RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
jbray23
Posts: 2708
Joined: September 2nd, 2010, 3:56 pm

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

#101 Post by jbray23 » February 5th, 2012, 4:27 pm

Don, incredibly useful information, thanks for doing all of this detective work.
Jason, back itb

User avatar
Monte Mast
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 661
Joined: February 28th, 2010, 8:25 pm
Location: Tomball, Texas

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

#102 Post by Monte Mast » February 5th, 2012, 4:57 pm

Don,

I have never attempted to purchase a bottle through an auction (largely because I don't have a budget to do so), but this is an incredible service to those who do. My hat is off to you.

Monte
Monte Mast

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
Chris Freemott
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 5820
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 7:00 pm
Location: Naperville, IL

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

#103 Post by Chris Freemott » February 5th, 2012, 5:34 pm

Tip o the cap Don.

User avatar
Tom F.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 122
Joined: October 17th, 2010, 5:03 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

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

#104 Post by Tom F. » February 5th, 2012, 6:02 pm

I'm completely in awe of Don's knowledge level and attention to detail. I have nothing to contribute other than being amused by what I read on page 180:
Wine Cellar ClUB, California
Founded in 1992, this secure full service facility in Irvine offers a vast array of options for wine storage, ranging from small
cabinets to deluxe large walk in cellars with fantastic bottle rack systems. Temperature controlled -57F, amazing private
club amenities, and full time staff to assist you.
Isn't negative 57 degrees a wee bit cold for wine?
T o m F l o y d

Angelo Manioudakis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 216
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 5:46 pm

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

#105 Post by Angelo Manioudakis » February 5th, 2012, 6:14 pm

I simply can't believe that we haven't heard back fom Spectrum (other than that one post). All of the crisis management stuff I learned in B school indicates that you need to communicate early and often, even when you don't have all the details just yet. Reputation is everything.

User avatar
ky1em!ttskus
Posts: 4500
Joined: January 27th, 2012, 7:38 am

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

#106 Post by ky1em!ttskus » February 5th, 2012, 6:43 pm

Amazing work, Don! Absolutely amazing! [cheers.gif]

User avatar
Keith Levenberg
Posts: 5440
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 3:11 pm
Location: Washington, D.C.

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

#107 Post by Keith Levenberg » February 5th, 2012, 6:54 pm

Angelo Manioudakis wrote:I simply can't believe that we haven't heard back fom Spectrum (other than that one post). All of the crisis management stuff I learned in B school indicates that you need to communicate early and often, even when you don't have all the details just yet. Reputation is everything.
Image

User avatar
NickWittman
Posts: 1000
Joined: April 21st, 2009, 3:37 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, Ca

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

#108 Post by NickWittman » February 5th, 2012, 7:05 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
Angelo Manioudakis wrote:I simply can't believe that we haven't heard back fom Spectrum (other than that one post). All of the crisis management stuff I learned in B school indicates that you need to communicate early and often, even when you don't have all the details just yet. Reputation is everything.
Image
ha, might be second place as post of the year! [cheers.gif]
ITB - Santa Rosa Fine Wine

Angelo Manioudakis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 216
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 5:46 pm

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

#109 Post by Angelo Manioudakis » February 5th, 2012, 7:07 pm

NickWittman wrote:
Keith Levenberg wrote:
Angelo Manioudakis wrote:I simply can't believe that we haven't heard back fom Spectrum (other than that one post). All of the crisis management stuff I learned in B school indicates that you need to communicate early and often, even when you don't have all the details just yet. Reputation is everything.
Image
ha, might be second place as post of the year! [cheers.gif]
Agreed!

User avatar
Berry Crawford
Posts: 10023
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 8:16 pm
Location: Near the Sierra Foothills

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

#110 Post by Berry Crawford » February 5th, 2012, 7:09 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
Angelo Manioudakis wrote:I simply can't believe that we haven't heard back fom Spectrum (other than that one post). All of the crisis management stuff I learned in B school indicates that you need to communicate early and often, even when you don't have all the details just yet. Reputation is everything.
Image
LOL, keith

User avatar
Eric LeVine
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 12428
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 8:58 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

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

#111 Post by Eric LeVine » February 5th, 2012, 7:41 pm

OK, who is it? Sorry, I know I am missing something really obvious...
-Eric LeVine (ITB)
It rhymes with wine...

User avatar
Craig G
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 14798
Joined: March 6th, 2011, 10:57 am
Location: Town of Cats

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

#112 Post by Craig G » February 5th, 2012, 7:43 pm

Not so fast. He misspelled Montrachet. And he has two periods at the end of point 12.
“You need to look down to the bottom shelf where they keep the Fighting Cock” — Corey N.

