follow a complaint lodged against them for illegal interest taking by three de-classified Saint-Émilion châteaux in 2013 (Croque-Michotte, Corbin Michotte and La Tour du Pin Figeac).

Hubert de Boüard “formally contests the information issued by the media. I have never taken part in producing or voting for the classification”. He points out that “there is no evidence of guilt. I've been involved in community activities for 35 years and I've always had the honour of being able to look at myself in the mirror”.

Castéja stresses that he has “never been involved in the Saint-ÉmiIion classification, neither closely nor remotely. Château Trottevieille was a Premier Cru Classé when I took it over. I have never asked for a Premier Cru Classé A classification”. Though not concerned by the accusations, he regrets that “INAO did not keep a register of entries and exits during its meetings…”

People knew the classification was going to be attacked.

This line of defence is confirmed, anonymously, by regular members of the national board for wine appellations of origin. “On such sensitive issues, as soon as there is a discussion and vote, the chair person is strict and asks the producers of the appellations concerned to leave the room. From memory, Hubert de Boüard and Philippe Castéja did not take part in the discussions”, reports a winegrower from outside the region.

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