RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #201  Postby Don Cornwell » February 6th 2012, 9:12pm

jasonboland wrote:Just to reiterate the facts from my phone conversation with Don. Rudy is not a consignor in this auction and has not been a consignor with Spectrum since we have started. The London auction is made up of many consignors not just a single consignment and includes wines from all over the world.

All the wine in this auction went through an elevated inspection process by our experts before being placed into the sale.

The wine is also available to be inspected in London by prospective bidders.


Since Mr. Boland's post calls my credibility into question, and Spectrum has declined to answer any of the questions many of you have posed regarding his "denial," I wanted to assure everyone there isn’t a shred of doubt about the fact that the wines in question were consigned by Antonio Castanos on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan and that Spectrum was and is well aware of the fact that the bottles came from Rudy.

My contact at Spectrum is one of the three persons with a title of Consignment Director. My contact is someone that I’ve known for 25+ years in the wine industry. This is an individual who has attended wine tastings that I’ve hosted in the past. I omitted a lot of the detail about my conversations with this individual because of his concerns about what his management might do to him once the story came out. Now that Mr. Boland is trying to deny (albeit with a negative pregnant denial) that Rudy is or ever was a consignor at Spectrum, I need to set forth the balance of the story that I omitted in the first post. As I said in the first post, the consignor on the paperwork is Antonio Castanos, who consigned the wines on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan.

Here is the rest of the story which I omitted in the original warning post No. 1:

I called my contact on Friday in order to confirm the information about Antonio and Rudy that I had heard from several sources and to report that there was a large laundry list of problems with the DRC wines (and they were the only ones I had had any time to look at), which together meant to me that Spectrum had to pull the wines and stop the sale. One of the people I have been working with on this had reported that another industry source he knew well had had direct communications with an unnamed contact at Spectrum, who had said that the wines were consigned by Antonio Castanos, and that Mr. Castanos was known to be acting on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan. I contacted the “Consignment Director” because I was confident he would be honest with me and I frankly couldn't imagine that he ever would voluntarily allow Spectrum to have anything to do with Rudy Kurniawan. I believed that once The Consignment Director knew that the word was out about Rudy’s involvement, he would be able to convince Spectrum to stop the sale.

I called Spectrum mid-afternoon on Friday and was told The Consignment Director was out for the day. I told the receptionist that she had to reach him, that it was urgent and that it concerned the upcoming sale in London. The Consignment Director called me back about two hours later, just about 5 pm local time. I told him that I had information from multiple sources, one of whom had allegedly gotten his information directly from Spectrum, that the consignor for the Feb 8 sale was Antonio Castanos, who was acting as an agent for Rudy Kurniawan, and that the wines in the Feb 8 sale were Rudy's wines. I told him that I was first alerted to this when two burgundy collector friends of mine on the East Coast saw the catalog and called it to my attention, and that every one of us concluded that it must be Rudy based simply on the items in the catalog which matched other bottles sold in the past by Mr. Kurniawan. I also told The Consignment Director that after doing just a few hours of due diligence looking only that the DRC wines, I already had a long list of lots on which there were obvious discrepancies and problems casting doubt on the wines’ authenticity.

The Consignment Director then unequivocally confirmed that yes, Antonio Castanos was the official consignor, that he was acting on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan, and that Spectrum was well aware that the wines belonged to Rudy. He explained that he had vigorously opposed Spectrum having anything to do with Rudy or his wines but that that he had been "overruled by management" on that issue. He then explained that he had made sure that he was unavailable to do any of the vetting of the lots for the sale, and that his only direct involvement in the sale was to write up descriptions of the wines for the catalog.

I told The Consignment Director that I had looked at the catalog and had spent about three hours doing due diligence -- just on the DRC wines, although I certainly had my doubts about the usual assortment of 45 and 61 Bordeaux with labels with zero oxidation that looked like they might have been printed yesterday. I told him that even with only three hours of work I already had a long list of problems with the DRC lots. I told him that I wanted to go through the list with him verbally, and that I would follow up and send him the list in writing, but that given the problems and given that Rudy was involved, Spectrum had to stop the sale of Rudy's wines and that I wasn't going to take no for an answer.

The Consignment Director told me that he personally agreed, and again reiterated that he had opposed the sale from the outset but had been overruled, and that he would now have to run the issue up through Spectrum's management of course.

The Consignment Director then asked me to give him a list of the lots with problems. When I was about three-quarters of the way through the then-existing list verbally, he interrupted me and said "you don't know the half of it" and then told me that Spectrum had removed so many bottles from the consignment because they were either outright fakes or clearly suspect that the removed lots would have added "more than a third" to the total lots in the auction. My impression at that time was that all or virtually all of the lots in the auction were coming from Rudy except for those disclosed to be directly from Chateau Palmer. The Consignment Director told me later that evening that Rudy “wasn't the only consignor” in the sale.

After I finished up the verbal list of discrepancies, I told The Consignment Director that I was sorry we were starting this process on a Friday afternoon, but that he was going to have to get to his management and get an immediate decision because I wasn’t going to wait while his management stalled for time. I told him that if necessary I would blow the whistle publicly to tell the wine-buying public about the fact that Rudy was trying sell wines again and that Spectrum was knowingly doing that without disclosure. The Consignment Director urged me to wait until I heard from his management. I said that I didn’t intend to wait because we were only four days away from the sale and I related that when Rudy had last auctioned wines with Christies in October and November of 2009 several of us had confronted Christies with the information and documentation that we had put together concerning that sale, and demanded that they stop the sale of Rudy’s wines, but that Christies had stalled and stalled and then told everyone late the day before the scheduled sale that they had elected to proceed. By that point it was too late to get a warning out to people. So I told The Consignment Director that I wouldn’t make that mistake this time and that unless Spectrum immediately agreed to stop the sale I was going to make sure it was disclosed on Wine Berserkers and to alert people I knew in the UK, like Jancis Robinson, who might be able to get a warning out to people there.

As I was about to hang up, The Consignment Director said he had another call on his cell phone that he had to answer and that he would have to hang up and call me right back. He did so about two minutes later and then told me that I would be getting a call from James Boland the President of Spectrum in the next few minutes. He related that Mr. Boland was “an IT guy” and that he “really doesn’t know anything about wine.” I promised that I would finish typing up my list of the discrepancies found so far and I would email it to him. I sent him the email at 6:03 pm.

I patiently waited several hours for Mr. Boland’s phone call and just before 10 pm I called The Consignment Director back on his cell phone to tell him I’d heard nothing from Mr Boland. He told me that Boland was on a plane to London to attend the sale and that he would call me after he’d arrived. I told him that I wasn’t going to wait because I knew what the story would be -- I’d be told Mr. Boland would have to discuss it with his staff, his Board and the company’s lawyers and that he would get back to me. And then I would hear from him the day before the sale that Spectrum had concluded that the sale should go forward as scheduled and once again there would be no opportunity to warn the prospective bidders about Mr. Kurniawan’s involvement and the big list of problems with the wines in the auction. I told him I wasn’t repeating that mistake and that hopefully, after the word got out, Spectrum would be motivated to do the right thing and stop the sale. It was at that point that The Consignment Director told me that there were “other consignors” in addition to Rudy who had wines in the sale.

We said good night, but then The Consignment Director called me back about two minutes later. He now began expressing concerns about his name being mentioned in a Wine Berserkers post. He followed that comment up with a request that I say nothing about any conversation with Spectrum about Rudy being the source of the wines, as he was concerned about what his management might do when that was disclosed. I explained that I would do my best to avoid naming him but that there was no way I could avoid disclosing that Spectrum had confirmed the involvement of Antonio and Rudy because the key question every reader would have would be whether the information was confirmed or just speculation. But I told him that I would try to avoid naming him and to minimize the details about my conversations with him in the post and would initially limit my comments to the fact that an unnamed employee at Spectrum had confirmed that Antonio Castanos had consigned the wines on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan.. The Consignment Director said he would have to come up with some kind of “back story” to protect himself with his management. He thanked me for offering to keep his name out the post and we said good night.

I then proceeded to post the warning on the Wine Berserkers site that you have all seen. At 8 am on Saturday morning I was awakened by a call from Mr. Boland, which I described in the thread.

Hopefully, this will eliminate any doubt about the wines belonging to Mr. Kurniawan and Spectrum’s knowledge of this fact.

To be clear, I assume but do not have any direct evidence to support my belief that the individuals at Spectrum shared their knowledge of Mr. Kurniawan’s identity as the owner of the bottles in question with their “partners” at Vanquish. The law imposes a fiduciary duty between partners which would require them to communicate such material facts to each other and the law would also conclusively presume such communications took place in performance of that legal duty in the case of a claim brought by a third party against either partner. Similarly, the law conclusively attributes the knowledge of the agent to the principal and vice versa, in cases dealing with third parties. Most importantly, it would be impossible for Spectrum and Vanquish to properly vet the wines, let alone to do “an elevated inspection process by our experts” without knowing who the owner of the wines is, how the wines were stored and how/when the wines were acquired.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #202  Postby SteveC » February 6th 2012, 9:15pm

K John Joseph wrote:Easy to be friends with a guy like Rudy if you're John Kapon. Asian customer interested in big names and has hugely deep pockets. Explain to me why Kapon wouldn't want that guy at all auctions? I understand he's a leper once he starts to sell his wine back at auction, but before he is pronounsed persona non grata, he's a wicked customer. No fault in that.


BUT he was selling wine back at auctions, and LOTS of it. What 30 year old collector sells and buys at auction? (including the same wines he was buying?).

Acker sold his wines not once but twice (at least). It should have set off alarm bells. Further, my guess is John was drinking some of Rudy's potions. [stirthepothal.gif]
Last edited by SteveC on February 7th 2012, 7:06am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #203  Postby Roberto Rogness » February 6th 2012, 9:24pm

So, Don, who do you want to play you in the movie? Seriously, this is GREAT shit and I may pitch it myself to a couple of folks!
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #204  Postby Mel Hill » February 6th 2012, 9:25pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:So, Don, who do you want to play you in the movie? Seriously, this is GREAT shit and I may pitch it myself to a couple of folks!


working title:

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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #205  Postby Ed Murray » February 6th 2012, 9:28pm

Peter Kleban wrote:
Ed Murray wrote:
Eric LeVine wrote:
Tom Reddick wrote:Mr. Boland, if you are still following this thread my advice would be to urge your superiors to move and move fast. I don't think you guys have any idea what is going on behind the scenes these past 48 hours, and what it portends.

