Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
I think the community has had such a visceral reaction to events, veritably culminating with the posting of these images of seminal labels tucked away in a closet with the tools to mass-replicate these frauds, largely because of the tangible connection between these egregious fakes and common channels many of us afficiandos use to acquire the wines we love (auction/grey market). Make no mistake that beyond the single-handed work of this apprehended character, there are forces throughout the world actively trying to profit from creating frauds. However unsophisticated they may have been in the past (comically so in some cases), the escalation of pricing has made it far more lucrative to produce better and less detectable frauds from sophisticated parties, and the potential that law enforcement within these far-ends of the world being disinterested in actively pursuiting it is simply scary. Make no mistake that the savvier these people get (and they will), the more likely it is that their wines will find their way into our distribution channels as a major market. We need to question any "grey market" activity with a more stringent eye, now more than ever.
Second, I think it is also time we question the insider culture behind many of the egregious wine-events that have been documented through various channels (forums, email d-lists et al.) where these types of bottles are routinely consumed in ridiculous and quite frankly sickening quantities all in the name of "hedonism". Many that partake in these events have direct financial interest in the distirbution and profit of these mythic bottles. Furthermore, their voluminous documentation of said legends has created an imprimatur in the market for what the experience of these wines should be like. Whenever anyone in the past has questioned their experiences, they have been repudiated with a "if you cant play in this field, stay in the kiddie pool" type response. The potential for abuse is acute. I make no claims or false accusations, but we as a community should be distinctly aware of this.
Wrong Francois brother, you were thinking of Audoze. Mauss likes his wines with fruit in it.
"Hey Justin -- yer a fookin' dork!" Bob Wood
My wife is ITB
Hey, John....thanks for creating a brand for me.
Just remember, BeauneHead called b.s. on Rudy when he was in his prime scheming. Of course, I had no idea of his financial, kiting of collaterals, but I told people , some of whom are well known and swallowed his shtick, that he seemed FOS and his act contrived and purposeful. When "Rudy"/"Dr. Conti" posted on Squires..in fact....my reaction to him and his act supposedly drove him from ever posting again. and I was excoriated by his fans. I wish I had access to those exchanges...and those with his marks/fish who said I was out of line to raise questions about him, as his story was impeccable and so was he, etc. etc.
Where have all the flower/followers gone...to graveyards everywhere? They sure have been silent over the last 4 years.
I guess you were trying to pay a compliment.
Last edited by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow on March 11th 2012, 2:03pm, edited 1 time in total.
Good thoughts, Faryan. I especially agree with the tenor of the hedonism/conflict of interest aspects of your second paragraph.
It is always to be taken for gra
In list of all this, I re-read a few things.. this made me chuckle from 2004...
http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/sho ... 445&page=1
A lot of us (most?) can't read that, what's the gist?
É prohibido prohibir!
Ben Wallace ("The Billionaire's Vinegar") just e-mailed this amusing observation:
It's kind of funny that people like Kurniawan and Rodenstock, for all their high-flying, likely spent hours and hours at the kitchen table, with glue and scissors, doing what amounted to a crafts project.
"In the long story of civilization, the moments when improving your lot beats out annoying your neighbor are vanishingly rare." – Adam Gopnik, 2012
"Here is the land of mirth, as Germany is the land of metaphysics and France is the land of fornication. Here the buffoonery never stops." – H.L. Mencken, 1922
I liked the one where someone queried the authenticity of a 34 DP and Rudy and Richard Brierley came wading in to state they were confident it was fine...
I couldn't agree more. The behaviour detailed in the Men's Vogue article is nothing less than wine abuse whether or not the bottles were genuine.
the thread is entitled, "Last weekend where I tried to kill John Kapon with legendary wines !!" authored by Rudy on October 24, 2004. It seems to be recounting the same event(s) that Jay McInerney covered for Vogue (http://www.colgincellars.com/article?billionaire_winos). I do notice some notes that Rudy has from a tasting with Allen Meadows too, in addition to notes from a 12 Angry Men dinner.
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Someone had better tell Mr Squires to protect that thread -- looks like evidence to me!
Is that thread the official beginning of the "long con?"
-Eric LeVine (ITB)
It rhymes with wine...
A few other amusing touches:
Rudy's signature is "Life's too short to drink bad wine."
When Todd Walman questions the excess, Big Boy replies "Waldman you've obviously never stepped to that level.... Not too much wine or money.... We drink intelligently not foolishly....", then later starts a post with "Boys-Boys-Boys, and those of uou who are men and were there,"
Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
another gem from rudy (regarding La Paulee 2005)
"I think there are definitely btl variations and I've had numerous genius btls of the 1953 La Romanee recently.........perhaps its really tough to judge a delicate mature wine at the event so fast & furious........thats excatly why i opened the 79 RC 6L at the beginning when we are still in control"
It's been so much fun reading the archives this afternoon on eRP - I feel like my subscription is finally paying off!
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Very well written Faryan!
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com
Here is the post from Rudy (10-24-2004, 02:57 AM on eBob) . . .
I am usually too lazy to post, but this past weekend is too fun not to. I’ve had such wonderful time in NYC with great friends, old and new. A new restaurant ( actually previously called Washnigton Park) CRU is a definite must for wine lovers. The winelist, actually 2, looks like my phonebook. The sommeilier, Robert Bohr, is one of the best - Knowledgable ,humble and generous. Food and service there is top notch as well. In fact everything is so good that I went back 4 nights in a row !!!!!!
