Cosentino Signature Wines has posted a massive loss for last year.

The US wine producer said today (20 April) that its pre-tax loss for the full-year to 31 December hit US$18.5m, compared to a loss of $405,037 in the corresponding period a year earlier. Sales in the year slid less spectacularly, to $7.9m from $9.2m in 2005.

"2006 was a challenging and disappointing year for the company and its shareholders with a number of significant, as well as unforeseen, events that adversely affected the business," said company chairman Larry Soldinger.

Soldinger blamed the management of Cosentino "as if it were a commodity wine business" during 2006 as one reason for the downturn.

"Our pre-IPO philosophy and management practices are now back in full force and we continue to produce what we believe are among the best wines in the world."

Moving forward, the company has seen sales in the first three-months of this year leap by 73% year-on-year.

"The company is back in a solid position to execute on its business plan and return to its organic growth strategy. I am also pleased to report that some of the early steps to improve the business are paying off."

Soldinger returned to the position of  chairman and CEO at Cosentino in February, following the departures of two CEOs since November 2005.