I am shocked at the silence.


Really? What do they possibly have to gain by posting here? It'd be like running full speed into a den of wolves.


Great way to lose weight. Fast.



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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #206  Postby Roberto Rogness » February 6th 2012, 9:29pm

I was gonna go with "Fake It till you Make It"....

I could see Philip Seymore Hoffman as Don, doesn't really look like him but could bring the intensity.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #207  Postby K John Joseph » February 6th 2012, 9:40pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:I was gonna go with "Fake It till you Make It"....

I could see Philip Seymore Hoffman as Don, doesn't really look like him but could bring the intensity.


He was awesome in Big Lebowski.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #208  Postby K John Joseph » February 6th 2012, 9:43pm

SteveC wrote:
K John Joseph wrote:Easy to be friends with a guy like Rudy if you're John Kapon. Asian customer interested in big names and has hugely deep pockets. Explain to me why Kapon wouldn't want that guy at all auctions? I understand he's a leper once he starts to sell his wine back at auction, but before he is pronounsed persona non grata, he's a wicked customer. No fault in that.


BUT he was selling wine back at auctions, and LOTS of it. What 30 year old collector sells and buys at auction? (including the same wines he was buying?).

Ackerman sold his wines not once but twice (at least). It should have set off alarm bells. Further, my guess is John was drinking some of Rudy's potions. [stirthepothal.gif]


Age has nothing to do with it. If I had 2MM a month to dick around with I would probably make retarded purchases of old wine, then drink some, then realize I wanted something else, then recoup cost by auctioning back what I bought, then I'd buy a Lambo, a limo with a hot tub in it, and about 40 bottles of 64 and 66 Dom, and another two cases of 88 Winston Churchill (which is incredible), and then cruise down the Vegas strip with a bevy of girls from Scores.

Pretty sure John Kapon would want to be my "friend." You know, since he'd make money when I bought, and make money when I sold.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #209  Postby Scott Ho11owe11 » February 6th 2012, 9:52pm

Ed Murray wrote:
Eric LeVine wrote:
Tom Reddick wrote:Mr. Boland, if you are still following this thread my advice would be to urge your superiors to move and move fast. I don't think you guys have any idea what is going on behind the scenes these past 48 hours, and what it portends.

I am shocked at the silence.


Really? What do they possibly have to gain by posting here? It'd be like running full speed into a den of wolves.


Reminds me of a certain Garagiste thread Post. Maybe if Rudy had labeled this Mystery Wine #42 instead... deadhorse
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #210  Postby Matt Latuchie » February 6th 2012, 10:00pm

thanks don for the follow up post

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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #211  Postby Mark Golodetz » February 6th 2012, 10:09pm

Again thank you Don; worse than I thought.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #212  Postby alan weinberg » February 6th 2012, 10:31pm

chapeau, Don!
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #213  Postby C Fu » February 6th 2012, 10:34pm

Kinda sucks that there might be a consignment director without a job soon
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #214  Postby Mel Hill » February 6th 2012, 10:38pm

Charlie Fu wrote:Kinda sucks that there might be a consignment director without a job soon


He or she may be the only employable one in the wine trade once this mess is thru (assuming all of what we have read is true)
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #215  Postby andy velebil » February 6th 2012, 10:55pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
jasonboland wrote:Just to reiterate the facts from my phone conversation with Don. Rudy is not a consignor in this auction and has not been a consignor with Spectrum since we have started. The London auction is made up of many consignors not just a single consignment and includes wines from all over the world.

All the wine in this auction went through an elevated inspection process by our experts before being placed into the sale.

The wine is also available to be inspected in London by prospective bidders.


Since Mr. Boland's post calls my credibility into question, and Spectrum has declined to answer any of the questions many of you have posed regarding his "denial," I wanted to assure everyone there isn’t a shred of doubt about the fact that the wines in question were consigned by Antonio Castanos on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan and that Spectrum was and is well aware of the fact that the bottles came from Rudy.

My contact at Spectrum is one of the three persons with a title of Consignment Director. My contact is someone that I’ve known for 25+ years in the wine industry. This is an individual who has attended wine tastings that I’ve hosted in the past. I omitted a lot of the detail about my conversations with this individual because of his concerns about what his management might do to him once the story came out. Now that Mr. Boland is trying to deny (albeit with a negative pregnant denial) that Rudy is or ever was a consignor at Spectrum, I need to set forth the balance of the story that I omitted in the first post. As I said in the first post, the consignor on the paperwork is Antonio Castanos, who consigned the wines on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan.