Acker Merall 2002 White Burgundy tasting w/ Allen Meadows.
We’ve had the following wines – Dauvissat Chablis les Clos, Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets, Lafleiave Puligny-montrachet Clavoillon, Roumier Corton Charlemagne, Girardin Corton Charlemagne Quintessence, Pernot Bievenues Batard-Montrachet, Blain-Gagnard Batard Montrachet, Gagnard-Delagrange Batard-Montrachet, H.Boillot Batard-Montrachet, Ramonet Batard-Montrachet, Colin-Deleger Chevalier-Montrachet, Bouchard Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte, Niellon Chevalier-Montrachet, Jadot Montrachet.
They are wonderful showing how good the vintage is, clean and balanced on the most part. These 4 wines are worth mentioning :
Dauvissat Chablis Les Clos – Minerals and racy. Pure and clean. Superb fat and intensity yet perfectly balanced and long. 5*
Ramonet Batard Montrachet – Sweet and oily attack, excellent structure and not clumsy at all. lingering finish. Easily identified by unique Ramonet ‘ Grassy Mint’ notes. 4*
Bouchard Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte – Minerals and nutty nose, deceivingly light attack that leads into insane intensity and fat with great complexity. Spicy long finish. A great Chevalier, almost like montrachet. 5*
Niellon Chevalier-Montrachet – Very ‘Nougat’ in the nose. Spicy and complex, deep and dense, yet round and elegant. Long complex finish. Very exotic and lovely. 5*
Then a few of us went to Bob’s house for the second round – themed 1990 Burgundies. I am very lucky to be invited and be part of the group. Thanks Bob for the hospitality. I must say it’s a controversial tasting , there were many disappointments from this highly regarded vintage. Wines we drank include : Pousse d` Or, G.Mugneret Ruchottes Chambertin, A.Rousseau Ruchottes clos de Ruchottes, Jadot Clos de Beze, Ponsot Griotte Chambertin, Bouchard La Romanee, Rouget Eschezeaux, Roumier Bonne Mares, Comte Vogue Musigny VV, Mugnier Musigny. Also, 96 Roumier Clos Vougeot and D’Angerville Volnay Clos de ducs. I like these : (some were off btls)
Bouchard La Romanee – Spices and truffles on nose. Excellent structure with lots of potential. Just a touch dry at the end. At some pt, notes and profile is almost like RC but nothing beyond that. 4*
Rouget Eschezeaux – Sweet ripe nose. Lush and fat w/ exotic dark fruits. Little Square and clumsy. A great drink, and it will age further. I like this over the Jayer at times. 4*
Roumier Bonne Mares – Sweet, lush , muscular and dense. Excellent depth and long finish. Very youthful and not yet generous at this point. Will be great. ( I hope) 5*
Mugnier Musigny – Sweet, lush , and exotic. Very feminine and showing good complexity even at such early stage. Excellent structure with long firm finish. A solid wine and very balanced. 5*
96 D’Angerville Volnay Clos de ducs – Fragrant. Tight still. Lush and fat w/ excellent sap in mid and structured firm finish. 5*
Then I called CRU and Robert Bohr gladly welcomed us even though they are closed for the night. I believe its 12am by now. There were 7 of us. Upon arrival I ordered 42 and 43 LaTache to start.
42 La Tache ( recorked by Leroy) – Sweet, rich and ripe on nose and palate, yet missing the classic fragrance, complexity and purity of La TAche. A little clumsy. Nonetheless, a very good La TAche. 4*
43 La Tache (orginal, 5cm fill) Sweaty and slightly singed – perhaps a touch unclean and oxidized. Palate is quite dense and meaty though. Purer and deeper than the 42 but not as fat. The wine evolved and showed much better in glass after 2 hrs or so. Still not the best btl I’ve had. 4*
Then Ray served us a blind wine. Obviously burgundy. A delicious drink, showing chapitalization typical of Negociants style. Sweet attack and structured yet quite tannic and drying. I guessed 1952 negociants wine , so did Allen Meadows. It turns out to be 53 Remoissenet Grands Eschezeaux. Obvioulsy this wine is reconditioned and Allen and I are convinced it’s a 52 instead of 53, none of its elegance, oh well, who knows…….. 3*
Then , I ordered a fun and educational wine, 1950 La Tache – braely showing traces of sweet oriental tea and spices with slight game.Past its peak. Lots of VA as well. Interesting though 2*
Then, Jeff ordered 96 La Tache blind. Upon smelling the nose. I guessed it right away, 1996 DRC Latache or Romanee-Conti. The nose is extremely complex and exotic, showing lots of tea and green beans which is typical of RC when young, but the palate is not as spherical and deep, a little clunky like La Tache ( relatively speaking) and a touch dry on the end. A little advanced as well. I’ve had better btls. Still, I guessed RC but I was wrong. Its La TAche 96. 4*
Then , I ordered the 1971 Romanee-Conti – always one of my fav. RC. OHH La LA….indeed, it was everything I wanted and remembered. Fragrant, oriental spices, tea and sweet nose. Sweet and lush , dense , complex and layered. Perfectly balanced. No signs of hail at all. I have always prefer this over 78 vintage. Flawless 6*
Of course, its 3am and time to go BUTTTTT, Robert generously pulled the cork on the great 1990 Chave Cuvee Cathelin, oh man……what can I say – Lets drink it A baby still. Sweet, spicy game and dark fruits dominates the nose. Lush, fat and dense with wonderful complexity and structure. A flawless hermitage – Stings like a bee but floats like a butterfly…………………………. 5*+
Domaine Dujac vertical dinner at Le Cirque by Acker Merall / John Kapon
96 Eschezeaux – Stemmy, ripe, dark fruits on nose. Muscular and broad. A little coarse and dry. Others like it more than I do. 3*
