RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

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

#451 Post by Peter Chiu » February 8th, 2012, 7:08 am

Chris Doty wrote:
Doug Barzelay wrote:There has been a good deal of discussion on this thread about whether DRC should “authenticate” wines, much of it unfortunately proceeding from the unstated, but incorrect, premise that this is something DRC could readily do if only it were willing to devote the resources to the task....
Doug -- First, welcome to the board.

Second, my basic issue here is that the wine community is incredibly lucky and grateful to have people like Don working without any direct benefit to help expose fraudulent bottles of DRC (and the wines of other highly esteemed producers). If Don -- in his free time -- is capable of shining such a bright light (as evidenced by the developments of the last 48 hours) than surely DRC, with the knowledge, history, influence, resources, etc at its disposal have an even greater ability to identify and expose such worrisome anomalies. As others have offered, they certainly do not need to state 'this bottle appears fake' but they could certainly say 'we have no reason to doubt the legitimacy of this bottle' or, alternatively, 'DRC is not in a position to authenticate this bottle' etc. A single full time employee would likely be sufficient to deal with these and many other auction-related issues.

Obviously, the auction houses themselves should be the primary line of defense, but as this recent example illustrates clearly, there is a powerful financial incentive (at least in the short term) to NOT work as diligently as Don has to ask pointed questions about provenance and authenticity.

Sorry I won't be in London tonight to witness the auction in person -- should be an extraordinary evening.
Chris....we heard you loud and clear. You do have your reasons to say your opinions.

[stirthepothal.gif]

But the main points are : (1) it is up to the Auction House to do their own jobs; and (2) noone has to buy and if you do buy, please remember : buyers beware.

When in doubt - do not buy. If the Auction House wants their business....they will do their jobs. [cheers.gif]

Obviously, the auction houses themselves should be the primary line of defense, but as this recent example illustrates clearly, there is a powerful financial incentive (at least in the short term) to NOT work as diligently as Don has to ask pointed questions about provenance and authenticity.
Last edited by Peter Chiu on February 8th, 2012, 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

#452 Post by Ron Movich » February 8th, 2012, 7:35 am

Yesterday I received, via email, a letter from Wilson Daniels that says more or less the same as the previously posted Corney and Barrow letter. However, the wording of the last paragraph is "clearer" than the potentially ambiguous wording in the UK Agent's letter:

"Wilson Daniels feels that it has a responsibility to its US customers to make public the comprehensive concerns expressed by Mr. Cornwell in his evaluation of the wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in the lots being offered in this auction."

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

#453 Post by JonoBeagle » February 8th, 2012, 7:46 am

Ladies and Gents,

Despite Don's observations are superb and thorough, but do not for one minute believe that the auction house has removed them because of Don.

Due to the fact that other similar lots are still in, I am more inclined to believe as is perfectly normal, that the wine has been sold prior to the auction. If it were not, one would expect to see an explanation as to why the were withdrawn and a removal of all photos and information if that were the case.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#454 Post by CHris Hambleton » February 8th, 2012, 7:51 am

Withdrawn is withdrawn Jono, they wouldn't necessarily post an explanation, in fact I would think it highly, highly unlikely that any such explanation would be forthcoming, given they have other lots that are still to be sold and are of known, legitimate provenance. It would also be a staggering coincidence that those lots withdrawn coincide with most of those highlighted by Don. A sensible move by the auction house.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#455 Post by Paul Seah » February 8th, 2012, 8:04 am

I have been following this thread with the greatest interest over the past few days.

First of all, kudos to Don for his excellent work. Second, shame on the auction houses.

As a lawyer, I cannot help but see the legal aspect in all this. If Spectrum chooses to go on with the sale, they could well be in trouble for being "willfully blind" to fraud committed on their customers under their auspices. I cannot believe that they are still going on with so many of the lots!
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#456 Post by J a y C a i n » February 8th, 2012, 8:12 am

I certainly do not have an insider’s perspective to all of this, and I agree with large portions of Doug Barzelay’s analysis of the problems with DRC (or other affected producer) authenticating the wine. Having said that, I would think that the producers would have an important vested interest in doing everything it can to authenticate the wines that come to market.