Here is the rest of the story which I omitted in the original warning post No. 1:

I called my contact on Friday in order to confirm the information about Antonio and Rudy that I had heard from several sources and to report that there was a large laundry list of problems with the DRC wines (and they were the only ones I had had any time to look at), which together meant to me that Spectrum had to pull the wines and stop the sale. One of the people I have been working with on this had reported that another industry source he knew well had had direct communications with an unnamed contact at Spectrum, who had said that the wines were consigned by Antonio Castanos, and that Mr. Castanos was known to be acting on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan. I contacted the “Consignment Director” because I was confident he would be honest with me and I frankly couldn't imagine that he ever would voluntarily allow Spectrum to have anything to do with Rudy Kurniawan. I believed that once The Consignment Director knew that the word was out about Rudy’s involvement, he would be able to convince Spectrum to stop the sale.

I called Spectrum mid-afternoon on Friday and was told The Consignment Director was out for the day. I told the receptionist that she had to reach him, that it was urgent and that it concerned the upcoming sale in London. The Consignment Director called me back about two hours later, just about 5 pm local time. I told him that I had information from multiple sources, one of whom had allegedly gotten his information directly from Spectrum, that the consignor for the Feb 8 sale was Antonio Castanos, who was acting as an agent for Rudy Kurniawan, and that the wines in the Feb 8 sale were Rudy's wines. I told him that I was first alerted to this when two burgundy collector friends of mine on the East Coast saw the catalog and called it to my attention, and that every one of us concluded that it must be Rudy based simply on the items in the catalog which matched other bottles sold in the past by Mr. Kurniawan. I also told The Consignment Director that after doing just a few hours of due diligence looking only that the DRC wines, I already had a long list of lots on which there were obvious discrepancies and problems casting doubt on the wines’ authenticity.

The Consignment Director then unequivocally confirmed that yes, Antonio Castanos was the official consignor, that he was acting on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan, and that Spectrum was well aware that the wines belonged to Rudy. He explained that he had vigorously opposed Spectrum having anything to do with Rudy or his wines but that that he had been "overruled by management" on that issue. He then explained that he had made sure that he was unavailable to do any of the vetting of the lots for the sale, and that his only direct involvement in the sale was to write up descriptions of the wines for the catalog.

I told The Consignment Director that I had looked at the catalog and had spent about three hours doing due diligence -- just on the DRC wines, although I certainly had my doubts about the usual assortment of 45 and 61 Bordeaux with labels with zero oxidation that looked like they might have been printed yesterday. I told him that even with only three hours of work I already had a long list of problems with the DRC lots. I told him that I wanted to go through the list with him verbally, and that I would follow up and send him the list in writing, but that given the problems and given that Rudy was involved, Spectrum had to stop the sale of Rudy's wines and that I wasn't going to take no for an answer.

The Consignment Director told me that he personally agreed, and again reiterated that he had opposed the sale from the outset but had been overruled, and that he would now have to run the issue up through Spectrum's management of course.

The Consignment Director then asked me to give him a list of the lots with problems. When I was about three-quarters of the way through the then-existing list verbally, he interrupted me and said "you don't know the half of it" and then told me that Spectrum had removed so many bottles from the consignment because they were either outright fakes or clearly suspect that the removed lots would have added "more than a third" to the total lots in the auction. My impression at that time was that all or virtually all of the lots in the auction were coming from Rudy except for those disclosed to be directly from Chateau Palmer. The Consignment Director told me later that evening that Rudy “wasn't the only consignor” in the sale.

After I finished up the verbal list of discrepancies, I told The Consignment Director that I was sorry we were starting this process on a Friday afternoon, but that he was going to have to get to his management and get an immediate decision because I wasn’t going to wait while his management stalled for time. I told him that if necessary I would blow the whistle publicly to tell the wine-buying public about the fact that Rudy was trying sell wines again and that Spectrum was knowingly doing that without disclosure. The Consignment Director urged me to wait until I heard from his management. I said that I didn’t intend to wait because we were only four days away from the sale and I related that when Rudy had last auctioned wines with Christies in October and November of 2009 several of us had confronted Christies with the information and documentation that we had put together concerning that sale, and demanded that they stop the sale of Rudy’s wines, but that Christies had stalled and stalled and then told everyone late the day before the scheduled sale that they had elected to proceed. By that point it was too late to get a warning out to people. So I told The Consignment Director that I wouldn’t make that mistake this time and that unless Spectrum immediately agreed to stop the sale I was going to make sure it was disclosed on Wine Berserkers and to alert people I knew in the UK, like Jancis Robinson, who might be able to get a warning out to people there.

As I was about to hang up, The Consignment Director said he had another call on his cell phone that he had to answer and that he would have to hang up and call me right back. He did so about two minutes later and then told me that I would be getting a call from James Boland the President of Spectrum in the next few minutes. He related that Mr. Boland was “an IT guy” and that he “really doesn’t know anything about wine.” I promised that I would finish typing up my list of the discrepancies found so far and I would email it to him. I sent him the email at 6:03 pm.

I patiently waited several hours for Mr. Boland’s phone call and just before 10 pm I called The Consignment Director back on his cell phone to tell him I’d heard nothing from Mr Boland. He told me that Boland was on a plane to London to attend the sale and that he would call me after he’d arrived. I told him that I wasn’t going to wait because I knew what the story would be -- I’d be told Mr. Boland would have to discuss it with his staff, his Board and the company’s lawyers and that he would get back to me. And then I would hear from him the day before the sale that Spectrum had concluded that the sale should go forward as scheduled and once again there would be no opportunity to warn the prospective bidders about Mr. Kurniawan’s involvement and the big list of problems with the wines in the auction. I told him I wasn’t repeating that mistake and that hopefully, after the word got out, Spectrum would be motivated to do the right thing and stop the sale. It was at that point that The Consignment Director told me that there were “other consignors” in addition to Rudy who had wines in the sale.

We said good night, but then The Consignment Director called me back about two minutes later. He now began expressing concerns about his name being mentioned in a Wine Berserkers post. He followed that comment up with a request that I say nothing about any conversation with Spectrum about Rudy being the source of the wines, as he was concerned about what his management might do when that was disclosed. I explained that I would do my best to avoid naming him but that there was no way I could avoid disclosing that Spectrum had confirmed the involvement of Antonio and Rudy because the key question every reader would have would be whether the information was confirmed or just speculation. But I told him that I would try to avoid naming him and to minimize the details about my conversations with him in the post and would initially limit my comments to the fact that an unnamed employee at Spectrum had confirmed that Antonio Castanos had consigned the wines on behalf of Rudy Kurniawan.. The Consignment Director said he would have to come up with some kind of “back story” to protect himself with his management. He thanked me for offering to keep his name out the post and we said good night.

I then proceeded to post the warning on the Wine Berserkers site that you have all seen. At 8 am on Saturday morning I was awakened by a call from Mr. Boland, which I described in the thread.

Hopefully, this will eliminate any doubt about the wines belonging to Mr. Kurniawan and Spectrum’s knowledge of this fact.

To be clear, I assume but do not have any direct evidence to support my belief that the individuals at Spectrum shared their knowledge of Mr. Kurniawan’s identity as the owner of the bottles in question with their “partners” at Vanquish. The law imposes a fiduciary duty between partners which would require them to communicate such material facts to each other and the law would also conclusively presume such communications took place in performance of that legal duty in the case of a claim brought by a third party against either partner. Similarly, the law conclusively attributes the knowledge of the agent to the principal and vice versa, in cases dealing with third parties. Most importantly, it would be impossible for Spectrum and Vanquish to properly vet the wines, let alone to do “an elevated inspection process by our experts” without knowing who the owner of the wines is, how the wines were stored and how/when the wines were acquired.

[wow.gif] [welldone.gif] Don!

This doesn't bode well for Spectrum.....
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #216  Postby Don Cornwell » February 6th 2012, 10:56pm

Charlie Fu wrote:Kinda sucks that there might be a consignment director without a job soon


Charlie:

I doubt the Consignment Director will ever be fired. He would probably have one of the best retaliatory termination/discharge against public pollicy cases in history. But the bigger question is why he would want to stay there given the decisions his "management" chose to make. I've already heard from at least one person in the business who wants to hire him.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #217  Postby NickWittman » February 6th 2012, 11:16pm

Any reason why this extraordinary topic is not getting the coverage it deserves on "the other board" ?

[scratch.gif]
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #218  Postby AAgrawal » February 6th 2012, 11:25pm

NickWittman wrote:Any reason why this extraordinary topic is not getting the coverage it deserves on "the other board" ?

[scratch.gif]

What other board?
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #219  Postby Eric LeVine » February 6th 2012, 11:37pm

NickWittman wrote:Any reason why this extraordinary topic is not getting the coverage it deserves on "the other board" ?

[scratch.gif]

Because there are only a few dozen regular posters there.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #220  Postby AAgrawal » February 6th 2012, 11:41pm

I'm so curious about how this is going to turn out. Is anyone going to the auction? Seems like it could be a fun spectator sport.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #221  Postby Marcus Ford » February 7th 2012, 12:00am

Indeed amazing that this has not been picked up elsewhere, popped onto the other board a few times expecting to see at least a few comments but nada after it was raised. It does make you think who else has a commercial interest in this stuff.
I wonder how Decanter (promoting this) and Mandarin Oriental (hosting it) are reacting to all this. Apart from this admirable Board and Jancis the trade and media won't touch the story- its been tweeted around a fair bit but nothing as a consequence.
Maybe I am being naive..........
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #222  Postby Matt Latuchie » February 7th 2012, 12:19am

Eric LeVine wrote:
NickWittman wrote:Any reason why this extraordinary topic is not getting the coverage it deserves on "the other board" ?

[scratch.gif]

Because there are only a few dozen regular posters there.


I tried posting a link to this thread on eBob but my link was deleted by Mark Squires. I was told that it's against the terms and conditions of the site to simply link to "another forum"....
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URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #223  Postby JonoBeagle » February 7th 2012, 12:47am

I met an employee from Vanquish by chance (I will not name names as I met them socially for the first time and they are new to the trade/ won't know the issue so well).

I think based on what I was told over dinner that they paid for someone to come in and inspect the wines after this news broke and the gist was the auction will go ahead. I would guess the damning lots included... I would also guess that their is no real knowledge of Rudy or his history on this side of the pond.

On top of this, Vanquish are an 8 year old company (hardly the history that will save them in this situation), they have been offered a job by Spectrum that they probably didn't expect and don't have the resources to really run properly with... They are offered the chance to change the face of wine auctions by an auction company that is not wine specific and they have jumped at the potential opportunity perhaps without asking about the background. They also however much wine they have tasted will not have seen or tasted many of these wines and won't know the signs to look for... They certainly won't have people like Don with that sort of knowledge and as they are the wine people, will probably be oblivious to what is happening but will also probably be hit the hardest by this issue.

The flipside is they may know (but this is purely speculation on my part) knowing antiques auctions and reading through the lines albeit from an employee not directly related to the auction. It is a shame because Vanquish are to all intents and purposes very polite and professional otherwise.

Don,

Thank you for the detective work. I aim to attend and see if I can inspect the bottles first hand, I will report if I am able to see the bottles or not.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #224  Postby Don Cornwell » February 7th 2012, 1:10am

JonoBeagle wrote:I met an employee from Vanquish by chance (I will not name names as I met them socially for the first time and they are new to the trade/ won't know the issue so well).

I think based on what I was told over dinner that they paid for someone to come in and inspect the wines after this news broke and the gist was the auction will go ahead. I would guess the damning lots included... I would also guess that their is no real knowledge of Rudy or his history on this side of the pond.

Jon:

There is absolutely no question that Richard Brierley knows Rudy Kurniawan personally and that he knows the entire history of Rudy and his wine auctions quite well. He was the North American head of Christe's wine department from approximately 2002 until late 2009. Mr. Kurniawan auctioned wines through Christies during Richard's tenure there, including the April 27, 2007 sale in Los Angeles (and I believe he was physically present in Los Angeles on that occasion) when Le Pin pulled the wines out of the sale. (As I understand also happened with one burgundy producer I won't name at the moment.) Richard was living in New York when the April 25, 2008 auction took place at Acker involving the Ponsot wines. And he left Christies immediately before the October and November 2009 auctions of Rudy Kurniawan's wines in those Christies auctions. I know 100% that Richard knows about the latter debacle because my colleague Geoff Troy met with him to talk about it. Mr. Brierly is also quite aware of the lawsuit filed by Bill Koch against Rudy Kurniawan.

It wouldn't surpise me in the least if Spectrum and Vanquish tried to proceed with the auction with the Rudy wines included, including the DRCs that I've itemized problems with. That's provided that DRC and Corney & Barrow don't try to stop the sale i the interim. But if they do proceed, they'll likely be dealing with fraud claims from purchasers for the next several years. Ask John Kapon what that's like.
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URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #225  Postby JonoBeagle » February 7th 2012, 1:27am

Looking through the catalogue briefly and without a thorough check. There is something odd about 45 Haut-Briom having wonky labels, 1881 Latour having a pristine modern label and 1909 Latour having AOC on the label... Considering that the AOC laws came into affect in 1936 in Bordeaux. :rolleyes:

Don, in that case Vanquish should have been more vigorous, but he may also have been over-rules by the owners who saw this as an opportunity. 8 years old is a very young company...


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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #226  Postby Maureen Downey » February 7th 2012, 1:31am

Where is Hardy Rodenstock these days? One would think he could make a bundle selling fake wines to unsuspecting Asian customers? It is unbelievable that he has not ended up in jail!

Also,how has John Kapon escaped criticism? He was pals with Rudy, and, quite frankly, one could assume tat he empowered Rudy. Ackerman didn't pull the Ponsot wines until Ponsot alerted them. Very questionable to me. [swearing.gif]


GREAT QUESTION!

here is the intro to an (alleged, but widely understood to be) Rudy consignment from Acker Merral Condit -John Kapon in charge, April 2005:
SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 2005
FIRST SESSION
LOTS 1-613
AT CRU
24 FIFTH AVENUE (9th Street)
BEGINNING PROMPTLY
AT 10:00AM EDT

AMAZING GRACE
There is not much that can be said about this collection,outside of the fact that it is one of America’s greatest.Years have been spent carefully cquiring the best of the best of the best, and there is probably not a single, great wine of the 20th century that this collector has not had on
multiple occasions. This is a collector that actually inspects his wine. I have seen many a collector of old and rare wines never even look at the bottles they have acquired, even if they are wines that merit careful inspection. Over the years, and after seeing numerous counterfeit wines,
this collector takes exceptional pride in the bottles he has acquired and the quality of his collection. This collector is so sure of the quality of his cellar, that if any buyer has any issues with any of the bottles, he told me, ‘Just have them send it back.’ After a pause, he reminded me, ‘Only
unopened bottles, of course, and only if they ship rerfrigerated or overnight. No ifs, ands or buts.’ There you have it. After many months of quiet persistence on my part, I finally convinced this collector to let some jewels from his cellar go. Upon receipt of the wines, I started a
long, careful inspection where I checked almost every cork, cutting those capsules that were not already cut, examining color and all the intracacies of the labels. When I got to the Latour à Pomerol case, I called him and told him that it almost looked too good as the case was in such excellent condition, and despite the corks being branded properly and the labels and capsules being correct, I kept asking questions. Finally he said, ‘Look, just open up a bottle. See for yourself.’ So I did, and it was magic, mature and lush with its chocolaty, plummy Pomerol fruit. We
didn’t get to see the bottle unfold too much, as with six of us still working and thirsty, that wine must have lasted only 15 minutes in our office, but what a 15 minutes it was. Don’t worry, he actually has just under three cases, all from the same importer and in his possession for decades, and he is replacing the bottle. He rarely gets to his large formats anymore, so you will see an abundance of some of the rarest wines in his possession. All wines carefully acquired and immaculately stored. I am proud to be able to offer you these wines from his cellar – if I wasn’t so rushed getting the photos together (the usual), you would see a lot more photos of these bottles in this catalogue!
You will have to buy them yourself to see and believe.

So in 2005 Rudy was how old?
In his possession for "decades"? REALLY?
At the time, I was good friends with a top employee there and he assured me that the consignor who had all these wines "for DECADES" - was Rudy. Hey - maybe he lied - and then quit over the incident, for reasons other than that which he explained to me at the time. But this was the direct information I received.

If you all keep asking the right questions - the right answers will come out.

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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #227  Postby Tom Harrow » February 7th 2012, 1:50am

I've been fascinated by this unfolding story for the last 24hrs (a friend and keen collector in the UK first alerted me to Don's post yesterday morning). Am trying to get along to the auction as I think any seat, front row or otherwise, will be a more gripping experience than anything up for an Academy Award this year...

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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #228  Postby paul hanna » February 7th 2012, 2:27am

Tom Harrow wrote:I've been fascinated by this unfolding story for the last 24hrs (a friend and keen collector in the UK first alerted me to Don's post yesterday morning). Am trying to get along to the auction as I think any seat, front row or otherwise, will be a more gripping experience than anything up for an Academy Award this year...

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Nice one. [thumbs-up.gif]

Good to see also that Don's fantastic work in pursuing the truth that others might be denying is bringing a lot of positive attention both to this important matter, and also to this site....


Along with this also, we are seeing some good new members who also seem equally intent in seeing the truth come out, (and hopefully some sort of justice finally done....).
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #229  Postby Anthony Hall » February 7th 2012, 2:38am

Maureen Downey wrote:
Where is Hardy Rodenstock these days? One would think he could make a bundle selling fake wines to unsuspecting Asian customers? It is unbelievable that he has not ended up in jail!

Also,how has John Kapon escaped criticism? He was pals with Rudy, and, quite frankly, one could assume tat he empowered Rudy. Ackerman didn't pull the Ponsot wines until Ponsot alerted them. Very questionable to me. [swearing.gif]


GREAT QUESTION!

here is the intro to an (alleged, but widely understood to be) Rudy consignment from Acker Merral Condit -John Kapon in charge, April 2005:
SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 2005
FIRST SESSION
LOTS 1-613
AT CRU
24 FIFTH AVENUE (9th Street)
BEGINNING PROMPTLY
AT 10:00AM EDT

AMAZING GRACE
There is not much that can be said about this collection,outside of the fact that it is one of America’s greatest.Years have been spent carefully cquiring the best of the best of the best, and there is probably not a single, great wine of the 20th century that this collector has not had on
multiple occasions. This is a collector that actually inspects his wine. I have seen many a collector of old and rare wines never even look at the bottles they have acquired, even if they are wines that merit careful inspection. Over the years, and after seeing numerous counterfeit wines,
this collector takes exceptional pride in the bottles he has acquired and the quality of his collection. This collector is so sure of the quality of his cellar, that if any buyer has any issues with any of the bottles, he told me, ‘Just have them send it back.’ After a pause, he reminded me, ‘Only
unopened bottles, of course, and only if they ship rerfrigerated or overnight. No ifs, ands or buts.’ There you have it. After many months of quiet persistence on my part, I finally convinced this collector to let some jewels from his cellar go. Upon receipt of the wines, I started a
long, careful inspection where I checked almost every cork, cutting those capsules that were not already cut, examining color and all the intracacies of the labels. When I got to the Latour à Pomerol case, I called him and told him that it almost looked too good as the case was in such excellent condition, and despite the corks being branded properly and the labels and capsules being correct, I kept asking questions. Finally he said, ‘Look, just open up a bottle. See for yourself.’ So I did, and it was magic, mature and lush with its chocolaty, plummy Pomerol fruit. We
didn’t get to see the bottle unfold too much, as with six of us still working and thirsty, that wine must have lasted only 15 minutes in our office, but what a 15 minutes it was. Don’t worry, he actually has just under three cases, all from the same importer and in his possession for decades, and he is replacing the bottle. He rarely gets to his large formats anymore, so you will see an abundance of some of the rarest wines in his possession. All wines carefully acquired and immaculately stored. I am proud to be able to offer you these wines from his cellar – if I wasn’t so rushed getting the photos together (the usual), you would see a lot more photos of these bottles in this catalogue!
You will have to buy them yourself to see and believe.

So in 2005 Rudy was how old?
In his possession for "decades"? REALLY?
At the time, I was good friends with a top employee there and he assured me that the consignor who had all these wines "for DECADES" - was Rudy. Hey - maybe he lied - and then quit over the incident, for reasons other than that which he explained to me at the time. But this was the direct information I received.

If you all keep asking the right questions - the right answers will come out.

