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Scandale!

June 17, 1998|CHARLES PERRY

Another year, another French wine scandal. This one involves Cha^teau Giscours--more precisely, its second-tier wine, La Sirene de Giscours. Two weeks ago, the Paris newspaper Le Monde revealed that Giscours' oenologist and former cha^teau director were being judicially investigated for adding "foreign substances" (sugar, water, acids, grape juice from outside the village of Margaux--maybe even milk) to some 175,000 bottles of the 1995 vintage of La Sirene, the cha^teau's second label.

Cha^teau Giscours' new owner, a wealthy Dutch citizen named Eric Albada Jelgersma, pleaded that he was an ignorant victim of his employees' dirty doings. Meanwhile, the former director, who only lasted four months on the job and now runs a vineyard in Lebanon, defended the illegal additions, claiming that they had improved the wine.

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