C. Gle@son

User avatar
Berry Crawford
Posts: 10023
Joined: February 9th, 2009, 8:16 pm
Location: Near the Sierra Foothills

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

#113 Post by Berry Crawford » February 5th, 2012, 7:43 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:OK, who is it? Sorry, I know I am missing something really obvious...
http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/

Angelo Manioudakis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 216
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 5:46 pm

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

#114 Post by Angelo Manioudakis » February 5th, 2012, 7:47 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:OK, who is it? Sorry, I know I am missing something really obvious...
One of Saddam Hussein's front men.

User avatar
Mel Hill
Posts: 6216
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:56 pm
Location: Colorado

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

#115 Post by Mel Hill » February 5th, 2012, 7:50 pm

Berry Crawford wrote:
Eric LeVine wrote:OK, who is it? Sorry, I know I am missing something really obvious...
http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/

I wish Twitter would have been around when this guy was in the news, The Fake version of him would have been very funny!

User avatar
Anthony Hall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1559
Joined: October 19th, 2009, 4:28 am
Location: Australia / Meursault

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

#116 Post by Anthony Hall » February 5th, 2012, 11:29 pm

Great work Don.

Does anyone know the domain well enough to forward them Don's questions ?

Wouldn't it be awesome if Aubert de Villaine could attend the auction !!!!!
I used to have a modest burgundyman url as a signature. Now if you want to learn about luxury winelover accomodation in Meursault you have to finish reading this much more promotional sentence and press the button with 3 W's in it.

Ulrik Svensson
Posts: 2
Joined: February 4th, 2012, 4:43 pm

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

#117 Post by Ulrik Svensson » February 6th, 2012, 12:25 am

Jancis Robinson posting correspondence with their publicist. Not really questioning the wines in themselves:
http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a201202041.html

WvanGorp
Posts: 1583
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 9:37 am

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

#118 Post by WvanGorp » February 6th, 2012, 1:04 am

Jancis' comments in brackets are, to me, revealing.
Wilfred van Gorp

User avatar
Anthony Hall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1559
Joined: October 19th, 2009, 4:28 am
Location: Australia / Meursault

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

#119 Post by Anthony Hall » February 6th, 2012, 1:35 am

Tom Blach wrote:Don, Bravo. I have forwarded your magnificent work to Richard Brierley in London.
Hi Tom,

Why not ask Corney & Barrow what they think ? Shouldn't the british distributor of DRC be concerned ?
I used to have a modest burgundyman url as a signature. Now if you want to learn about luxury winelover accomodation in Meursault you have to finish reading this much more promotional sentence and press the button with 3 W's in it.

User avatar
billnanson
Posts: 1339
Joined: October 22nd, 2010, 11:08 am
Location: Bern and Beaune

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

#120 Post by billnanson » February 6th, 2012, 1:45 am

Anthony Hall wrote:
Tom Blach wrote:Don, Bravo. I have forwarded your magnificent work to Richard Brierley in London.
Hi Tom,

Why not ask Corney & Barrow what they think ? Shouldn't the british distributor of DRC be concerned ?
Hi Anthony,
I already forwarded Don's great work to C&B, DRC and de Vogüé, and it turns out that Jancis already sent DRC links a week ago. I don't expect any will discuss openly the steps they choose to take, but they are certainly forewarned...
Burgundy Report - online since 2002...

User avatar
Anthony Hall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1559
Joined: October 19th, 2009, 4:28 am
Location: Australia / Meursault

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

#121 Post by Anthony Hall » February 6th, 2012, 1:58 am

Interesting that the auction has no ponsot !
I used to have a modest burgundyman url as a signature. Now if you want to learn about luxury winelover accomodation in Meursault you have to finish reading this much more promotional sentence and press the button with 3 W's in it.

User avatar
paul hanna
Posts: 4910
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 10:14 pm

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

#122 Post by paul hanna » February 6th, 2012, 3:08 am

Anthony Hall wrote:Interesting that the auction has no ponsot !

Probably too obvious after last time....

User avatar
paul hanna
Posts: 4910
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 10:14 pm

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

#123 Post by paul hanna » February 6th, 2012, 3:29 am

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

(1) Condition of the capsules vs. fills and labels. The biggest red flag to me is the condition of the capsules as compared to the fills/labels. Many of the wines on this list have very clean labels and excellent fills, but ratty capsules. This makes no sense at all and the reverse is much more common with old wines from damp cellars. Spectrum has done nothing to explain this.

(2) No provenance information of any kind vs. an exceptional number of cut capsules. I do not ever recall seeing an auction catalog before where there wasn’t a single comment about provenance. Usually, at a minimum, there is some type of description of the storage conditions for the wine. But here there is absolutely nothing. Is that because Spectrum thought they would be taking a risk by making any statement whatsoever about how or where these wines were stored before the sale? With that alarm already sounding, the huge number of capsules that were cut or trimmed -- apparently before the wines ever reached Spectrum – again raises major questions that call for serious disclosure. Ordinarily, wines that come out of the cellars of original owners don’t have T-cuts and capsule trims unless the owner has already tried unsuccessfully to sell the wines and had them rejected by an auction house. I can’t remember seeing DRC capsules where somebody cut off the printed band that surrounds the bottom of the capsule as an alleged means of providing assurance of proper provenance. Instead this raises the potential for fraud and certainly cries out for complete disclosure about where these wines came from, what other experts/auction houses rejected them and why. See lots: 37, 88, 89, 90, 93, 95, 96, 98, and 131. Lot 132 has perfect conditions except for an excessively abraded capsule. Spectrum: what is the explanation for zero provenance disclosure and yet clear indicia that a number of these wines appear to have been evaluated and possibly rejected by other auction houses previously?

(3) Missing Accent Marks on Romanée in the Appellation Controlée Line. Several lots of the DRC Romanée Conti are missing the accent on the first Ė (accent Aigu) on the green-colored Appellation Romanée Conti line. This is something that DRC has always used. The following lots of Romanée Conti appear to be missing the é in “Appellation Romanée Conti” and thus would appear to be questionable.

-Lot No.99: 12 bottles of 1971
-Lot No 101: 3 jeroboams of 1971 (but this is slightly unclear in the photo)
-Lot No 118: 12 bottles of 1966
-Lot No 121: 12 bottles of 1964
-Lot No 124: 3 magnums of 1962
-Lot No 127: 12 bottles of 1959

Was any attempt made by the “experts” to verify the authenticity of these anomalous labels with the Domaine?

(4) Missing Accent Marks on Post-77 La Tâche in the Appellation Controlée Line. Today’s modern La Tâche label contains an accent (circumflex) over the second A in La Tâche – both on the main block lettering of the vineyard name, and the green appellation controlée line. The circumflex was not included above the second A in La Tâche until the 1978 vintage and it appears on all La Tâche bottles from 1978 on. (The one exception to this that I’m aware of is that Wilson-Daniels has released some bottles of 1971 La Tache with new labels which contain the circumflex over the A in both places and Wilson-Daniels strip labels. It is possible that there may have been some other pre-78 vintages where Wilson-Daniels or the DRC importers in other countries have issued late releases with the new label, but I haven’t seen any to date.) . 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?

(5) Incorrect Accent Marks on Propriétaire on the second printed line on the label. Another little-noticed change in DRC’s labels over time is that the modern label has an accent (Aigu) on the first E in the word propriétaire which appears on the left side of the second printed line on the label. DRC first began using the Aigu in the word propriétaire sometime after 1975 and the Aigu definitely appears in Proprietaire on line 2 on all DRC bottles from the 1978 vintage onward. It is not properly there however on bottles issued before 1976. (This is once again subject to the same exception for late release bottles of 1971 through Wilson-Daniels, which do bear the Aigu in Proprietaire.) In the case of the Spectrum wines, it would appear that someone copied the modern DRC label in attempting to fake older bottles of DRC, because the following lots contain an Aigu in Propriétaire but should not for the vintage in question:

-Lot 17: 2 magnums of 1959 Romanée Conti
-Lot 65: 7 bottles of 1966 DRC Montrachet
-Lot 66: 7 bottles of 1966 DRC Montrachet
-Lot 99: 12 bottles of 1999 Romanée Conti
-Lot 118: 12 bottles of 1966 Romanée Conti
-Lot 121: 12 bottles of 1964 Romanée Conti

Once again, if you have information from the Domaine that the labels on these bottles are correct, would you please share it.

(6) Incorrect Number of Digits on Bottle Numbers. The following lots contain an incorrect number of digits on the bottle number when compared with other bottles of known provenance:

-Lot 12: six magnums of 1971 La Tâche (alleged bottle No. 0255). Compare, e.g., 1971 La Tâche magnum (bottle No. 01078) in “Wines from the Legendary Cellar of Wolfgang Grünewald” Acker Auction Oct 18, 2008 at page 174. See also Acker Hong Kong Auction No. 1, May 31, 2008 Lot 122 (1971 DRC La Tache Magnum No. 00327). Notably, the 1971 magnums that Mr. Kurniawan sold in the April 27, 2007 Christie’s Los Angeles auction had very similar four digit numbers. See the Christie’s April 27, 2007 auction catalog at page 85 (bottle numbers 0233, 0235 and 0236.)

-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.

-Lots 65 and 66: each lot consists of 7 bottles of 1966 DRC Montrachet. Note that the bottle numbers on Lot 65 are all four digit numbers, ranging from 0900 to 0906. However, Lot 66 is all five digit numbers, ranging from 00035 to 00041. DRC uses either five or six digit numbers on their Montrachet bottles and used five digit numbers for the Montrachet in the 1966 vintage. See the photo below of Bottle 00148.

-Lot 94: a magnum of 1978 Romanée Conti (alleged bottle No. 0027). I personally owned a magnum of 1978 La Tache, which I sold at auction on December 10, 2005. My magnum had a six digit bottle number. See also Lots 95-97 in this auction (1978 Romanée Contis in 750 ml bottles) which have six digit numbers.

-Lot 100: a magnum of 1971 Romanée Conti (alleged bottle No. 0048). Compare, e.g. 1971 Romanée Conti magnum (bottle No. 000355) in “The Don Stott Collection,” Acker Merrall 11/4/2011, at Lot 1246 (at page 435).

-Lot 101: 3 jeroboams of 1971 Romanée Conti (alleged bottle Nos 016, 017 and 018.) Compare, e.g. 1971 Romanée Conti Jeroboam (bottle No. 00014), in “Hong Kong XVI,” Acker Merrall 9/16-17/2011, Lot 811 at page 268 and related photo.

(7) Incorrect Capsules. Lots 65 and 66 (1966 DRC Montrachet) have plain white capsules. That is incorrect. DRC utilizes a white capsule with a black printed band on it, which is similar to the branded capsules used on the red wines. A photo showing the proper capsule and label is set forth below.
66 DRC Montrachet.jpg
The description on Lot 65 says five bottles have “nicked Establissements Nicolas” capsules and the labels have “Establissments Nicolas” stamped on them. I’ve never heard of any DRC Montrachett being capsuled with Nicolas capsules. Leaving aside the absence of the Domaine capsules, why would wines have Nicolas capsules and labels and Lebegue-Bichot import/export strips (see photo of Lot 65 on page 69) at the same time? That makes no sense. Lot 66 has plain white capsules for which no explanation is provided and the Lebegue-Bichot import/export strips on that set of bottles are quite different.

(8) Wrong glass Lots 65 and 66 (1966 Montrachet) have completely different glass, including one that is completely inappropriate for a bottle of 1966 wine. The photo of Lot 65 on page 71 shows modern “tire tread” glass near the punt. The photo of Lot 66 on page 73 shows flat glass on the punt appropriate for the era.

(9) Too many bottles. 1966 DRC Montrachet is an exceedingly rare wine at this point. A search of Wine Market Journal reveals that only 7 bottles of 1966 DRC Montrachet have come into the auction market since 1996. Spectrum purports to have 14 bottles in a single auction. Surely this requires, at a minimum, a detailed description of the provenance of these bottles.

(10) Crudely stamped bottle numbers vs Domaine’s printed numbers. Lot No. 94 (an alleged magnum of 78 Romanée Conti) has a crudely hand-stamped four digit number. However, for the 1978 vintage DRC had the numbers printed onto their labels. See, for example, the photograph of Lot 97 (1978 Romanée Conti 750ml bottle) which appears at page 105 of the Spectrum catalog. See also the photograph of 1978 Romanée Conti (Bottle No. 005884) in “The Ultimate Cellar,” Sotheby’s April 2-3, 2011 (Lot 6244 at page 171.)

(11) Misspellings. On lot 94 (magnum of 78 Romanée Conti), the street address of Percy Fox, the UK agent, is misspelled. The name of the street. is Sackville, not Sackvilee. There are numerous photographs of the Percy Fox strip label with the address correctly spelled on other bottles in other auction catalogs. Have your experts contacted Percy Fox to determine whether they in fact used strip labels with their address misspelled?

(12) Wrong surround trim on the neck label. On Lot No. 99 (12 bottles of 1971 Romanée Conti) the decorative edging around the neck label is incorrect. The normal edging is a thick bold outer line tracing the shape of the neck label and a second fine parallel line in black with white space in between. On Lot 99, the fine black line and white space is missing. Instead there appears to be a solid gray line directly abutting the black solid outer line and there is no intervening white space between them. .

