The world of European wine has been rocked with news that 12 of its biggest names are to form a new breakaway ‘super cru’.
In a joint statement, the organisers of the European Super Cru of Wine (ESCROW) said their logo will appear on bottles from the 2021 vintage, ‘assuming any wine actually gets made in Europe this year’.
The so-called ‘dorée dozen’ include famous names from across Europe, with the likes of Chateau Lafite, DRC and Krug from France, Gaja from Italy, and Vega Sicilia from Spain.
Domaine Tout-en-homme Haute-Spurre have been controversially included despite their top wine selling for no more than E30 and having recently sacked their head winemaker.
ESCROW say that entry into the Super Cru was ‘entirely meritocratic’ with a rigorous selection process based ‘solely on the quality of each member’s bank balance’.
‘Because this new Super Cru is founded totally on inherent excellence, we do not feel it appropriate or necessary that our members should ever to be demoted from it,’ said ESCROW’s president, Ray King-Ittin. ‘Once they are in, they’re here for life, irrespective of how good their wines are.
‘It’s a lot like the 1855 Classification.’
Jayers for goalposts
The ESCROW breakaway has met with a frosty response from the wine-buying population.
‘The category’s gone,’ John Public told Fake Booze. ‘It’s not like it used to be when me and the old man would share a bottle of Jaboulet on a Saturday afternoon.
‘Now wine’s just for rich people and collectors. Half these people probably never even drink the stuff live.’
Local AOCs across Europe have come together to condemn the move.
Pierre Sur-Lattes for the Bureau de Bulles de Champagne (BBC) said the new Super Cru was ‘Just a club to help rich, powerful brands get even richer and more powerful, which is against everything that we in Champagne stand for.’
A spokesman for the Chianti DOCG told Fake Booze, ‘We’re not really sure what our criteria are for inclusion in the Chianti appellation anymore, but we’re certain what they’re doing breaks it.’
Competitions, too, have been united in criticising the new Cru, and said that they will ban its members from competing next year.
‘Whether big, successful competitions like us or smaller, less good competitions like the IWC, it’s really important that we put aside our differences and come together to take a stand on this,’ said Luis Morals of the Decanter World Wine awards. ‘We cannot allow such naked greed to triumph.
‘At least, not outside of the field of wine competitions.’
The International Wine Challenge, meanwhile, said that they would also be taking a tough line on the breakaway 12.
‘We’re afraid that Henri Jayer will just have to market their wines without the help of a bronze medal from our competition,’ said a spokesman.
‘Unless they were to pay twice as much or something. In which case we’d probably let them in.
‘I mean, money is money.’