MD
---
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Hi Maureen,

Did you write in an article for Jancis Robinson ?

http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a20111130.html

"Richard Brierly, formerly of Christie's, has started a new wine auction house in London in partnership with Spectrum in California. I do not have much experience with Spectrum but Richard is a true professional and I expect great results for him there."

How do you reconcile his involvement here ?
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #230  Postby Maureen Downey » February 7th 2012, 2:58am

Anthony -
I wrote a post on the forum that the JR team team did in fact eventually turn into that article.
Full disclosure - I have been working with Jancis Robinson since 2006/2007 about the issue of wine fraud, and Don Cornwell shortly thereafter.
I am horrified by the revelation that Richard Brierley would be involved in such a sale. I have vouched for him, he has been a friend & is a witness in at least one anti-wine fraud case, so I assumed he was on the same side as Don and me.
We do not yet have clarification on exactly what Vanquish new & when. I desperately want to know where the wines were inspected, and by whom. I have written Richard to ask him about his involvement.
I am no apologist - if he knew the consignor was Antonio - he KNEW the wines were Rudy's - and should NEVER accepted the consignment in the first place . They should halt the sale and come clean.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #231  Postby Anthony Hall » February 7th 2012, 3:14am

Maureen Downey wrote:Anthony -
I wrote a post on the forum that the JR team team did in fact eventually turn into that article.
Full disclosure - I have been working with Jancis Robinson since 2006/2007 about the issue of wine fraud, and Don Cornwell shortly thereafter.
I am horrified by the revelation that Richard Brierley would be involved in such a sale. I have vouched for him, he has been a friend & is a witness in at least one anti-wine fraud case, so I assumed he was on the same side as Don and me.
We do not yet have clarification on exactly what Vanquish new & when. I desperately want to know where the wines were inspected, and by whom. I have written Richard to ask him about his involvement.
I am no apologist - if he knew the consignor was Antonio - he KNEW the wines were Rudy's - and should NEVER accepted the consignment in the first place . They should halt the sale and come clean.
MD
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Thanks Maureen,

It behoves Richard to reply BEFORE the auction !
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #232  Postby Lionel Nierop » February 7th 2012, 3:31am

JonoBeagle wrote:Looking through the catalogue briefly and without a thorough check. There is something odd about 45 Haut-Briom having wonky labels, 1881 Latour having a pristine modern label and 1909 Latour having AOC on the label... Considering that the AOC laws came into affect in 1936 in Bordeaux. :rolleyes:

Don, in that case Vanquish should have been more vigorous, but he may also have been over-rules by the owners who saw this as an opportunity. 8 years old is a very young company...


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Re. the 1909 Latour there's a comment that explains that:

One lightly scuffed capsule. Back label reads "Cette bouteille provient du caveau de Château Latour. Elle a quitté la propriété en juillet 2003."
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #233  Postby Tom Blach » February 7th 2012, 3:39am

Jono, Vanquish at least now know perfectly well the nature of what is proposed to be auctioned and will be committing a serious offence if they proceed. One thing that alarms me is that this sale seems aimed particularly at the Chinese rather than UK market-a Spectrum wines dinner was held in HK last week not so far mentioned here, I think, at which genuine wines appear to have been served. I wonder if some potential bidders are out of the reach of resources such as this forum, and suspect that they may be.
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URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #234  Postby JonoBeagle » February 7th 2012, 3:43am

But Lionel,

There was no law surrounding that vintage. It was pre-law... How can they legitimately say that a wine that probably has Hermitage in it fits the AOC that didn't exist just because it was released in 2003 and why would they use a different label thus... No other Chateau would do that!

Given everything else and a number of odd bottles like that 2000 Lafite with a worryingly out of kilter label... It is hard to find much that doesn't worry you.
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URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

Post #235  Postby JonoBeagle » February 7th 2012, 3:53am

Tom Blach wrote:Jono, Vanquish at least now know perfectly well the nature of what is proposed to be auctioned and will be committing a serious offence if they proceed. One thing that alarms me is that this sale seems aimed particularly at the Chinese rather than UK market-a Spectrum wines dinner was held in HK last week not so far mentioned here, I think, at which genuine wines appear to have been served. I wonder if some potential bidders are out of the reach of resources such as this forum, and suspect that they may be.


Tom,

This is indeed true, however, as far as I have heard, Vanquish seem happy and claim to have had outside experts come in to examine; apparently plenty of bottles were sampled in the office and looked at. Who is to know whether the wines auctioned are from the same cases as Don has mentioned without being there first hand...

Perhaps they simply don't know better or as Maureen has said, perhaps it goes deeper. Regardless, it is a worrying scenario to have wine that could potentially be fake floating around, but there are plenty in Asia already.

I have seen in a well reputed shop in Tokyo where I have had almost no problems, two fake bottles of Mouton. They had 23 and 25 with the same labels as 24! The 24 is the only one that sold and are the only two fakes in the shop.

To be fair no-one other than a collector would know or buy them, and I don't have the heart to tell him... That is a tiny case, but he probably doesn't know better and probably bought it from an importer who also didn't know or didn't do some simple research that would show the wines up to be fraudulent. Every time I walk in there I am pleased when they are still on the shelf...
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