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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

Riojan producer Roberto Alonso of Bodegas Faustino was due to be issued with a court summons, over alleged non-delivery of wine, at the LIWSF on Tuesday. The writ was due to be handed to Seor Alonso on the Cellar Trends stand by Marlene Deparis-Weinburg, manager of the EastEnders wine store in Calais. The writ is for damages of 52,522.79, interest accrued from 23 July 1999, plus costs. EastEnders owner Dave West claimed that in 1998, he wanted to buy 50,000 of wine from Bodegas Faustino, but was told that instead, he would have to go through its French importer, Don Felipe, based in Mulhouse, near Strasbourg. He added: We gave them [Don Felipe] an order; it came to about 50,000. They said they never received the cheque. Then we were told the order wasn't ready, there were all kinds of excuses, and we didn't get our wine.' West also claimed that after two unsuccessful attempts to sue Don Felipe, he won on the third attempt. West alleges that Don Felipe had since gone bankrupt, so he is now turning to Bodegas Faustino to get his money back. Speaking to Harpers on Monday, he said: We sent a letter to Faustino, saying we want our money back. We were told, more or less, to take a running jump. We're going to serve the writ tomorrow. We're going to challenge them for their participation in this.' He also estimated that the final amount due could total 250,000. Martin Watts, MD of Cellar Trends, whose only involvement with Faustino is as its UK representative, said: Faustino is a very correct company, and I would be very surprised if it had done anything it shouldn't have. It is the most honourable company I've ever had to deal with. I think the whole thing is just a publicity stunt.'