93 Eschezeaux – Aromatic, ripe, dense and structured. Balanced yet firm. Needs time. Will be great. 4*
90 Eschezeaux – Slightly corked. Drinkable but not good enough to evaluate.
99 Clos de la Roche – sweet, ripe and grapey. Still a baby. Lush and fat but structured. Needs time. I think this wine have all the right components to age. 4*+
96 Clos de la Roche – herbal and green on nose. Broad and dense , yet clumsy and simple. More advanced than I thought and a touch dry at the end. 3*
93 Clos de la Roche – Aromatic, sweet and lush with great depth and firm tannic (sweet) finish. Will be great. 5*
90 Clos de la Roche – Exotic nose, Ripe and sweet, Balanced and long. Already showing chocolaty notes of Clos de la Roche. A great wine. 5*
89 Clos de la Roche – Gamey nose. Sweet and gamey attack but hollow and drying finish. Square and boring. Totally different than the 90. 3*
88 Clos de la Roche – Funky and barnyard smell. Lean, earthy and dry. An off btl ?? 2*
85 Bonne Mares – mature pinot nose, yet lots of alcohol. Sweet , fat and broad. A little Clumsy. A very good wine. 4*
85 Clos de la Roche – Mature, floral and complex nose. Ripe , muscular and structured but simple and drying a little on the finish. 3*
78 Clos st Denis – Seductive and perfumy nose. (green olives and spices) Color is amazingly dark and opaque with just slight brickering edges. Vibrant and fresh, sweet and lush. Deep , complex and round. Flawless. I’ve always preferred this vineyard over Clos de la Roche in general. 5*
76 Clos st Denis – color almost reminiscence of 78. Earthy, minerlly driven with touch of sweetness on nose. Sweet and lush, not as deep as the 78 but quite complex. Firm solid finish yet a touch dry. 4*
71 Clos St Denis – Subtle, minty and elegant nose. Color is light and mature. Earthy and sweet palate but past its peak. Fading gracefully. 3*
69 Eschezeaux – Liquerish nose, fat but simple, clumsy with hot tarry finish. Out of balance and focus. Perhaps chapitalized ? Past its peak. 2*
Then, John Kapon, Brian Orcutt, Christin Winggo , Dave Beckwith, Doug Barzeley , Allen Meadows and I went to CRU for the 2nd night..Robert Rosania joined us midway. We were greeted by Robert and Roy and immediately served 86 Marc Colin Montrachet, after which I ordered many great legendary wines…..ohhh…what a night, my way. I love it.
1986 Marc Colin Montrachet. – lots of roasted character, showing botyritis, racy and sweet. Quite intense and fresh. Not at all elegant or classy. Not a representative of great montrachet but a great drink 3*
62 Vogue Musigny VV – what a shame, a great looking btl but oxidized.
49 Vogue Musigny VV – corked …Arrghhhhhhh
66 Roumier Musigny – Ohhhh La la, finally……Vibrant and youthful nose. Deep, complex, fragrant and elegant. Sweet and lush yet so balanced and pure. Great structured smoky finish. A rare treat . 5*
64 DRC Romanee-Conti – Sweet, ripe and reserved in the nose that slowly develops and revealing gamey and floral notes. Deep and powerful, lots of reserve. Evolving very slowly throughout the night. A great wine with lots of life ahead, will get better. It will be interesting to compare the 62 against the 64 side by side. My favorite of the night. 5*+
29 DRC Richebourg (Doris Duke) - Mature excellent color. Smoky and gamey notes but not fresh and vibrant as I remembered the last btl showed. Sweet and full, quite deep , although never as spherical as La Tache or RC. Finishes with sweet ripe tannins. Classy and long. Held up well for 2 hrs. Palate better than nose. Not the best btl but no complains 4*
71 Roumier Bonne Mares – Very ripe and sweet nose. Still stemmy and incredibly fresh. Lots of sap , showing minerals. Surprisingly deep and complex for Bonne Mares – not at all clumsy, actually elegant. Held up well for 2 hrs. Bonne Mares in its own league. 5*
61 La Chapelle – Amazingly youthful color, opaque with slightly maturing rim. Showing maturity in nose, huge and incredibly sweet and choclaty, just like a 61 Latour-pomerol or 47 pomerols. Vigorous & sweet attack, incredible fat in the mid-palate, with good complexity and layers. Intense and long. A monster yet so balanced. La Chapelle at its best. . 6*
45 Mouton Rothschild – Mature rim with opaque ruby core. Huge and sweet nose, more like pomerols than paulliac. Almost like a dry port. Sweet and fat attack, yet fresh and layered. Long Vibrant and structured finish, if theres any fault, it’s the tannins, lacks class and a little dry. In anyway, deep and powerful with years ahead. Amazing. A monster, Paulliac in its own class. ( I drank a magnum a week ago which is similar but more vibrant and youthful. To drink now, I prefer today’s btl although not the best I've had.) 5*
78 Guigal La Mouline – Dark opaque core with only slightly maturing rim. Showing viognier in the nose. Sweet and fat, with underlying game and exotic perfume. Liquerish as well. Balanced, complex and elegant. Plenty of years ahead. A great Mouline 6*
12 ANGRY MEN October tasting hosted by Robert Rosania. This group is really an angry group I can tell you that 12 members, each hosting designated months and deciding his theme. Host provides a few btls and dinner, each member bringing a btl (sometimes more) to round up the night. Rob’s theme is ‘Big Boy style’ Great Bordeaux pre-1961.