After all, they have their brand to protect, and there are multiple reasons why you would expect them to be proactive. They don’t want the consumer to be pouring sub-standard plonk down their gullet while thinking they’re drinking whatever the label tells them is in the bottle. They also have a duty to protect the legitimate consumers who have bought their wines through legitimate means.

Let’s not forget that we’re also talking about protecting their brand as well as their trademarks and servicemarks. All of those things have a discernible value as intellectual property, and as the owners of that intellectual property, they have an affirmative obligation to police against infringement. We’ve all seen news reports of police seizing and then destroying counterfeit handbags or luxury watches. This is really the same thing.

The producer clearly benefits by the scarcity of its product. These counterfeit products skew the laws of supply and demand because they add to the supply side, robbing value from the legitimate asset-holders.

I know it is expensive, but DRC’s business reputation is at stake. That in itself should be sufficient reason for them to take a proactive view toward legitimizing the wines at auction. I would suggest that if they can show that any of their wines are frauds, they may have a cause of action for their costs against the person(s) responsible for the frauds. And of course there's always the chance that they can authenticate the wine. Honestly, all they have to say is "We cannot authenticate the wine" or "We cannot question the authenticity of the wine." The consumer will read between the lines as necessary.

I know the easy solution is for them to do nothing, but I hope that they’ll act.

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

#457 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » February 8th, 2012, 8:20 am

JonoBeagle wrote:Ladies and Gents,

Despite Don's observations are superb and thorough, but do not for one minute believe that the auction house has removed them because of Don.

Due to the fact that other similar lots are still in, I am more inclined to believe as is perfectly normal, that the wine has been sold prior to the auction. If it were not, one would expect to see an explanation as to why the were withdrawn and a removal of all photos and information if that were the case.
The story on Decanter says otherwise.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#458 Post by Dan Rosenheck » February 8th, 2012, 8:22 am

They just put up a document announcing a bunch of withdrawn lots: 12, 17, 30, 65, 66, 94, 99 ,100, 101, 118, 121, 124, and 127, as well as some amendments to provenance and condition information. See http://www.spectrumwine.com/images/ads/ ... dendum.pdf

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

#459 Post by CHris Hambleton » February 8th, 2012, 8:27 am

A quick adding up means withdrawn lots take with them a pre-auction total of on-the-book bids of over £260,000. Clearly not a decision taken lightly, but clearly the right decision.

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

#460 Post by Jim Sawitzke » February 8th, 2012, 8:29 am

Guillaume Deschamps wrote:
JonoBeagle wrote:Ladies and Gents,

Despite Don's observations are superb and thorough, but do not for one minute believe that the auction house has removed them because of Don.

Due to the fact that other similar lots are still in, I am more inclined to believe as is perfectly normal, that the wine has been sold prior to the auction. If it were not, one would expect to see an explanation as to why the were withdrawn and a removal of all photos and information if that were the case.
The story on Decanter says otherwise.
Vanquish, the UK merchant partnering US auction house Spectrum, has just put out a statement saying, ‘Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, through its UK agent Corney & Barrow, has brought to our attention some apparent label discrepancies in this evening's auction.

‘Through an abundance of caution, and in line with our commitment to excellence in due-diligence and verification, we have withdrawn 13 lots, in order that the issues can be properly investigated, in collaboration with the Domaine and its agent.’


REALLY? This was just brought to their attention by DRC/Corney & Barrow? pileon

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

#461 Post by Peter Chiu » February 8th, 2012, 8:31 am

J a y C a i n wrote:I certainly do not have an insider’s perspective to all of this, and I agree with large portions of Doug Barzelay’s analysis of the problems with DRC (or other affected producer) authenticating the wine. Having said that, I would think that the producers would have an important vested interest in doing everything it can to authenticate the wines that come to market.

