Hubert de Bouard, owner of Chateau Angélus in Saint Emilion, is suing the author of new book Vino Business for defamation.
Chateau Angélus owner Hubert de Bouard is suing over ‘false information’
The legal action comes nine days after the publication of Isabelle Saporta’s French-language book Vino Business, which takes a critical look at the closed and contradictory world of French wine, and draws specific attention to the contested classification in Saint Emilion that saw Angelus promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé A.
Publisher Albin Michel is also named in the legal action.
A statement issued on behalf of de Bouard states that the defamation suit has been brought following ‘false information’ contained in the book.
It says, ‘The 2012 classification employed every guarantee of impartiality. It was governed by independent certification agencies, the Commission was comprised of experts from outside of the region whose impartiality was guaranteed by a declaration of independence.’
‘The criteria of evaluation and the notation system were clearly set out, and all candidates were made aware of them. The ministers of Agriculture and Finance then approved its official publication… All these elements demonstrate that Isabelle Saporta’s accusations in her book against the proprietor of Chateau Angélus are totally unfounded.’
Saporta told decanter.com that she learned of the action by de Bouard this morning, but insists she had interviewed him during the research process, and made him aware of the subjects to be covered within the book.
‘He knew that I was an investigative journalist, and I gave him every right to reply. The attacks against me have become increasingly personal, but both my publisher and I await the outcome of this case with serenity.’
A spokesperson for de Bouard said that he did not want to make direct comments to the media. ‘The aim is not to draw any further attention. He simply wants certain facts to be acknowledged.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux