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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Cult and Boutique Wine Management: report from a cold called

Cult & Boutique website 
now used by Cult and Boutique (Wine Management) Ltd 

I am indebted to RD, who was recently cold called by Cult and Boutique (Wine Management) Ltd, for this report:
   
'I'm emailing you to let you know of a company that you might want to research as a possible addition to your "I wouldn't buy wine from these companies" list on your investdrinks blog.
A few days ago I received a phone call from a gentleman working for Cult and Boutique (Wine Management) Ltd. He asked for me by name, and claimed to be calling because I had expressed an interest in wine dealing in a survey (I know very well that I did no such thing). He also claimed to have my address details, stressing twice during the call that "this isn't a cold call situation", and tried to persuade me to take a look at their website, http://cultandboutique.com.

After telling him in no uncertain terms that I wasn't interested, I decided to do a bit of internet research about them and wine dealing in general, which led me to your blog. There, I found your post dated 7th Jan 2010 entitled "Checking a company out". I followed the advice in that post, and here are the results:
From Companies House (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07178818):
Company: Cult and Boutique (Wine Management) Ltd.
Registration number: 07178818 (which matches that given on their website)
Incorporated on: 4th March 2010
Registered office: The Counting House, 247 Imperial Drive, Rayners Lane, Harrow
Director: Enzo Giannotta (DOB: 28.8.1978) Company secretary: Harvey Solomons

Their filings are up to date, but their history contains a notice for compulsory strike-off in Dec 2013, which was discontinued a few weeks later. (*As an aside, it seems that Companies House no longer charge for the company's accounts and returns documents, as your "checking a company out" blog entry states). 
* The post "Checking a company out" was written in 2010 when there was a charge for most of the information on Companies House. However, RD is quite right by using the Beta service there is no charge for information. Excellent news!

Companies House also lists a separate company called Cult and Boutique Wines Ltd (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06355869), which was compulsorily struck off in Aug 2015, and of which Enzo Giannotta was also a director.

Their website is not very extensive, and appears to contain almost no information about the company itself (no list of directors or price list, and the contact address is the same as the registered office on Companies House). The stuff that *is* there is just generic spiel about the wine market, and it does indeed prominently feature Robert Parker!

The whois information for cultandboutique.com lists Enzo Giannotta as the registrant, but, interestingly, gives his organization as "Premier Red Fine Wines Ltd" - a company that is already on your blog's "wouldn't buy from" list. Companies House confirms that Enzo Giannotta is a director of that company too, and furthermore, its registered address is also The Counting House, 247 Imperial Drive, Harrow.

A web search for Enzo Giannotta shows that he was also a director of the now dissolved Australian Portfolio Wines Ltd (another company that is already on your "wouldn't buy from" list), and of APW Asset Management Ltd, which features unfavourably (to put it lightly!) in a number of your blog posts.'
Cult and Boutique (Wine Management) Ltd is now on my list of companies from whom I would not buy. 

No for me thanks Enzo Giannotta! 

9 comments:

  1. Good write. I've had this misfortune of coming across these cowboys as well; an amateur night enterprise at best and one to be avoided if you are someone who has no time for unscrupulous dealings and 'dirty tricks'

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  2. I have just had a Daniel Patterson from Cult & Boutique Wines call me this morning - over enthusiastic and not very knowledgeable. Also probably trying to pass off on Cult Wines Ltd trading. Any reason known why their original firm was dissolved in Aug 2015?
    MP

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  3. CULT & BOUTIQUE WINES LIMITED were dissolved compulsorily dissolved as the company failed to file its annual return and accounts. Cult and Boutique (Wine Management) Ltd seems to be following the same path as the annual return has been overdue since 1st April 2016.

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  4. I too have had the misfortune of hearing from Daniel Paterson (spelt the Scottish way - he liked to inform me on several occasions). He told me that he had been with the company for more years than they had actually been trading. When I searched his linkedin profile I found that he had previously worked for another wine investment company and had been with Cult & Boutique for less than a year. His comments about his expertise, knowledge, selling people out at auctions are like his comments about his career history with Cult & Boutique (based out in China in for years) are worth investigating. That man is full of bs!

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  5. Found this very interesting article which mentions Enzo Giannotta having worked for a company called Wine Index which was ordered by the High Court to fold due to scamming people.
    https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2015/02/revealed-the-fine-wine-investment-company-apw-that-has-drained-millions-from-its-clients/

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  6. I also have received cold calls from this outfit and so glad I did some research and come across this blog... I suspected the outfit was dodgy and this blog has helped confirm my fears despite all the smooth talking from Daniel and one of their so called Senior Wine Traders. My investment in wine this week will be limited to a case from Laithwaites on offer at £4.39 per bottle plus three bottles of merlot free and free delivery.....

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  7. Interesting. Had the same from a guy called Charles who just would not listen to me and talked over me. He quoted a incorrect e-mail address that he said was the info he had in front of him hoping I would give my correct mail address. When I explained to him that I had serious health issues he just said that investing in wine would be a wonderful investment to leave to my wife upon my death. Not even a bit of compassion. I told him to send me some info and not to phone me. I would contact him if interested. He sent me the brochure and guess what he phoned me back before I had time to open the envelope. I had to be a bit verbally forceful to get him off my back. You can see why if you did not have your wits about you how you can be caught out by these people.

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  8. I have to hold my hands up and say I have been fleeced by the hard sell of Daniel Paterson and the Cult and Boutique con artists....I should have known better and only wished I had seen this blog sooner. I am now nearly £3k down on an impulse "investment"...Should have bought "Blue nun".

    Anyone reading this...PLEASE do not buy from Cult and Boutique and if Daniel calls, put the phone down quickly.

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    Replies
    1. Would be interesting to know what wine you were persuaded to buy and how much it cost.

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