After all, they have their brand to protect, and there are multiple reasons why you would expect them to be proactive. They don’t want the consumer to be pouring sub-standard plonk down their gullet while thinking they’re drinking whatever the label tells them is in the bottle. They also have a duty to protect the legitimate consumers who have bought their wines through legitimate means.

Let’s not forget that we’re also talking about protecting their brand as well as their trademarks and servicemarks. All of those things have a discernible value as intellectual property, and as the owners of that intellectual property, they have an affirmative obligation to police against infringement. We’ve all seen news reports of police seizing and then destroying counterfeit handbags or luxury watches. This is really the same thing.

The producer clearly benefits by the scarcity of its product. These counterfeit products skew the laws of supply and demand because they add to the supply side, robbing value from the legitimate asset-holders.

I know it is expensive, but DRC’s business reputation is at stake. That in itself should be sufficient reason for them to take a proactive view toward legitimizing the wines at auction. I would suggest that if they can show that any of their wines are frauds, they may have a cause of action for their costs against the person(s) responsible for the frauds. And of course there's always the chance that they can authenticate the wine. Honestly, all they have to say is "We cannot authenticate the wine" or "We cannot question the authenticity of the wine." The consumer will read between the lines as necessary.

I know the easy solution is for them to do nothing, but I hope that they’ll act.
Jay.....DRC does authenticate their wines but not their wines which are in the secondary markets.

It is the jobs of the Auctions Houses to verify the consigned wines.

I know it is expensive, but DRC’s business reputation is at stake.
DRC business reputation is at stake ...ONLY...if they wish to encourage their business at the secondary marker.

Guess this is a queston only DRC should answer !
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#462 Post by CHris Hambleton » February 8th, 2012, 8:32 am

I like the bit at the end where it says that there are no plans to conduct an investigation.

I bet there are.

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

#463 Post by todd waldmann » February 8th, 2012, 8:32 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: That these 12 lots have now been pulled is great news. However, the following Red lots have not been pulled, despite their specific mention by Mr. Cromwell of apparent/potential issues surrounding their authenticity: 11, 15, 89, 91, 92, 122.

And, as Bill (and others) have aptly noted, one has to wonder how many other wines in this auction are suspect, as well.

Again, a great first step has been taken, but major ugliness will commence if Lots 11, 15, 89, 92, 122, and possibly others, too, are left to hit the block in a few hours.


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

#464 Post by Tim McCracken » February 8th, 2012, 8:35 am

I'm new to this board (although I know a couple people here), but...

The next logical questions are:

1. Did the lots in question all come from the same consignor?
2. Are there any additional lots from the same consignor?
3. Will the auction house disclose any additional lots that come from the consignor of the pulled lots?

Only the auction house knows which lots are from which consignor. Unless they confirm that all lots from this consignor(s) are pulled, the entire auction is really fraudulent.

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

#465 Post by Dan Rosenheck » February 8th, 2012, 8:37 am

So have all the suspect lots been pulled, or are any dubious bottles still going on sale? As in, is it still worth my trying to make it to the auction in the hopes of seeing some fireworks?

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

#466 Post by CHris Hambleton » February 8th, 2012, 8:38 am

Still many lots with no indication of provenance.

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

#467 Post by Dan Rosenheck » February 8th, 2012, 8:50 am

But none that Don has specifically flagged as having discrepancies that would indicate they're fake?

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

#468 Post by SteveC » February 8th, 2012, 9:06 am

The following lots remain in the auction from Don's post below ...
Don Cornwell wrote: Here are some of the more obvious issues that are raised by the pictures in the catalog, but which are not addressed anywhere in the text of the auction catalog:
...

See lots: 37, 88, 89, 90, 93, 95, 96, 98, and 131. Lot 132 has perfect conditions except for an excessively abraded capsule.

...
Lot 11, a magnum of 1985 La Tache, is missing the circumflex over the A on the green appellation controlee line, and thus the label appears to be a potential counterfeit. Again, was the authenticity of these labels confirmed with the Domaine?