(13) Record of prior sale of the same numbered bottle. Lot 101 consists of three jeroboams of 1971 Romanée Conti with consecutive numbers. One of those is No 018. A jeroboam bearing the identical number was sold in Kurniawan's Cellar II auction and another bearing the number 00018 was sold in the Rosania/Kurniawan auction at Acker on April 25, 2008. Each of these jeroboams had different strip labels, neck labels, etc. and both of them are quite different in appearance from Spectrum’s lot 101. What evidence did Spectrum’s “experts” use to determine that the bottle in Lot 101 is legitimate and the other two (at least one of which came from the same source) were fake? Moreover, how does Spectrum explain the fact that the three jeroboams in Lot 101 have three digit bottle numbers and are missing the Aigu accent on the first Ė on the green-colored Appellation Romanée Conti line?

(14) Soil level irreconcilable between main label, neck label and strip label. This is true in several instances. One of the most egregious is Lot 97 (1978 Romanée Conti). Another is lot 121 (12 bottles of 1964 Romanée Conti.)

(15) Wrong font/wrong spacing on some older neck labels. My very first impression as I looked at the photographs of the older wines in the catalog was that the font is wrong on the neck labels. DRC uses a comic-type font for MONOPOLE on the neck label. From 1990 on, the font in use for “MONOPOLE” has been the same as is depicted in the photo of the 1999 Romanée Conti on page 22 of the Spectrum catalog. However prior to the 1990 vintage the font on the neck label was slightly different. The font was slightly narrower, with the result that the straight lines in the M, N, P, L and E appear somewhat “thinner” before 1990. Additionally, the top portion of the letter O was distinctly “thin” in comparison with the bulbous bottom. See the photographs of the neck labels on the 1966 to 1988 vintages set forth at pages 70 and 74 of the Sotheby’s “Ultimate Cellar” catalog and pages 174, 176 and 186 of the Wolfgang Grünewald catalog referenced above. In addition, prior to 1990 (except apparently for the vintage 1964), the vintage date was printed in a regular font, not the thick bold numbering which appears on the modern labels In addition, for the years from 1978 through 1988 there was greater space between the numerals comprising the year than there is today. (Again, see the photographs from other auction catalogs referenced above.) The neck labels on the Spectrum bottles in Lots 11, 12, 89, 91, 92, 94, 97, 99, 118 and 122 do not match the neck labels in other auction catalogs for the vintages after 1964 and before 1990. The neck labels in the Spectrum catalog appear to be copies of the modern version – with a much thicker font on MONOPOLE, broad bold numbering and tight spacing between the numerals, even for the vintages from 1978 through 1988.

Ultimately, I’m left astonished wondering whose Spectrum’s alleged “experts” were and just what did they do? There are so many red flags here; so many things that an alleged “expert” should have detected but didn’t. Just what did this allegedly “elevated inspection process” consist of? What steps did Spectrum take to authenticate the “once in a lifetime” bottles of 1945 La Tache and Romanée Conti with DRC itself? What information did Spectrum obtain from DRC, if any, that would enable them to offer these wines to the public despite the obvious issues?
Post of the year, hands down.

Simply brilliant work, I have now looked very closely at the catalog and pictures, and can only concur.....

User avatar
billnanson
Posts: 1339
Joined: October 22nd, 2010, 11:08 am
Location: Bern and Beaune

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

#124 Post by billnanson » February 6th, 2012, 3:52 am

paul hanna wrote:
Anthony Hall wrote:Interesting that the auction has no ponsot !

Probably too obvious after last time....
But one wonders, where exactly are those bottles today...
Burgundy Report - online since 2002...

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6378
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

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

#125 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 6th, 2012, 4:42 am

His skill seems to be that he thinks like they do. pileon

Don has long ago convinced me that "Rudy" (if that's his real name) isn't an innocent victim.

Though I didn't read Don's post....it does sound like Rudy's stash has entered the auditorium. Maybe.

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

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

#126 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » February 6th, 2012, 4:53 am

Kudos, Don! But did I scroll through this thread too quickly and somehow miss Jason Boland's response to questions posed to him after he read his brief prepared statement into the record?

Gary Schulte
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2754
Joined: May 27th, 2010, 7:30 am
Location: Southeastern New England

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

#127 Post by Gary Schulte » February 6th, 2012, 4:53 am

Don - Many thanks for the education. I'm truely amazed by the level of scholarship, and recall, you have brought forward on this auction. It seems to me that if an auction house is relatively new to the game, and they are partnering with another wine purveyor, they would have an independent review of the listings by a few experts. Was this not done? I can only hope these wines do not end up in circulation. Thank you again Don.....Cheers, Gary

User avatar
cjsavino
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5043
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 5:00 pm
Location: Cranford NJ

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

#128 Post by cjsavino » February 6th, 2012, 6:08 am

WvanGorp wrote:Jancis' comments in brackets are, to me, revealing.
Without a doubt, some simple but noteworthy comments in the text. If I was a buyer I would run away from this one as quickly as possible.
Chris
Image

