Cult Cabernet Crime

Principals of wine brokerage firm Bordeaux Cellars are accused of defrauding investors

Cult Cabernet Crime
Two Englishmen allegedly duped investors in order to buy wine and gold for themselves. (Akindo/Getty Images)
From the Jun 30, 2022, issue

The two Englishmen began showing up at investor conferences in 2015, armed with an enticing proposition. Investors could, via a London-based brokerage, Bordeaux Cellars, lend money to wealthy borrowers who needed fast loans, no questions asked. The loans would carry a 16% interest rate. The lenders would receive 12%, paid quarterly.

Normally, such a high rate of interest meant that the loan would be dicey. Not so, the two men claimed—these loans would be secured with prestigious wines from the borrowers’ cellars, transferred to climate-controlled, secure warehouses overseen by Bordeaux Cellars. “What happens in case of a default?” asked Stephen Burton, the 57-year-old head of the firm, at a 2015 conference in Cancun. “We sell the wine.” 

Read more about how this vinous investing scheme proved too good to be true. 

Member-Only Content

Premium Subscription

Join today and get immediate access to this article, and to our entire database of more than 400,000 wine ratings. It only takes moments—but it will help you drink better all year long.

Start Free 30-day Trial

Already a member? Sign In

Try Winespectator.com Free for 30 Days!

Full access to our database of more than 400,000 wine ratings

Early access to reviews on our editors' favorite just-rated wines

Wine and food pairing tool,
chefs' pairing recommendations

Best value wines and winery intel

Subscribe today

You Might Also Like

Rocca delle Macìe Commemorates “Trinity” Westerns with Special-Edition Magnums

Rocca delle Macìe Commemorates “Trinity” Westerns with Special-Edition Magnums

Plus, Vintage Wine Estates releases new wines in collaboration with HBO’s House of the …

Nov 15, 2022
New Beaulieu: Righting the Ship

New Beaulieu: Righting the Ship

Winemaker Trevor Durling has Beaulieu Vineyard back on track for quality Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 15, 2022
Funds Push Wine As Alternative Asset

Funds Push Wine As Alternative Asset

Investment funds in wine are increasingly popular in the U.S., but do they offer safe …

Nov 15, 2022
Tornado and Hail Hit Famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vineyard

Tornado and Hail Hit Famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vineyard

Plus, the Spotted Lanternfly spreads across East Coast vineyards and remembering a Burgundy …

Nov 15, 2022
V Foundation Wine Celebration Raises Nearly $6.5 Million for Cancer Research

V Foundation Wine Celebration Raises Nearly $6.5 Million for Cancer Research

Plus, Auction of Washington Wines raises $4 million

Nov 15, 2022
Older Adults May Benefit from Alcohol

Older Adults May Benefit from Alcohol

New study links light consumption to potential disease protection in adults over 40

Oct 31, 2022