...
-Lot 15: two magnums of 1962 La Tâche (alleged bottle Nos. 0306 and 0308.) Compare, e.g. 1971 La Tache magnum (bottle No. 00346) in “Wines from the Legendary Cellar of Wolfgang Grünewald,” Acker Auction Oct 18, 2008, Lot 646 at page 174.

...
Soil level irreconcilable between main label, neck label and strip label[/b][/u]. This is true in several instances. One of the most egregious is Lot 97 (1978 Romanée Conti).

...
The neck labels on the Spectrum bottles in Lots 11, ... 89, 91, 92, 94, 97, ... and 122 do not match the neck labels in other auction catalogs for the vintages after 1964 and before 1990.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#469 Post by Craig B » February 8th, 2012, 9:11 am

I think what Don did was a great piece of detective work.

I know older bottles of DRC fetch a premium but the newer releases aren't cheap. What if the bottles were a more recent vintage, with correct WD or C&B import labels but faked. Would the Domaine step up to authenticate?
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#470 Post by Cris Whetstone » February 8th, 2012, 9:13 am

Jim Sawitzke wrote:
Guillaume Deschamps wrote:
JonoBeagle wrote:Ladies and Gents,

Despite Don's observations are superb and thorough, but do not for one minute believe that the auction house has removed them because of Don.

Due to the fact that other similar lots are still in, I am more inclined to believe as is perfectly normal, that the wine has been sold prior to the auction. If it were not, one would expect to see an explanation as to why the were withdrawn and a removal of all photos and information if that were the case.
The story on Decanter says otherwise.
Vanquish, the UK merchant partnering US auction house Spectrum, has just put out a statement saying, ‘Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, through its UK agent Corney & Barrow, has brought to our attention some apparent label discrepancies in this evening's auction.

‘Through an abundance of caution, and in line with our commitment to excellence in due-diligence and verification, we have withdrawn 13 lots, in order that the issues can be properly investigated, in collaboration with the Domaine and its agent.’


REALLY? This was just brought to their attention by DRC/Corney & Barrow? pileon
Of course not. It is just a way for them to provide some CYA legitimacy to them pulling bottles. They probably didn't want to admit that 'some guy on the internet' called them on this either.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#471 Post by Gavin Monery » February 8th, 2012, 9:14 am

Hi all, I'm a long time lurker but have never felt the need to contribute before now.

First off thanks to Don for bringing this matter to light. Without his efforts we would be none the wiser and most of these wines would have disappeared into the market again. It's rare that so many wines of dubious provenance are in the one place and this is a real opportunity to combat wine fraud on a meaningful level. It's just a shame that neither Spectrum or Vanquish seem interested in doing so. I can completely understand DRC's reticence to get involved. Their stance has always been for clients to buy and sell though their licensed agents and I feel they have little to be gained by being drawn into this sorry saga.

This whole episode has piqued my interest to the point that I have registered and will attend the auction. I'm still grappling with whether I should warn prospective bidders or just shut up and watch this car crash unfold.

If anyone is interested I'll be keeping an eye on some of the lots in question and tweeting via @pigeage
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#472 Post by Sean Moore » February 8th, 2012, 9:21 am

Dennis Atick wrote:I'm just piling on at this point, but Don's work on this is just amazing. [welldone.gif]
+1!

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

#473 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2012, 9:21 am

todd waldmann wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: That these 12 lots have now been pulled is great news. However, the following Red lots have not been pulled, despite their specific mention by Mr. Cromwell of apparent/potential issues surrounding their authenticity: 11, 15, 89, 91, 92, 122.

And, as Bill (and others) have aptly noted, one has to wonder how many other wines in this auction are suspect, as well.

Again, a great first step has been taken, but major ugliness will commence if Lots 11, 15, 89, 92, 122, and possibly others, too, are left to hit the block in a few hours.


My nomination for best typo of the year! [dance-clap.gif]
Well, that certainly is embarrassing! hitsfan Will edit now. Thank you for pointing this out to me.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#474 Post by Cris Whetstone » February 8th, 2012, 9:23 am

Gavin Monery wrote:Hi all, I'm a long time lurker but have never felt the need to contribute before now.