March is a great restaurant. Food and service is top notch. I was appointed the sommeilier of the night by ‘Big Boy’ Robert Rosania. ( Thus I noted as detailed as I can on wine conditions ) All wines decanted and served immediately.
1918 Haut Brion ( soft cork, Mid shoulder ) – Sweet tobacco, classic graves nose,
Deep ruby color with brickering rim. Unfortunately, tart and acidic on palate. *
1950 Haut Brion ( Solid cork, High Shoulder ) – Deep ruby red w/ maturing rim. Sweet classic graves nose, with touch of VA. Again, palate is lean, dry and medicinal. Diluted. Total contrast to sister La Mission 50, which is delicious. *
1928 Haut Brion ( Solid cork, Top Shoulder ) – Dark ruby color still, amazing !! sweet and smoky nose, not as fresh an complex as I remember the last btl at Acker/Le Cirque dinner. Lean and muscular with firm solid finish. Typical of the vintage, will eventually dry out. This btl has slightly singed and sweaty notes. 3*
1928 Latour Nicolas ( Original solid cork, Top shoulder ) - Dark ruby color w/ slight brickering edges. Classic, seabreeze, walnut and mature Latour nose. Portish just like 61 but leaner and dryer. Firm and tannic but with good complexity and fat. A classic latour. 4*
1949 Latour-a-pomerol Nicolas ( Original solid cork, Very top shoulder ) Opaque ruby core with brickering edges. Chocolaty and seductive on the nose. Lush and layered with great explosion in mid and long sweet tannic finish. Great spine and will age further. I love 49 pomerols. 5*
1947 Trotanoy Nicolas ( Original solid cork, Very top shoulder ) Opaque ruby core with lightening edges. Slightly singed otherwise subtle and deep with lots of reserve still, showing VA typical of vintage. Grew in the glass nicely. Showing better depth and complexity with silky finish after 1 hr in glass. A classic Trotanoy but not the best btl I’ve had. 4*
1929 Vieux Chateau-Certan ( Original crumbly soft cork, Low to mid shoulder ) This btl unfortunately is shaken too much prior to serving. Lots of powdery sediments and muddy color. Strong VA , sweaty singed with traces of bittersweet dark chocolate on nose. Palate is same with acidic and tart finish. Not a representative btl.( It should have been great , lush , deep and elegant . I am inclined to try from a pristine magnum) 3*
Petrus 59 Negociant btl ( Recorked, into neck ) Extremely youthful red color. Sweet notes but quite lean and herbal, seems to have lots of Cab. Franc, more like a St emilion than pomerol ( althought Petrus does add higher percentages of franc prior to 61 ) Quite a nice drink but not balanced and integrated. Does not have any of the fat and seduction of a Petrus. 2*
Petrus 52 (Solid original cork, Base neck) Opaque ruby core with only slight maturing rim. Backward and reserved nose opening slowly to reveal classic petrus mocha and earth notes. Great sweet attack with good layers and complexity. Firm and structured. A long runner !! Most youthful of all the 52s I’ve had. This btl has plenty of life and will get better. 5*
1921 Petrus Magnum Nicolas ( Recorked branded Nicolas cork and capsule, Very top shoulder ) ( Original worn yellowish label with Nicolas stamp ) Mature color with excellent but light ruby core. Singed nose, VA with slight tea, and mocha in nose. ( 20% or more cabernet franc used in ths era) Lush attack that explodes with lots of dark chocolate in the mid and deep silky finish. A very subtle and elegant wine. I’ve had more vibrant and fresher btls but this is almost as good. . 4*
1921 L’Eglise-Clinet Nicolas ( Original soft cork, High shoulder ) Excellent ruby core with brickering edges. Slight VA but vibrant, sweet and portish nose. Not as silky and appealing as Petrus. Backward but deep and dense. Great spine and life ahead. Firm and muscular typical of Eglise. 5*
1900 L’Eglise-Clinet ( Recorked branded Nicolas cork and capsule, Very high shoulder) Light mature color with slight ruby core. Subtle sweet chocolaty nose with spices and earth. Lush and expansive in the mouth, deep and complex with lingering silky finish. Very refined but not elegant, in fact quite powerful as Eglise usually is. 5*
1949 Cheval Blanc (Original cork, Top shoulder) Deep and youthful color. Fresh steely nose with lots of milk chocolate and spices. Palate is leaner and dryer than I expect. Not a representative btl esp. from such a great vintage. I’ve had better btls. 3*
1948 Cheval Blanc Nicolas (Original cork, Top Shoulder) Deep and youthful color. Sweet and portish but hot and alcoholic. Lush and sweet chocolaty attack yet clumsy and square. Diluted in the finish which is not one expect from a great cheval. Nonetheless, a wine that easily appeals. 4*
1947 Cheval Blanc (Original cork, high shoulder ) Not part of the tasting but I ordered this btl a week ago at Patina restaurant in Los Angeles. Its probably one of the best 47 Cheval I’ve had. Youthful and dark colored. VA but very sweet and beguiling nose. Great powerful attack and leads to fat and chocolaty (milk) mid with excellent long finish. Almost like a melted chocolate cake. Amazing freshness and not all clumsy or heavy. Superb 6*
1929 Cheval Blanc (Original cork , Top shoulder ) Maiderized unfortunately. I drank a btl that I bought from Doris Duke collection mths ago. (solid cork, mid shoulder) Pale mature color. Nose is almost gone but palate is expansive with milk chocolate and spices, pure and elegant finish. Great wine. 5*
