He was both judge and party.
This Monday, Hubert de Boüard, a key figure in the Bordeaux vineyard, was sentenced to a fine of 60,000 euros, including 20,000 euros suspended, by the court of Bordeaux, for illegal taking of interests in the development of the classifications of great wines of Saint-Emilion.
Between 2010 and 2012, this great name from Bordeaux was involved in the development of this classification, which guarantees significant commercial, financial and media benefits to the properties listed there.
While owning interests in several candidate properties, including the famous Château Angélus.
The vineyards see red
In 2012, the classification of the grands crus of Saint-Emilion had promoted Angélus premier grand cru Classé “A”, top of the pyramid, and rewarded eight other properties for which Hubert de Boüard was a consultant or supervisor, keeping Trotte Vieille in the “category”. B ”.
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Three failed properties have become civil parties.
For them, Hubert de Boüard, 65, and Philippe Castéja, 72, an important merchant and owner of Château Trotte Vieille, were biased.
In 2012, the two men were members of the national wine committee of INAO, a body attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and which validated the classification regulations and their results, drawn up by a commission whose members he had previously appointed.
Small arrangements between friends
In addition, Hubert de Boüard was a member of the Organization for the Defense and Management (ODG) of Saint-Emilion wines, which had participated in the development of the specifications with the INAO, according to the instruction.
At the trial in September, the two defendants denounced in block having used any influence within these various bodies.
The lawyer of the civil parties, Me Éric Morain, had spoken to him of "small arrangements between friends" and "rigged classification".
The representative of the public prosecutor had requested a fine of 100,000 euros, partially accompanied by a suspension for Hubert de Boüard, and left to the discretion of the judges a possible sanction against Philippe Castéja.
The latter was released on Monday.