The story began at 124 Quai des Chartrons which, at the time, was the waterfront home of the prestigious wine trading and export company Cruse. On Thursday June 28th 1973, inspectors from the State tax department’s Brigade de Surveillance des Services Fiscaux descended on Cruse, possibly as the result of a tip-off, with the intention of carrying out a full audit and inventory.
|Lionel Cruse, the self-proclaimed |
"Nixon of Bordeaux". Source: larvf.com
The story broke in late August 1973 with articles including a double-page spread in the Nouvel Observateur, followed by Le Canard Enchainé whose front-page headline was “All-out fraud in Bordeaux”. Le Canard Enchainé added a political dimension to the scandal: this was all good news for then-Finance minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, whose main fellow Right-Wing political rival for the 1976 presidential election was none other than Jacques Chaban-Delmas, mayor of Bordeaux and a long-term friend and ally of the disgraced Chartrons wine community. The Canard Enchainé piece signed off saying “Another point for Giscard! Poor Jacques!” And the satirical weekly was right: upon the April 1974 death of president Georges Pompidou, the election was brought forward to May of that year and Chaban-Delmas was easily brushed aside in the first round of voting, Giscard then edging past François Mitterrand to become president.
|The Cruse family name is prominent|
on Château Laujac's website homepage.
- Find it on the Invisible Bordeaux map:
- Former Cruse headquarters, 124 Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux.