French authorities have put numbers on a massive fraud uncovered last year, with an estimated 66.5 million bottles of inferior wine being sold off as Côtes du Rhône, with some even labelled as Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
French consumer fraud investigators brought the CEO of bulk wine company Raphaël Michel to court in August 2017. Guillaume Ryckwaert was released on a €1 million ($1.2m) bond and his lawyer claimed jealous rivals were trying to discredit him.
The allegations against Ryckwaert and the company claimed that cheap table wine from outside the Rhône had been knowingly mislabelled and sold into the trade.
According to a report in the English-language French website thelocal.fr, France’s consumer fraud body, the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF) revealed last week that almost 50 million liters of wine were falsely sold as Côtes du Rhône, with 10,000 liters being sold as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with a commercial value of $860,000.
Read the full report: https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2018/03/fraud-squad-finds-chateau-not-du-pape