Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

RVF: October 2011 bench mark test: 1855 – the worst internet wine retailer

According RVF (La Revue du Vin de France) 1855 is actually their worst internet wine retailer site

But that isn’t the impression the cover nor the introduction gives:

‘Achats en ligne
Les sites les plus fiables (the most reliable)
Nos meilleurs plans’

‘RVF : Banc d’Essai

Acheter son vin en un clic: Nos Meilleurs Plans sur Internet’

Notre palmarès des meilleurs adresses de la Toile

Turnover: 2010 (in euro)

1. Idealwine 8 million
2. Wine and Co 10 million
3. Savour Club 3 million from site (out of 30 million)
4 Nicolas n/a
5. Chateauonline n/a
6. 1855 7.6 million

Anyone wondering how on earth 1855 as well as chateauonline (now part of 1855 group) came to be included amongst the RVF’s prize winners should read the text by Audrey Dubourdieu carefully for the results are actually far from what they appear at first glance.

‘Seuls les sites capables de générer un traffic minimum de 50,000 visiteurs uniques par mois en moyenne ont été retenus pour notre enquête (sourtce Nielsen 2011). En lice: ChateauOnline, iDealwine, Le Savour Club, Nicolas, Wine and Co et 1855.’

So only six internet retailers judged and six awarded prizes.

I wonder why RVF didn’t just award prizes to the top three or four. 1855 has only this year taken over ChateauOnline, so it is still too early to tell whether it will fail to deliver a significant proportion of the wines, especially any en primeurs, their clients order. Fabien Hyon is the new director of ChateauOnline so the signs are not good as his record at 1855 speaks for itself.

RVF’s comments on 1855 understandably demonstrate a certain queasiness at including them.

‘.. la livraison manqué de riguer’ – a masterful understatement

‘Mais la livraison est moins fiable pour les bouteilles qui ne sont en stock (99%) du total). ‘

‘Saturé, le service Clients est réservé aux gros acheteurs, choyés, tandis que certaines internautes lambada, jamais livrés, réclament leur dû (lire La RVF n˚554, septembre 2011).'

‘Emeric Sauty de Chalon, P-D.G de 1855, reste tributaire de son actionnaire Jean-Pierre Meyers.'

The full-page ad for Caveprivée (bought by the 1855 group last year) on page 34 may provide a clue to the inclusion of 1855 in the list of RVF’s prize-winners.

The ad for Caveprivée enjoys a prominent place in the article

It would easy to dismiss this article as superficial, fluffy, lacking rigour and a cheap space filler if the possible consequences of readers seriously believing that RVF is actually recommending 1855 as one of their prize winning sites weren’t so grave.

Sadly it is all too likely that some of RVF’s readers will be fooled into joining the apparently ever-lengthening list of exasperated clients of 1855 who wait years for their wines to be delivered and who often have to resort to the courts to see their bottles.

See also here (la Passion du Vin), here (le Blog du Grand Jury) and even on the forum of the Revue du Vin de France.

Shamefully poor sloppy and irresponsible journalism RVF!

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