1921 Cheval Blanc Nicolas ( Orignally VTS but leaked heavily during shipping, unfortunately oxidized with little left. 2 btls drank weeks ago with friends including John were marvelous. One fresher than the other. ( Both high shoulder, original cork, Nicolas) Seductive nose, expansive in the mouth like the 29 and fat and fresh like the 47. Almost like a blend. Deep and dense. 5*
1900 Cheval Blanc Nicolas (VTS, recorked ) Pale with ruby core. Extremely complex and seductive nose. Clean entry with amazing expansion and layers , quite vibrant still , deep and liquerish, with elegant and sweet velvety finish. Amazing wine, like a great cashmere!! Perfection. .6*
1961 Haut Brion ( Very High Shoulder, crumbly soft cork) Mature color, quite advanced compared to some I’ve had. Tobacco and earthy nose. Good mouthfeel but not the 61 Haut Brion I remembered, none of the density and fat in this btl. Nonetheless, a very good drink 4*
1959 Latour ( Very High Shoulder, old crumbly cork) Mature color. Classic Paulliac nose with touch of ‘Seabreeze Latour’ notes. Sweet , lush and layered. Complex and elegant. Flawless. The way I remembered this wine. I’ve always prefer to drink this over 61 today, only time will tell.. 5*
1961 Latour (Very High shoulder, Old solid cork ) Deep Ruby opaque core with brickering rim. Sweet portish nose that always distinguish it from other LAtours. However, this btl doesn’t have the fat and vigour the last btl drank a few mths ago. In fact, surprisingly dry and tannic at the end. Not the best btl. 4*
1959 Lafite (High Shoulder, Old Solid cork) Deep Ruby color with only slight brickering rim. Amazingly youthful, sweet , dense and earthy (barnyard perfume is what I think of LAfite) , Lush and fat with great complexity and structure. Elegant yet powerful and deep. A truly great wine. 6*
What else, CRU of course. 5 of us including Host Rob, Great John K, dear friends Jefery L, and Andy H from LA.
1964 Petrus Magnum - Somewhat funky , perhaps slightly oxidized nose. Quite meaty and showing typical Petrus Mocha notes. Fat yet chunky and square. I’ve never been a fan of 64 Petrus, always a brawny wine with no seduction and elegance of Petrus, even though this is not best example. 4*
Then I ordered another btl of 61 La Chapelle for my dear friend Andy H ( birthyear ). Unfortunately not a good btl again !! ( I opened one last Christmas for him with the same fate. I wished he was here last night where the btl is a true example. ) Oh well…………………..
1971 Roumier Bonne Mares - Just like last night. Notes above. 5*
5 of us had dinner at Cru, and what can I say. NY Times 3* says it all. Amazing is all I can think of now. (Ray T, John K, Andy H, Allen M and me ) All wines decanted and served immediately.
1990 DRC Montrachet – pale gold color. Sweet crème and exotic tropical fruits. Youthful and reserved, slowly opening in glass revealing intense, complex and ripe flavors. Deep and classy. Gets better and better as the night goes. 5*
1986 DRC Montrachet – mature gold color. Mature nose showing touch of oxidation. Sweet and fat attack with good layers and complexity but boring and dull. Quite acidic at the end as well. Not the best btl I’ve had but a pleasant drink , esp with whire truffles tonight. 4*
1971 DRC La TAche – Ruby core with slight brickering rim. Usual LT notes, sweet, asian spices, soy, tea and touch of game in the nose. Sweet and vibrant attack with great depth and balance. Dense and powerful yet elegant and aromatic. Fatter and fatter in glass, evolving slowly. Silky finish. Always one of my favorite young La Tache. 5*
1978 DRC La Tache – Darker than 71. Extremely youthful and reserved. Similar to 71 but fatter and more muscular yet not as seductive and deep. I must say this is the best example of 78 LT I’ve had so far. Most btls are less complex and clumsy. An hr later, showing tea, spices , soy and game – classic LT !! A great LT but I still prefer the 71. 5*
I thought I asked Robert Bohr if he has any more 43 La TAche and he said 1 left. Hey, lets uncork it
1943 La Tache – Ohhh lla la…..this is the way I remember the 43 at my dinner last year. Ruby core with brickering rim. Quite youthful still. Spicy, gamy and rich. Intense and lush. Ohh, the vigour still. Great depth and complexity. In no way elegant but rich and dense. Long silky finish. A great La TAche. 5*
At this pt, my friend Ray T ordered a wine and served us all blind. I guessed Southern Rhone due to its sweetness and muscular notes, thinking it could be Rayas but I have no past experience of any Rayas older than 76 and this is def. old. The great John Kapon , at this pt, with his head laying against the couch and eyes closed, BUT his hand scribbling notes still, blurted out ..” 62 rayas…” and indeed it is. That’s why he is the GREAT JK, How he can still write and focus on the wine while sleeping on the couch always remains a mystery. ( actually we were thinking of ordering this wine before Ray arrived. )
1962 Rayas – Mature ruby red. Fragrant and vibrant still. Sweet and lush. Round and balanced. Floral with slight pepperish notes. Great purity with clean sweet finish. 5*
So, that’s how we ended a weekend where I try to kill John Kapon, the way he puts it.
This weekend will be another great one – John is hosting the top 100+ wines of the century in NYC. I am sure to stop by CRU again.
Just some notes on wines I drank the last few days :
1978 DRC Romanee-St Vivant ( 2cm .solid cork) Excellent ruby with slight brockering edges. Sweet, ripe and elegant with good layers and depth. Just a touch hot at the end. 4*
45 Ausone –(Mid shoulder, soft cork) Mature brown color with hardly any red left. Lean, tart and acidic. Past its peak. *
34 Ausone – (High shoulder, solid cork) Mature brown with ruby core. Medicinal with slight milk chocolate and spices, as well as VA. Lean but with good complexity and flavors still. Firm tannic finish. Pleasant drink, esp with food. 3*
34 Vogue Musigny Nicolas ( Recorked, 4 cm) Ruby with slight brickering. Sweet, fragrant and seductive. Vibrant attack, with sweet and complex mature pinot notes. Elegant and pure, just a touch of acid at the end. 4*
72 La Tache (out of OWC, 3cm, solid cork) Ruby core with brickering edges. Typical LT notes – sweet, asian spices, soy with touch of game. Suave and pure with good fat and layers still. Lacks finesse and depth of a great LT. A very good LT nonetheless. 4*
55 Trotanoy Magnum ( VTS, solid cork) Opaque core with slight brickering. Reserved nose at first, then slowly revealing bitter chocolate, tobacco and perfume. Sweet entry with good complexity and layers, yet not fat or dense in anyway. Elegant with firm structured finish. Not the silky lush pomerols one expect but good nonetheless. (poured half of the wineinto a special carafe w/ stopper and place in my cellar. Identical today) 4*
[ October 24, 2004, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: Dr.Conti ]
Rudy Kurniawan<br />Cheers !! Life's too short to drink bad wine.
ITB - Santa Rosa Fine Wine
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/dec/01 ... et-rudy1/2
"He says he has tasted enough French wines from the 1800s to say the best wines ever made were produced before the devastating phylloxera infestation in the 1860s. "I prefer mature, fully integrated wines," he says. "You can talk about those bottles for the rest of your life."
After 140 years in the bottle, these pre-phylloxera wines still taste "fresh" to Kurniawan. The outrageous claim is difficult to challenge. Only a handful of people in the world can say they've tasted enough of these wines to argue the point."
Wow, Paul Wasserman's apology/letter over on the wine diarist is a great read, unlike a few of Rudy's other cohorts who are taking the hear-no-evil/see-no-evil approach to the entire ordeal.
This has been a fascinating thread and turn of events in the ultra wealthy wine market. Kudos to Don, Msr. Ponsot, Koch and those that don't turn a blind eye for their own self-interest.
The hubris and bravado I once read on a regular basis over at erp that was always so self serving, now seems closer to pathetic & criminal. Assume all those 'angry men' and close friends of Rudy are putting as much distance as possible between themselves and this. Hopefully the start of something greater with more light on shone on those complicit.
just went to winediarist.com and don't see it - do you have a link? Thanks.
It's in the comments section.
Not sure anyone has really indicated they felt that. But it seems clear that Kurniawan was a major counterfeiter and quite likely the most active in the US. No doubt there are others out there - if there's money to be made from faking it, someone somewhere is doing just that; there was after all an instance of fake Jacob's Creek in the UK last year. The intriguing. or perhaps scary, question is how many more practitioners are out in the wild who aren't attracted to the large lifestyle and simply get on with their counterfeiting quietly and efficiently (let's remember that the fakes entered in to the Spectrum/Vanquish London sale were busted on some quite rudimentary errors). And how far down the value chain does it go?
Ok, so I haven't had a subscription to eBob in awhile, and not since Squires took the forum to subscriber-only. But looking at this post, and it is simply beyond belief and almost insulting to wine.
I've been lucky enough to taste a La Tache twice in my lifetime, and I'll probably do it again someday I hope. But to partake like this is not respecting the wine. I think there are really two types of tasting: one where you are tasting through multiple wines for the purpose of analysis and intellectual advancement, and one where you are drinking for the pleasure of the experience of the wine, usually with a meal. Here it seems the purpose was to try to cram as much money and status into a single sitting.
And all of the people that drank next to Rudy, while he was allegedly perpetrating one of the largest frauds in the history of the industry, had no idea what was going on? I can imagine that these dinners were an opportunity to test his craft, to see if he could make wines that would fool those in the business. Were they really fooled? Did they really think all the wines were authentic? And how can people trust the wine industry now? It goes back to what I said earlier, from now on, you must assume that any older trophy wine is fake until proven otherwise.
This will significantly change my buying approach.
ray - here:
http://winediarist.com/more-details-abo ... mment-3415
the tone of this thread has devolved from cogent analysis and hard truth to bitterness and resentment. faryan's post above which is getting good reviews is full of bias and lazily conflates the hard and important issues of fraud with his own subjective bias against "sickening" consumption.
