What is it with the French wine authorities? I've heard tales of them harassing natural winemakers before, not allowing them to use a recognised appellation for their wines because they're 'untypical'.
The latest example is Olivier Cousin in Anjou who decided to cock a snook at the authorities by putting AOC on his bottles - not appellation d'origine contrôlée but Anjou Olivier Cousin. Possibly unwise given French bureaucrats appear to suffer from a sense of humour failure but surely not serious enough to land him in court. He was apparently already in trouble for non-payment of a levy to the body which administers the appellation on the grounds that he disagreed with their aims. According to Jim's Loire which carries a full account of what's been going on he lost his case, has had his bank account frozen and now faces a fine of up to €45,000.
What can one do to help? Well for a start you could leave a comment in support of Cousin on Sylvie Augereau's site Glougueule. The weight of international opinion, including other winemakers and journalists hopefully counts for something. And you could make a point of buying some of Cousin's wine or ordering some next time you go to a natural wine bar as we will be doing in Paris next week.
Surely there are less draconian ways to deal with non-compliance.