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

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Olivier Cousin: before the Angers court today – decision 4th June (part 1)

 Olivier Cousin sitting in court awaiting the start of the hearing

Last minute preparations for Eric Morain, Olivier Cousin's lawyer

Olivier Cousin spent more than two and a half hours this afternoon in front of the Angers Tribunal Correctionnel. The prosecutor asked for a fine of 5000€ plus between 0.10 - 0.20 centimes per bottle labelled Anjou Olivier Cousin. The judgment will be handed down on Wednesday 4th June

Trying to follow a court case in a foreign language is I suspect never easy. Unfortunately it was made even more difficult this afternoon because no-one used a microphone because those in court didn't work properly and the president of the judges was very sofly spoken, especially in the initial stages.

Proceedings started by the judge asking Olivier Cousin a number of questions – initially factual – his age, how many hecatres did he have, his turnover, number of employees, etc. 75% of sales came from export, especially to the USA and Japan. Then on to why he had used the name Anjou. Cousin explained that he had left the appellation system in 2005 because these wines were increasingly 'industrial'. He said he was frequently controlled both by the Repression des Fraudes but also for his biodynamic viticulture. He doesn't chaptalise nor add sulphur and is keen to use sustainable methods of viticulture. 

Cousin spoke of two different viticultures – one making industrial wine, while on the other had you have the vigneron artisan – paysan making wine that was 'saine' (healthy) with no additives. He said that it was possible to find AC Anjou wines in supermarkets at less than two euros making them cheaper than bottled water. 

He was asked what he thought the most imporant things were for peope to know about a wine – the grape variety, where it came from and the vintage was Cousin's response. He also spoke of Anjou as a region – an historic region. In response to a question Cousin said that he had not trademarked the term 'Pur Breton'.  
(To be continued in part 2)

Olivier Cousin with Eric Morain 

Olivier Cousin leaving the court buidlng:

Ready to go down the court steps

heading down the steps from the court building

Olivier Cousin saluting his supporters


Gerry Dawes said...

I sure hope he wins the case, Jim.

Jim Budd said...

Gerry. Thanks – Olivier thinks he has already won whatever happens as the case has promoted a debate.

Lisa Wines said...

My best to Olivier, Clare and the whole family. He is standing up for quality and authenticity. Isn't that, ironically, what the AOC is meant to control?