French police have seized samples from some 20 top Bordeaux Chateaux including Pétrus and Margaux investigating claims newer wines have been added to some of the older vintages.

The police are looking into claims that older vintages are being routinely "rejuvenated" by the addition of younger wines. In addition to Pétrus and Margaux, Chateau d'Yquem, Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild have also been visited.

The investigation was ordered by a senior Paris judge, Renaud Van Ruymbeke, who is investigating the attempted sale in 2000 of 360 bottles of Lafite and Margaux 1900 which turned out not to be genuine. The Belgian wine merchant accused in that case, Khaled Rouabah, claimed that new wine was routinely added to rejuvenate older vintages. Rouabah told the judge that this was a normal part of the process of reconditioning ancient vintages.

In fact, under the rules governing the Bordeau AOC, very old vintages may be kept in good condition by replacing the corks periodically and by adding a small amount of wine of the same vintage to compensate for evaporation. However, Rouabah claims that "all the great châteaux" add younger wines during reconditioning.