Perhaps it is time for a little introspection on the "sickening" consumption...
I take it you are defensive about my view because you have attended a tasting (or perhaps multiple) as mentioned above with the collective group that seems to be drawing the attention of the topic; I seem to recall reading notes on the old Parker board... It wasn't my intention to conflate fraud with hedonistic consumption or those that engage in it. That would be, as you noted, a disrespectful act. In fact, individuals are free to drink however they wish. Mega-tastings can be addicting and very satisfying. Lots of people attend Paulee and Beserkerfest type events...
However, it should be clearly understood that the majority of the accessible knowledge within our community about mythic wines that the average person only aspires to hear whispers about (as exemplified in Mssr. Wittman's posting of Kurniawan's notes) are originated from a rather select group of individuals that tend to distribute said notes (in forums in years past, and now more prevalently through email chains) about these wines through grandiose tastings where wines are imbibed in what Wasserman, Parker and many others who have attended, have described as a frentic and disorienting pace.
This to me is not a condemnation of fraud, but rather something of an asterix in how the community should create epistemological knowledge about benchmark wines. Wine boards, email lists and proefssional critics are powerful transmission vessels of knowledge. If one blindly ascribes a 45 Mouton or 47 Cheval as a benchmark for a perfect wine based upon heirarchical views, then the select group of people who transmit the lion's share of knowledge about said wines hold significant power in shaping opinions. It is with that power that financial gain can sadly be leveraged. This seems to be the exact case of Kurniawan, who has been described by many as a world-class taster. A very dangerous tonic.
Can we please not go down this road again, especially in this thread, and stick to the subject matter at hand?
Yes, Rudy & his cohorts engaged in relatively ridiculous behavior (an entire chapter of my forthcoming book (self-promotion alert!) is dedicated to the this culture of consumption) by any "normal" wine enthusiast standards, but everyone has a different standard & its a silly slippery slope argument that nobody is going to win on how much is "too much".
IMHO Paul's statement was heartfelt & genuine. I've known Rudy since about 1999. I've attended a few of his blowouts. I've sold tens of thousands of dollars of wine to him (mainly 1999-2000). I/my company imported wine for him (and thousands of other wine enthusiasts) between 2001 & 2008. Living in LA & being ITB since 1998 or so, I was well aware of the rumours/speculation/accusations, I was just about done with a book on grey marketing wine/wine auctions/frauds.....and yet the potential scope of Rudy's involvement (on a fraudulent basis) is possibly beyond anything anyone could have expected. I believe Manlin, Wasserman, and most of the others who were friends of/drank with Rudy & professed their ignorance of his activities----he opened up & purchased just a ridiculous amount of wines. His largeness, at least when I occasionally drank with him (1999-2002) was off the charts. Was it all an elaborate ploy, a long-con game to establish bonafides before taking advantage of the system (that he largely, deliberately or not, encouraged)? I have no idea....and I do this for a living & have spent the better part of the past year researching. Needless to say, a few more chapters of my book have yet to be written....
The post by Paul Wasserman is one of the most heartfelt and honorable things that I have read on the internet. Knowing Paul, I could hear his tone and feel pain throughout nearly everything that he wrote and it truly hit a nerve with me. While I am not unbiased in my friendship with Paul and his family, I had to make it a point to mention here that I know Paul to be nothing but honorable and of true character.
Last edited by Ray Walker on March 11th 2012, 5:47pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yes. Pure class. No other way to put it.
your assumption about my motives in writing the above are wrong.
but we agree that more knowledge is better and those that know should share - yet your attitude towards these tastings has and will continue to have a chilling effect on those that attend such affairs.
+1 to both of you
Run the following search: "Mystery wine" and "Dois" and "Pinot Noir"
That should get you to at least one example.
Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury attorney in Los Angeles
“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.
CT handle: grafstrb
Absolutely. I've always wished to hear more of what Paul Wasserman has to say. There seems no question that Rudy is a connoisseur of exceptional acuity who realised early on that greatness at least in old Burgundy is just as much to do with good luck as it is to do with the value and reputation of the bottles concerned. There is, after all, a very large extent to which old Burgundy tastes of old Burgundy and I speak as one who loves it and drinks (usually modest) examples two or three times a week.Was his motivation in profiting from this perception just financial or was he cocking a snook at the absurdity of connoisseurship and of humanity in general?
i'd love for some doctors to weigh in, but we have clear examples of psychopathic/sociopathic behavior here. attributing logical motivations will likely prove futile.
Maybe. But maybe (as Tom suggests, and there is evidence for it in the FBI warrant) he just ran out of money.
When training future psychiatrists, one of the most important things to be learned is that these kinds of diagnoses are often made only after significant personal interaction with the patient and careful observation of the most subtle deviations in common thought patterns. There's not a chance that someone just reading his story, even if that person has a medical background, would be able to make a diagnosis of psychopathic or sociopathic behavior.
Also, the word sociopathic has a very specific medical definition that is often distinct from the way that word is used in common language. The medical definition is much narrower.
This reminds me of the Terri Schiavo case, where some physicians were (irresponsibly, in my opinion) spouting medical opinion based only on video they had seen. It's never that simple...
Last edited by AAgrawal on March 11th 2012, 6:48pm, edited 1 time in total.