GMcCarthy
Posts: 304
Joined: November 27th, 2009, 2:12 pm
Location: Brooklyn

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

#129 Post by GMcCarthy » February 6th, 2012, 7:19 am

Mike Steinberger had 2 tweets regarding this topic. The first linked to the entire thread and then the 2d most recent was Don's analysis. Keep up the good work.
Greg McCarthy
itb:beer

User avatar
Philip Ente
Posts: 844
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 4:15 am

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

#130 Post by Philip Ente » February 6th, 2012, 7:29 am

I may have once inadvertently discovered another angle to this bogus wine business.
I used to work at L'Orangerie, a very upscale French restaurant in Los Angeles. More than once I saw a guy going through the dumpster behind the restaurant, pulling out wine bottles. I once happened to be parking my car right next to this dumpster and noticed the guy was picking only bottles previously containing very high level French wines.
After reading Don's post, do you think this guy was connected with wine scammers?

User avatar
T. Altmayer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4249
Joined: February 14th, 2009, 3:37 pm

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

#131 Post by T. Altmayer » February 6th, 2012, 7:49 am

Wow, glad I never bought from Spectrum . . . and now, I never will.
Tom

User avatar
Loren Sonkin
Posts: 3643
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:37 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

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

#132 Post by Loren Sonkin » February 6th, 2012, 7:51 am

Amazing work Don.

I would love to hear a response from DRC and how they will handle this. Do they care as much as Ponsot?
With regards,

Loren Sonkin
Columnist at www.Intowine.com

User avatar
Jay Carroll
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4339
Joined: February 2nd, 2009, 11:06 am
Location: Chicago, IL

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

#133 Post by Jay Carroll » February 6th, 2012, 7:54 am

I agree - great job by Don- very impressive.

How can this auction house not pull these bottles??? And how does the domaine get involved? Reputation is everything...well to most anyway
I am just a cowboy lonesome on the trail
Lord, I'm just thinking about a certain female

User avatar
Jon Troutman
Posts: 410
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 2:10 pm

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

#134 Post by Jon Troutman » February 6th, 2012, 8:26 am

Don's detective work is truly amazing. [cheers.gif]

It will be really interesting to see how this plays out. In the last few weeks we've seen the internet's influence halt SOPA in less than 48 hours. Susan G. Komen reinstated its funding to Planned Parenthood after the issue went instantaneously viral. Can this wine forum help overthrow the egregious act of a wine auction house in the same vein?
Birthdays was the worst days, now we sip Champagne when we thirs-tay
~Biggie~

ITB
@trouty

User avatar
Bob Davis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 318
Joined: May 16th, 2011, 7:45 am
Location: Columbia,MD

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

#135 Post by Bob Davis » February 6th, 2012, 9:09 am

Mel Hill wrote:here's Rudy back in 2002
when he bought the SQN HdR lot for something north of $250 a bottle. (pretty good price as it turns out)
Image
I remember those 2 guys. During that auction lot they raised their paddle to bid and never put it down until they won.
-------
Pittsburgh Dad says, "Twenty bucks for a field trip to the art museum? Tell you what, I'll drive you past the Lemieux statue for free."

MitchTallan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2653
Joined: June 3rd, 2009, 10:17 am

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

#136 Post by MitchTallan » February 6th, 2012, 9:25 am

I remember those 2 guys. During that auction lot they raised their paddle to bid and never put it down until they won.
Bob Davis Posts: 99Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:45 am Private messageE-mail Bob Davis
Me too. That was the year I was the high bidder of the Carlisle/Novy "TestosteRhone" half barrel. I will never forget watching two guys pull up in some fancy car (Escalade?) right up to the auction setting and getting out, just minutes before the SQN was to be auctioned with evident perfect timing and then watching them as the guy Mel has ID'd as Rudy nonchalantly kept his paddle up the entire time as if to say to all, "You're wasting your time if you think you're going to outbid me". Within minutes of having their pictures taken, they got back in their vehicle and left. Indelibly burned in my memory as surreal.

