Chamarré, the dynamic French wine brand, has gone into receivership.
The group, which was launched by start-up OVS in 2005 to conquer international markets, developed a range of gently-priced, accessible varietal blends reflecting several regions.
The Chardonnay, for example, came from Meursault, Pouilly Fuissé, Chablis, Macon and the south of France.
In 2006, Chamarré attracted attention when it announced a bold future growth strategy and US launch.
UK export director Vincent Norguet said he was confident sales would hit 1.5m bottles in the UK in 2006. ‘And we would expect 1m cases by 2010,’ he added.
But in 2008, its revenue was €6.3m (£5.2m) with a loss of €3.3m (£2.75m).
This was on top of a further €7m (£5.82m) in debt from funds the company had raised in 2007 by selling nearly a quarter of shares to a holding vehicle comprised of cooperatives – including Val d’Orbieu, Cave de Jurançon, Cellier des Dauphins and Cave de Rasteau.
However sources say the cooperatives’ business is not affected directly and that there is a great deal of interest in the company itself.
Chamarré said in a press release that despite strong growth, the global financial crisis and the debts it had incurred proved too much to bear in the short term.
Written by Maggie Rosen