You're joking right?
This story/thread/topic has been one of the most intriguing things I have read in a long time. The people who have contributed to this write much better than Dan Brown.
I do have a question. There are mentions of Rudy receiving shipments of empty bottles from sommeliers or restaurants in NYC. Has there been a plausable explanation why there hasn't more attention on this angle and the complicity of these individuals?
Rudy clearly couldn't have done this by himself. He had to have help. It is also clear that through his tastings and generosity with allowing others to taste these rare wines (whether they were fake or not is irrelevant here), he was able to enlist others into unwittingly aiding him. Unless he has detailed records that are released, we will never know the extent of his forgeries. There are probably a number of individuals trying to cover their tracks right now or are lawyering up.
While I don't have the means to enter this part of the market, I do hope that someday I will feel much more comfortable than I do now to order a bottle off of a restaurant list for a special occasion. Right now I take comfort that 93% of the bottles in my cellar were purchased directly from the winery.
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin
I'll say it plain: you're a f*ck idiot. Now I know for sure. Doun"t kneed now docters.
Sorry, everyone else.
Edit: backing off, maybe: did you mean doctors checking out RK? Before, I thought you meant doctors re the WB commenters...
I'm willing to be the idiot, here, sorry...
It is always to be taken for gra
I'm pretty sure he was talking about RK.
He was referring to RK...
-Eric LeVine (ITB)
It rhymes with wine...
This quote from Rob is a classic:
"Frankly, Rudy was wayyyyyyyyyyyyy tooooooooooooooooo modest. If i were he, I would have mentioned that almost all the top 5 wines were from his cellar, and even though I hosted the night, he virtually did everything when it came to wine and flight selection. LAY OFF HIM NOW.............."
I'm so glad he broke his silence on this - what he wrote re: his belief regarding the rumors prior to the arrest of Rudy is consistent with what he told me a couple years ago.
I did have an "uh-oh" moment, however, in reading about the '95 LaFleur... In posting about the sale of Lou Wine Bar, I noted that losing Lou would impact my life much more than Rudy's nefarious activities... Well, I might have been wrong... Just my luck, #1 Son's birth year and I think I now own that magnum of '95 LaFleur! Thankfully, Paul wrote (once again) what he told me when I bought it a couple of year's ago... "Off vintage, but excellent..." Hell, at this point, the suspicion/back story will make my son's 21st birth all the more fun! (not to make light in any manner for those that might have ended up with significant loses due to forgery.)
When I'm not importing wine, I'm a full time professor in a Criminology department... This thread has been fascinating on so many fronts...
Tanaro River Imports, LLC
That ought to make for a great story for sure, George. For what it's worth, I don't understand the description of 1995 as an off-vintage, though I've never had Lafleur. But I've had lots of super Pomerols from 1995.
Thanks Keith. I've never had a '95 anything so nice to hear there are lots of great pomerol that year. I take great comfort knowing that Paul would never sell something he didn't believe in, especially since it was me hunting for large format from that year and not him actively trying to sell it. Sorry for thread drift, I'm out of my league on such old wines so I'll go back to reading and not posting.
Tanaro River Imports, LLC
Just thought the below quotes was funny to include also in this scenario
12-02-2006 08:15 AM
Originally Posted by Robert Parker
He [Rudy Kurniawan] came to at least one of my charity tastings/dinners...and have met him on other occasions....very sweet and generous man...and obviously loves wine...the fact that someone can criticize his obvious generosity strikes me as the definition of perverse and abnormal.....he seems to have all the traits of a true wine lover...he shares his finest wines with friends and like-minded folks....kudos to him!
11-17-2009, 07:14 AM
Originally Posted by Robert Parker
"let's discuss more juicy stuff...what do Scott Manlin and Eric LeVine know about the mysterious ...and now missing-in-action Rudi?...I need to thank Scott and Eric for bringing Rudi to a charity event I did in Baltimore and making the introduction to him-only time I ever met him...as well as that of John Kapon who they also introduced me to...luckily..I turned down their and Rudi's invitation to drink 59 DRC's after the dinner and tasting...wonder what was in those bottles.....?"
On a more serious note: I have the feeling that many of us doubted that it was only the pulled Ponsot wines that were faked at the infamous auction in 2008 http://www.ackerwines.com/Catalogs/pdf_catalogs/08-4/RobertARosaniaReferenceGuide.pdf
How many 1945 DRC´s were produced??? There must have been some reduction in the yields due to the consequenses of the war
Riesling and Slate
608 bottles of 1945 Romanée-Conti were produced - 2hl/ha - but more due to phylloxera than war. The pre-phylloxera vines were uprooted after this harvest.
Of-course none of the real ones have been drunk yet...
I woonder, does anyone else have the numbers for the other 1945 cuvées - or can I find it myself in Olney?
An apology from Rob -- of the same magnitude as his post upthread -- would go a long ways towards washing all that egg from his face.
Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury attorney in Los Angeles
“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.
CT handle: grafstrb
Not sure where it is on Wine Diarist but it exists on the the old eBob. A very heartfelt piece.
"This being human is a guest house,
Every morning a new arrival....
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."
Freek, typically you would be correct, but if you look at the buying habits (as well as the selling habits) of folks like Rudy, this could be argued that the situation was a classic pump and dump situation, where counterfeiting came into play as well. Very interesting indeed!
Ste ve C o yl e