User avatar
Paul Jaouen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4196
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

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

#137 Post by Paul Jaouen » February 6th, 2012, 9:34 am

Philip Ente wrote:I may have once inadvertently discovered another angle to this bogus wine business.
I used to work at L'Orangerie, a very upscale French restaurant in Los Angeles. More than once I saw a guy going through the dumpster behind the restaurant, pulling out wine bottles. I once happened to be parking my car right next to this dumpster and noticed the guy was picking only bottles previously containing very high level French wines.
After reading Don's post, do you think this guy was connected with wine scammers?
I've heard of a few restaurants and collectors who mar the labels before throwing the bottles away. Everyone should do that for their high-end wines. Doesn't take long to get a marker and put a big X on the label.
Best,
Paul Jaouen

Maureen Downey
Posts: 308
Joined: November 19th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: San Francisco/London/Asia

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

#138 Post by Maureen Downey » February 6th, 2012, 9:37 am

Jancis did reach out to the producers a few days ago. From experience, I seriously doubt they will make any kind of public statement.

I have heard many stories from associates and from retailers that Rudy has been known to take empties home after dinners/tastings and purchase old bottles - even with horrible fills, to the point they were almost empty. It has even been rumored that he has even had empties shipped back to him from Europe....

The continued silence from Spectrum/Vanquish is very bizarre.

Maureen
---
http://www.chaiconsulting.com
#ChaiVault, WineFraud

User avatar
Bob Davis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 318
Joined: May 16th, 2011, 7:45 am
Location: Columbia,MD

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

#139 Post by Bob Davis » February 6th, 2012, 9:43 am

MitchTallan wrote:
I remember those 2 guys. During that auction lot they raised their paddle to bid and never put it down until they won.
Bob Davis Posts: 99Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:45 am Private messageE-mail Bob Davis
Me too. That was the year I was the high bidder of the Carlisle/Novy "TestosteRhone" half barrel. I will never forget watching two guys pull up in some fancy car (Escalade?) right up to the auction setting and getting out, just minutes before the SQN was to be auctioned with evident perfect timing and then watching them as the guy Mel has ID'd as Rudy nonchalantly kept his paddle up the entire time as if to say to all, "You're wasting your time if you think you're going to outbid me". Within minutes of having their pictures taken, they got back in their vehicle and left. Indelibly burned in my memory as surreal.
Hey Mitch! Long time no "see". I forgot the Escalade part. So how did the Novy/Carlisle age? I loved that one but we ended up with the JC Cellars lot.
-------
Pittsburgh Dad says, "Twenty bucks for a field trip to the art museum? Tell you what, I'll drive you past the Lemieux statue for free."

User avatar
Del LaBand
Posts: 281
Joined: January 27th, 2011, 7:31 am
Location: Space Needle

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

#140 Post by Del LaBand » February 6th, 2012, 9:44 am

looks like a movie in the making here...simply incredible, riveting, Don 2 thumbs up!

Barry P
Posts: 467
Joined: June 18th, 2009, 9:00 am

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

#141 Post by Barry P » February 6th, 2012, 9:51 am

Don:

Epic post.

One additional thought on Lot 94, the 78 DRC RC mag. Does it strike you as strange that the label says "Product of France"? Seems to me that is a typical American disclosure, but not one I've seen used in the UK very often, which is where this bottle was sent. Could be that the American label was used for the UK export (assuming that even US labeling law required this in 1978), but it just looks off. Wondering if you've ever seen "Product of France" on any other DRC UK exports from 1978 (or any vintage for that matter)? Just one more thing.
--B@rry Per$hkØw

User avatar
Bruce Leiser_owitz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 12556
Joined: June 16th, 2009, 12:54 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

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

#142 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » February 6th, 2012, 9:53 am

One of the things that is so bizarre to me is how many of the auction lots (or groups of lots) have NO information whatsoever about the provenance of the wine. The "Welcome to the Evening Sale" intro to the catalog spotlights the 1945 DRC RC, but when you turn to Lot 133 on page 145, there is no information at all about the source of what appears to be the centerpiece of the auction. Instead, there is a long tasting note from Allen Meadows about 1945 DRC RC.

Now, let's just assume that this auction lot bottle is genuine and that it has no connection whatsoever to Rudy K. Any serious wine buyer/collector is going to expect basic provenance information for such an obviously rare and expensive bottle of wine. Where has this bottle been since the 1940's? How many owners has it had? Where has it been stored? How has it been stored? Etc., etc., etc. A serious wine buyer/collector is going to want that information to decide whether to bid on the bottle, and if so, how much to bid.

So, why would any wine auction house make a bottle like this a centerpiece of the auction, yet decline to provide any information in the catalog about provenance?

Bruce
"Bruce you are correct."--Andrew Kaufman, 3/24/13.

MitchTallan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2653
Joined: June 3rd, 2009, 10:17 am

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

#143 Post by MitchTallan » February 6th, 2012, 9:54 am

Hey Mitch! Long time no "see". I forgot the Escalade part. So how did the Novy/Carlisle age? I loved that one but we ended up with the JC Cellars lot.
Hi Bob! The '01 Carlisle/Novy "HdR Cuvee" as it was ultimately labeled has fared quite well. Mike really took care of me and put a very nice wine in bottle. I continue to pop 'em every few months and yet I also stll have quite a bit left. Three cases were bottled as magnums and I have only opened one (quite good) and have given a couple away.