First off thanks to Don for bringing this matter to light. Without his efforts we would be none the wiser and most of these wines would have disappeared into the market again. It's rare that so many wines of dubious provenance are in the one place and this is a real opportunity to combat wine fraud on a meaningful level. It's just a shame that neither Spectrum or Vanquish seem interested in doing so. I can completely understand DRC's reticence to get involved. Their stance has always been for clients to buy and sell though their licensed agents and I feel they have little to be gained by being drawn into this sorry saga.

This whole episode has piqued my interest to the point that I have registered and will attend the auction. I'm still grappling with whether I should warn prospective bidders or just shut up and watch this car crash unfold.

If anyone is interested I'll be keeping an eye on some of the lots in question and tweeting via @pigeage
Please report back with the general mood, notes and if anyone was discussing possible fakes, Gavin.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#475 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » February 8th, 2012, 9:26 am

As a side note, since the original post, WB has experienced quite the explosion on new member signups. Something like 50+ since this past Saturday. Certainly not coincidence, and I imagine a great percentage of those are from UK based on this thread.
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URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#476 Post by JonoBeagle » February 8th, 2012, 9:31 am

They mention investigating with the DRC, C&B over these lots, but many questioned lots are still there and ...

... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!

Also, Don has only questioned the DRCs but speculates that others may also be an issue.

Smoke and Mirrors??
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#477 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » February 8th, 2012, 9:32 am

J a y C a i n wrote:
I know the easy solution is for them to do nothing, but I hope that they’ll act.
I will try to be polite here, but the amount of second-guessing and arm-chair quarterbacking is impressive. Unless you work for DRC and/or its attorneys, you have really no idea what may be going on behind the scenes. There is a significant possibility that in addition to the public statements that have been made by DRC's two agents, there are private meetings, phone calls, demand letters, etc. Simply put, there may be all sorts of things going on behind the scenes--deliberately non-public--and none of us know about them. I'm simply not in a position to know the entirety of what has been going on behind the scenes, and thus I would not presume to advise DRC about how to respond to the specific auction, much less to criticize the company based on what I think has been done or not done.

I would also make the assumption that DRC has legal counsel, has and is consulting with legal counsel, and has an overall strategy to address questions of potentially counterfeit DRC wine.

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

#478 Post by Peter Chiu » February 8th, 2012, 9:36 am

It's just a shame that neither Spectrum or Vanquish seem interested in doing so. I can completely understand DRC's reticence to get involved. Their stance has always been for clients to buy and sell though their licensed agents and I feel they have little to be gained by being drawn into this sorry saga.

[worship.gif]


Gavin....welcome to the Board.

As you can see from my family name I am Chinese, Cavin. It is the first time that I kau-tau to someone for his first post.

I need your support ( re DRC reticence to get involed ) [wink.gif] .

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

#479 Post by Paul Jaouen » February 8th, 2012, 9:38 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:As a side note, since the original post, WB has experienced quite the explosion on new member signups. Something like 50+ since this past Saturday. Certainly not coincidence, and I imagine a great percentage of those are from UK based on this thread.
WB is going to have to start accepting sterling donations.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#480 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » February 8th, 2012, 9:40 am

Dan Rosenheck wrote:They just put up a document announcing a bunch of withdrawn lots: 12, 17, 30, 65, 66, 94, 99 ,100, 101, 118, 121, 124, and 127, as well as some amendments to provenance and condition information. See http://www.spectrumwine.com/images/ads/ ... dendum.pdf
Dan--Thanks for the link. A few quick observations:

1. The auction houses are NOT disclosing who the consignor(s) are of the withdrawn lots.

2. The auction houses are NOT disclosing whether remaining lots in this auction were from the same consignor(s) as the
withdrawn lots.

3. The auction houses still have NOT provided any meaningful provenance information for some very significant lots remaining in this auction, such as Lot 132 (1945 La Tache) and Lot 133 (1945 DRC RC).

