Judgment days come along like buses and bananas

Explanatory sign for the Quarts de Chaume close to the Layon and at the southern end of the AC. Terraces of the Domaine des Baumards to left, while on right some terraces of Château la Varière.

Recently court appearances and judgments have resembled a long awaited bus which eventually turns up with another two in close attendance  – like a bunch of bananas!

 Soon after Emmanuel Giboulot had appeared in court in Dijon on Monday, the Conseil d’Etat issued their much awaited judgment on Domaine des Baumard’s legal challenge to the creation of Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru and its cahier des charges. The Baumard’s lost on all counts.

(To see the judgment go to ArianeWeb on the Conseil d’Etat site and type in 356103 – the number of the document – http://www.conseil-etat.fr/fr/base-de-jurisprudence/)

The Conseil ruled that it was perfectly legal for Quarts de Chaume to be made a grand cru and that there was no need for the INAO to have consulted the other Loire appellations before this was done. The Conseil gave short shrift to the practice of cryoselection and to the objection that the maximum yield in the Quarts de Chaume could only be achieved by the use of cryoselection. The judgment notes that the maximum permitted yield should not be seen as a threshold to aim for but a true maximum rarely attained, especially for a high quality sweet wine.

They also overruled objections to Coteaux du Layon Premier Cru Chaume.

I’m delighted by this judgment and hope that producers can now concentrate on further enhancing the reputation of the Quarts de Chaume.

This is the fourth time that Domaine des Baumard has taken a legal challenge regarding an appellation to the Conseil d’Etat. To date their record is played four – won two, lost two, so a score draw. They successfully challenged two earlier décrets involving Chaume: one passed in 2003 was annulled in 2005 by the Conseil d’Etat then one passed in 2007 and annulled in 2009.

The other appeal to the Conseil was over being denied the appellation by the INAO for the 2007 vintage for certain parcels in Quarts de Chaume and Savennières as the vines were too widely spaced. The appeal was rejected and the INAO’s action upheld.

I’ll leave others to decide whether the Baumards are ahead on points or not.

Olivier Cousin with one of his horses: October 2nd 2013@Angers

Tomorrow Olivier Cousin will return to court in Angers for the postponed hearing of the now celebrated Anjou Pur Breton case. Again there will a picnic in front of the court building from 12.30pm Olivier Cousin will there with his horses and a barrel or two of red – pur Breton presumably.

Will the prosecution follow the example set in the case of Emmanuel Giboulot and ask for a minimal fine or press for a more substantial punishment? I assume that as in the case of Giboulot that the court will hear arguments from both sides then retire to return a verdict in April?

Should both Emmanuel Giboulot and Olivier Cousin be hit with minimal fines will they pay it or refuse on principle to pay?

Always remain discreet….

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