User avatar
SteveC
Posts: 2396
Joined: August 15th, 2011, 11:04 am
Location: Boston, but missing NY from time to time

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

#144 Post by SteveC » February 6th, 2012, 9:57 am

Dina, Dina .... Good news!!! It looks like Rudy's buying again.

Better news, even if he isn't, there is a new auction house for those wines of yours newhere
Ste ve C o yl e
""Too Much Wine, Too Little Time"
"Life is Too Short to Drink Bad Wine."
"Damn You GC, You Have Cost Me Loads of Money by Introducing Me to This Obsession!!"

Carrie D
Posts: 228
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 2:57 pm

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

#145 Post by Carrie D » February 6th, 2012, 9:59 am

Don, amazing. Kudos to you for all of the effort that you put into this.

Two questions:
1. in the photo that was posted, there are three people shown, presumably one who is Rudy. Who are the other two? Could someone id them from left to right?

2. Can someone please provide the direct link to the prior auction catalog(s) in which Rudy had consigned wine in the past? I am hoping that the catalog(s) were preserved online somewhere in some format that includes pictures of the suspicious lots.

Thanks again Don. Amazing.
Carrie Dølcøn

User avatar
Mel Hill
Posts: 6216
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:56 pm
Location: Colorado

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

#146 Post by Mel Hill » February 6th, 2012, 10:05 am

Carrie D wrote:Don, amazing. Kudos to you for all of the effort that you put into this.

Two questions:
1. in the photo that was posted, there are three people shown, presumably one who is Rudy. Who are the other two? Could someone id them from left to right?

Thanks again Don. Amazing.
L to R
Rudy Kurniawan, Manfred Krankl (SQN owner / winemaker), unknown friend of Rudy

User avatar
Chris Seiber
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 8712
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Location: Newport Beach, CA

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

#147 Post by Chris Seiber » February 6th, 2012, 10:15 am

Astonishing post by Don.

It would be great if some smart journalist were to do an expose article proceeding from Don's compilation. I don't know that the major wine publications are up to this sort of critical analysis of anything (they won't even write on subjects like premoxed white Burgs), but maybe some news / current events magazine or major newspaper.

Thomas De Waen
Posts: 150
Joined: February 6th, 2012, 8:52 am

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

#148 Post by Thomas De Waen » February 6th, 2012, 10:19 am

Barry P wrote:Don:

Epic post.

One additional thought on Lot 94, the 78 DRC RC mag. Does it strike you as strange that the label says "Product of France"? Seems to me that is a typical American disclosure, but not one I've seen used in the UK very often, which is where this bottle was sent. Could be that the American label was used for the UK export (assuming that even US labeling law required this in 1978), but it just looks off. Wondering if you've ever seen "Product of France" on any other DRC UK exports from 1978 (or any vintage for that matter)? Just one more thing.
I also took a look at that bottle using the high resolution pics provided by the auction house:

http://www.spectrumwine.com/images/inve ... 873_01.jpg

Besides the fact that the importer's address is spelled wrong, did anyone notice that i) the 7 in the serial number looks different from the other numbers and ii) the label seems to say both "150" and "75 cl". Also the capsule looks incredibly dodgy.

User avatar
Philip Ente
Posts: 844
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 4:15 am

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

#149 Post by Philip Ente » February 6th, 2012, 10:26 am

Bob Davis wrote:
Mel Hill wrote:here's Rudy back in 2002
when he bought the SQN HdR lot for something north of $250 a bottle. (pretty good price as it turns out)
Image
I remember those 2 guys. During that auction lot they raised their paddle to bid and never put it down until they won.
I was told he gets a two million dollar monthly allowance from Daddy.I would't put the paddle down either in that case.

S. Williams
Posts: 269
Joined: November 16th, 2010, 2:19 pm

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

#150 Post by S. Williams » February 6th, 2012, 11:15 am

This is all way, way beyond my ken, wine-knowledge wise, but as a (non-wine) journalist, I would argue that the what has been done by the poster here is an amazing online expose that deserves immense kudos in a scenario that reads like a thriller and I would venture includes a great deal of behind-the-scenes pressure to keep quiet.

Reminds me of the "Billionaire's Vinegar" book and how truly tricky the insular world of resale vintage wine is, with the producers and sellers equally reluctant to question to much the provenance of any product for fear of devaluing their own legacy. Truly intriguing stuff.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”