Pomerol estate Chateau Petrus has lost the right to protect its ‘Petrus’ name, after a French court of appeals ruled in favour of another wine brand using the revered title.
Chateau Petrus has been fighting for seven years to gain exclusive rights to its name, in a bid to retain its quality status and prevent others from capitalising on its reputation.
A case was specifically made against wine brand Petrus Lambertini, which sells a blended wine for less than £10. Its label features the name ‘Petrus Lambertini’ in a large font, with ‘No 2’ underneath. Chateau Petrus argued the branding is misleading as consumers would assume it was Petrus’ ‘second wine’. Petrus does not make a second wine.
While a court originally upheld Chateau Petrus’ case and fined Petrus Lambertini producer CGM, an appeals court concluded that the labels are “radically different” and ruled that CGM may resume sales of its Petrus Lambertini brand. The court also praised CGM on “their clever use of the trademark which they registered in order to attract the customer’s attention”.
Chateau Petrus is expected to launch a counter-appeal to a higher court.