Whether someone thinks they "should" disclose any of this information is up to you. I'm simply pointing out some important facts.

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

#481 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » February 8th, 2012, 9:42 am

JonoBeagle wrote:... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!
Remember that there's a huge difference between authenticating a bottle, and pointing out the obvious fakes. So they could decide not to publicly authenticate any bottles (liability) but still point out the obvious fakes to the auction house in private.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#482 Post by Dale Bowers » February 8th, 2012, 9:42 am

Like in real estate where it's location, location, location...this is all about provenance, provenance, provenance. How can any auction house list 50+ year old wines without at least an attempt at detailing were these wines have been for the past 50 years? This speaks volumes to me, the label discrepancies nonwithstanding.
Last edited by Dale Bowers on February 8th, 2012, 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#483 Post by Peter Kleban » February 8th, 2012, 9:43 am

Guillaume Deschamps wrote:
JonoBeagle wrote:... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!
Remember that there's a huge difference between authenticating a bottle, and pointing out the obvious fakes. So they could decide not to publicly authenticate any bottles (liability) but still point out the obvious fakes to the auction house in private.
Good point. I wonder that hasn't happened already, in private.

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

#484 Post by Chris Sihler » February 8th, 2012, 9:48 am

Removing a few suspect lots is unacceptable. All they have done now is admit that there are fraudulent bottles from a consignor, but have only removed the obvious examples. Surely, there are some less obvious examples. They must remove all of the lots by the consignor that provided the suspicious lots.

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

#485 Post by J a y C a i n » February 8th, 2012, 9:48 am

Bruce Leiserowitz wrote:
J a y C a i n wrote:
I know the easy solution is for them to do nothing, but I hope that they’ll act.
I will try to be polite here, but the amount of second-guessing and arm-chair quarterbacking is impressive. Unless you work for DRC and/or its attorneys, you have really no idea what may be going on behind the scenes. There is a significant possibility that in addition to the public statements that have been made by DRC's two agents, there are private meetings, phone calls, demand letters, etc. Simply put, there may be all sorts of things going on behind the scenes--deliberately non-public--and none of us know about them. I'm simply not in a position to know the entirety of what has been going on behind the scenes, and thus I would not presume to advise DRC about how to respond to the specific auction, much less to criticize the company based on what I think has been done or not done.

I would also make the assumption that DRC has legal counsel, has and is consulting with legal counsel, and has an overall strategy to address questions of potentially counterfeit DRC wine.

Bruce
I'm not sure you succeeded in your efforts in being polite, Bruce, but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I wasn't "armchair quarterbacking," as you suggested. I said I hoped they'll do something and pointed out the reasons why I felt that way. I, too, believe that DRC has legal counsel, probably a whole gaggle of them. I suspect they'll hear lots of reasons why their most prudent course would be to do nothing. We've heard repeatedly that they don't authenticate wine in the secondary market. I am personally hoping they are proactive here. I'm not an IP attorney, but if they're protecting their brand, then shouldn't they do so publicly?

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

#486 Post by Guillaume Deschamps » February 8th, 2012, 9:49 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:As a side note, since the original post, WB has experienced quite the explosion on new member signups. Something like 50+ since this past Saturday. Certainly not coincidence, and I imagine a great percentage of those are from UK based on this thread.
Incidentally there's also been a surge in membership requests on the Oxidized Burgs wiki. We've had as many in the last couple of days as in several months usually [popcorn.gif]
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#487 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » February 8th, 2012, 9:59 am

J a y C a i n wrote: I'm not an IP attorney, but if they're protecting their brand, then shouldn't they do so publicly?
The fact that the auction is taking place in the U.K., and not the U.S., might provide you with one theory for why they are being circumspect about what they say in public.

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

#488 Post by JonoBeagle » February 8th, 2012, 10:03 am

Guillaume Deschamps wrote:
JonoBeagle wrote:... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!
Remember that there's a huge difference between authenticating a bottle, and pointing out the obvious fakes. So they could decide not to publicly authenticate any bottles (liability) but still point out the obvious fakes to the auction house in private.
But as we have already discussed, no fake is obvious unless the wine doesn't actually exist or it is badly done. Some withdrawn lots here look identical to those remaining...

