Bordeaux negociant house Bordeaux Vins Selection (BVS) has launched a suit against La Commanderie de Bordeaux, and specifically the Grand Maitre of the Commanderie, Emmanuel Cruse, for commercial damages after being unable to buy a table for the Fete de la Fleur dinner.
Fete de la Fleur is an annual event held in Bordeaux that is particularly important during Vinexpo years, traditionally held on the last night, attracting 1,500 diners.
Each place is sold for €500, and typically tables are bought by chateaux and négociants, who then invite their most important clients to the dinner. This year the event is being held at Chateau Lagrange in Saint Julien.
Bernard Pujol, director of BVS, has hired Bordeaux lawyer Henri-Michel Gata and lodged a suit citing ‘commercial prejudice’. He is seeking €500,000 in damages.
Pujol was not prepared to comment on the record to decanter.com, except to confirm that he stands by everything.
Several sources close to BVS said that the application for tables had been sent out in January, and Pujol had replied with his €5000 cheque the same day, taking it personally to the Commanderie offices. The notification that it had been unsuccessful came only in late April, by which time he had invited several major clients who were now being inconvenienced. This could threaten the future relations with BVS, the source said.
A spokesperson for the Commanderie told decanter.com, ‘There are 320 members of the Commanderie, and each year inevitably some people are disappointed, but we have never been in this situation before.
‘If all members were able to get a table, that would mean 320 tables of 10, and 3200 people. Clearly no chateaux would be able to host the event.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux