A wine company in the Languedoc has been the victim of a scam from a UK-based con artist.

Château de Marmorières, in the La Clape - Aude department of the wine region, was earlier this month relieved of 18,000 bottles of rosé, red and white wine of AC and VDP from Languedoc, having been approached by a person claiming to be a buyer for on-trade companies in the UK.

The buyer gave the name James Dee, and said he was buying for Maxwell Restaurant. A delivery address was given as 678 High Road in London. Château de Marmorières subsequently gave the wine to three different transport companies, none of which have been paid either.

A separate scam attempt at Domaine de Familongue in the region failed, however, when further inquiries were made. Whilst the same delivery address was given, the contact name given was Nathan Green, a supposed sourcing manager for the Thistle Kensington Park hotel.

The Château de Marmorières wines do not have distribution in the UK, so any appearance on the UK market would clearly come from the con artist, the wine company warned.