A two-year-old case involving an elderly widow and 400 missing bottles of Château Pétrus came closer to its conclusion last week.

The long-running police investigation into the affairs of 97-year-old Mme Lily Lacoste, the former owner of the ultra-iconic Pomerol chateau, took a significant step forward last week, with the questioning of her former legal representative.

The inquiry began two years ago into allegations that 400 bottles of Château Pétrus, one of the world’s most expensive wines, had been stolen from Lacoste, together with valuable paintings and furniture.

Her former advisor, Michel Loulière, spent two days before the examining magistrate. A decision is expected shortly on whether the inquiry will be taken further.

Michel Chasseuil, the advisor who replaced Loulière and who instigated this investigation has himself been the subject of police inquiries, over allegations that a smaller quantity of less valuable wine was missing.

Last year a court in the local town of Libourne, 35km from Bordeaux, appointed a protection officer to safeguard Mme Lacoste’s interests.

Written by Patrick Matthews