So how was that obvious to point out? They basically mean they won't do it... If they do, we will never see those bottles again or they will get drunk in the name of detective work!!
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#489 Post by J a y C a i n » February 8th, 2012, 10:12 am

Bruce Leiserowitz wrote:
J a y C a i n wrote: I'm not an IP attorney, but if they're protecting their brand, then shouldn't they do so publicly?
The fact that the auction is taking place in the U.K., and not the U.S., might provide you with one theory for why they are being circumspect about what they say in public.

Bruce
There's libel and slander, and there's protecting your brand. "This is not a genuine label" or if you prefer "This label differs significantly from those that we use at DRC," says all that needs to be said assuming its true. Again, you are treating us like you're the only one who is able to think the scenario through critically. As I said above, "I suspect they'll hear lots of reasons why their most prudent course would be to do nothing." I was alluding to the ridiculously liberal slander prosecutions in the UK when I said that, but I do so appreciate your flushing it out for the dim-witted here.

My point, once again, is that I hope they'll be aggressive in dealing with this. And because I like to rubber-neck as much as the next guy, I hope they do so publicly. Having said that, I think there are tactical and legal reasons why they would want to do so.

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

#490 Post by CHris Hambleton » February 8th, 2012, 10:13 am

Guillaume Deschamps wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:As a side note, since the original post, WB has experienced quite the explosion on new member signups. Something like 50+ since this past Saturday. Certainly not coincidence, and I imagine a great percentage of those are from UK based on this thread.
Incidentally there's also been a surge in membership requests on the Oxidized Burgs wiki. We've had as many in the last couple of days as in several months usually [popcorn.gif]
Perhaps it was the colour of the DRC Montrachets in the photos and the owners of all 600 [stirthepothal.gif] bottles are worried. [wink.gif]

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

#491 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2012, 10:15 am

JonoBeagle wrote:They mention investigating with the DRC, C&B over these lots, but many questioned lots are still there and ...

... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!

Also, Don has only questioned the DRCs but speculates that others may also be an issue.

Smoke and Mirrors??
The more I've thought about it, the more I think DRC and/or C&B may have made behind-the-scenes off-the-record comments to Spectrum & Vanquish re: authenticity of the bottles. If, indeed, DRC did do this, good on them. [cheers.gif]
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#492 Post by Bill Bøykin » February 8th, 2012, 10:19 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
JonoBeagle wrote:They mention investigating with the DRC, C&B over these lots, but many questioned lots are still there and ...

... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!

Also, Don has only questioned the DRCs but speculates that others may also be an issue.

Smoke and Mirrors??
The more I've thought about it, the more I think DRC and/or C&B may have made behind-the-scenes off-the-record comments to Spectrum & Vanquish re: authenticity of the bottles. If, indeed, DRC did do this, good on them. [cheers.gif]
Nice to think that,yes,but unfortunately several of the questioned and questionable lots are still there,soooo.....?

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

#493 Post by Peter Chiu » February 8th, 2012, 10:20 am

Code: Select all

We've heard repeatedly that they don't authenticate wine in the secondary market. I am personally hoping they are proactive here.
There are too many things ( to do ) and also risk ( involved ) if they adopt a policy to authenticate wine in the secondary markets.

Guess you read in one of the post that DRC put their acceptance on the bottle of 1945 RC. I believe DRC did it because that
bottle ( 1945 RC ) was for auction for charity.

Pleass also remember if the Auction House declared ( and has proof ) that : the consigned lot is directly from the Domaine ( or the Chateau ), then auction result will be much higher.

Is there an advantage for the Domaine or Chateau to withhold their stock if they started a policy to authenticate the wines which have been circulating in the secondary markets ? ( Please note that I am not referring the Domaine to be DRC or anyone .

Just my 2 cents....
Last edited by Peter Chiu on February 8th, 2012, 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

#494 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2012, 10:25 am

Bill Boykin wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
JonoBeagle wrote:They mention investigating with the DRC, C&B over these lots, but many questioned lots are still there and ...

... DRC and C&B have stated that they can't authenticate!

Also, Don has only questioned the DRCs but speculates that others may also be an issue.

Smoke and Mirrors??
The more I've thought about it, the more I think DRC and/or C&B may have made behind-the-scenes off-the-record comments to Spectrum & Vanquish re: authenticity of the bottles. If, indeed, DRC did do this, good on them. [cheers.gif]
Nice to think that,yes,but unfortunately several of the questioned and questionable lots are still there,soooo.....?
Purely hypothetical, but perhaps they only made statements re: the obvious fakes; i.e.: "Lots x, xx, xxx, xxxx are *obviously* fake; we have nothing to say about the other lots/the other lots may or may not be fake." Again, this is PURELY A HYPOTHESIS of mine, and is NOT BASED ON ANY KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER; I'm just thinking "out loud" here. (caps not directed at you, Bill, but rather at those in this thread who seem to have a hard time respecting the OPINIONS of others). [cheers.gif]
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#495 Post by Eric LeVine » February 8th, 2012, 10:31 am

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.
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.
To me, the scariest thing here is that Don only pointed out issues on the DRC wines, and so in the end Spectrum and Vanquish pulled some DRC wines. What if the same exact scrutiny were applied to every other lot? Without any more information or transparency from Spectrum/Vanquish, it feels like the equivalent of pointing out a fly in a bowl of soup to a waiter, and in return the waiter merely scoops the fly out with a spoon and says "Ok, all good now."

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

#496 Post by Dale Bowers » February 8th, 2012, 10:31 am

Am I correct that this auction goes off in 30 minutes ?
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#497 Post by Maureen Downey » February 8th, 2012, 10:33 am

So here is a question:
If someone buys one of the lots that Don has pointed out, and it turns out to that it really is fake. Do they have recourse? Or can the house claim that the buyer has been warned and they knowingly purchased a fake?

A Koch case was thrown out because he had an expert go inspect a wine, the expert said it was fake, he informed the house - they sold the wine anyway. A Koch agent bought it on his behalf. Koch then included the bottle in a larger suit. Ultimately, the Judge said that his case was not valid - because he had been warned that the wine was fake prior to purchase.

So if anyone who has read this board or other boards, or who received a letter from Wilson Daniels, C&B - or any other warning.... purchases anything, and the wine is proved fake by the Domaine. Are they a 'guilty' buyer who knowingly purchased a fake?

Maureen Downey
Last edited by Maureen Downey on February 8th, 2012, 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#498 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 8th, 2012, 10:37 am

Dale Bowers wrote:Am I correct that this auction goes off in 30 minutes ?
Starts in 52 minutes.

Can someone please post the link to the live feed? Thank you! [cheers.gif]
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Re: URGENT WARNING--RUDY KURNIAWAN IS TRYING TO AUCTION MORE WINES

#499 Post by Keith Levenberg » February 8th, 2012, 10:39 am

I am frankly shocked that anyone thinks that DRC has any obligation to do anything other than continuing to make great wine. They did not seek out the booming secondary (or tertiary, quaternary, quinary...) auction market for their products, and I see no reason why they would want to enable it by putting the Domaine's imprimatur on certain auction lots (either explicitly by "authenticating" them or implicitly by "inauthenticating" others). I also agree with those who have pointed out that while it is sometimes possible to declare a bottle fake with reasonable certainty, it's never possible to declare an old bottle real with any certainty. There are people who specialize in issuing their opinion on such matters -- I would prefer that DRC specialized in making wine. None of this, of course, is to diminish Don's amazing detective work nor the auction houses' duty to do right by their customers.

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

#500 Post by k s h i n » February 8th, 2012, 10:43 am

I stayed out of this one. If you examined the labels carefully, you can often tell the signs of artificial aging. Also the capsules can provide a lot of clues.
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