RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

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Mark Golodetz
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8651 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 15th, 2020, 3:37 pm

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
May 15th, 2020, 3:31 am
Tom,

in several blind tests the old violins could not proof their superiority. Not only that players and experts could not figure out which the Stradivari or Guarneri is. They often preferred the modern instruments.



There is some similarity to blind wine tastings. While many people think a La Tache or a Rousseau Chambertin is per se the better wine due to image and price this could not be proven either at several occasions.

A lot of people doubt the results of those tests and tastings. For various reasons. Psychological and economic aspects play a role.
More convincing of the speaker did not sound like a robot after a healthy dose of Valium.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8652 Post by Don Cornwell » May 18th, 2020, 9:26 pm

THE ULTIMATE LIES BY MR. LEVY??

In his post laying out the reasons he believes he was intentionally defrauded Jefrey Levy states:
The Cork was not stamped (Lalou Leroy told me all the 55 Leroy corks were stamped because it was the year her father died, and his final year of making wine — so every single one of the corks from their 1955 Vintage was stamped “1955” as a memorial to her father). The 1955 Leroy Chambertin is regarded by Ms. Leroy as “the best wine my father ever made.”
This statement is a complete lie at multiple levels – and it was fabricated by Mr. Levy for reasons that seem unfathomable.

The most obvious falsehood in Mr. Levy’s claim about his conversation with Lalou Leroy is that she told him that her father died in 1955. Lalou Leroy’s father, Henri Leroy, lived from 1894 to 1980. The Leroy website itself confirms that Henri Leroy died in 1980, not in 1955. http://www.domaine-leroy.com/homepage/ Obviously, Lalou Leroy never told Jef Levy that her father died in 1955.

Nor did Ms. Leroy ever tell Jeff Levy that the 1955 vintage corks were stamped with the vintage or the vineyards, because it simply isn't true.

As noted previously, I have never seen a cork from a Maison Leroy bottle from the 1952 vintage onward with the vintage or vineyard listed on the cork. Geoffrey Troy, who has drunk and authenticated Leroy burgundies from the 1940’s to the present said neither had he. So we began contacting other well-known burgundy collectors who have bought and drunk older Leroy wines over several decades. To a person, none of them have ever seen any Maison Leroy corks from the 40’s through the 80s with either the vintage or vineyard listed on the cork.

I also contacted multiple wine critics, including two who had tasted the 1955 Leroy wines at Lalou Leroy’s celebration of her 60th anniversary of Leroy in May of 2015. No one had any recollection of such cork branding. In order to get a definitive answer about Levy’s claim that the 1955 vintage was uniquely branded with the vintage and the vineyard, Jancis Robinson wrote an email to Lalou Leroy last Friday, with a copy to me. Her email stated in relevant part:
I wonder whether you could tell us whether the corks of Leroy 1955 Chambertin were branded either ‘1955’ or ‘Chambertin’?

This would be immensely helpful,

With many thanks in advance,

Jancis
This morning Lalou Leroy responded to Jancis’ email stating, in pertinent part (in French), as follows:
In the past, Maison Leroy simply put “Une mise de Leroy” on its corks. We started to mark the appellations and vintages on the corks of Maison Leroy wines with the 1998 vintage.

Very warmly,

Lalou
So, Lalou Leroy obviously did not make the statements claimed by Mr. Levy about the branding of the cork on the 1955 Chambertin. Mr. Levy’s post is nothing but a long series of lies. But the real question is why is he doing this?

I am now left wondering whether Mr. Levy brought this bottle to New York for the McInerney birthday dinner as claimed. As noted previously, Mr. Levy published the menus and photos of the bottles consumed during his week in New York to celebrate Jay McInerney’s birthday, https://acmefoodwine.com/2020/01/20/on ... -birthday/ But there are no photographs of the 1955 Leroy Chambertin, and no mention of it, even in the menus for the three dinners which are posted on Levy’s website and which, in two of the three cases, list the wines to be tasted.

Is there any fact stated in the Levy post which is truthful?

A couple of cautionary notes about Lalou's statement:

1) Lalou’s statement does not claim that ALL Maison Leroy bottlings since 1998 have the vineyard and vintage on the corks. Rather she is saying that Maison Leroy first began stamping the vintage and/or vineyard on some bottles starting with 1998. Some wines like the Bourgogne Blanc and Bourgogne Rouge and some of the more generic bottles still have generic corks, even today.

2) The Domaine Leroy wines have all had the vintage and vineyard listed on the cork since 1988
Last edited by Don Cornwell on May 19th, 2020, 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8653 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » May 19th, 2020, 1:06 am

Lol, did he even post ... under ... his REAL NAME?? ;)

Great work Don.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8654 Post by John Danza » May 19th, 2020, 7:02 am

Don, I find it interesting that Mr. Levy would have purchased a bottle of the 1955 Leroy Chambertin from HDH expressly for the McInerney party considering that he had some parts of a case of the 1955 Leroy Chambertin from his purchase from Acker. I would think one friend would hold back a bottle from that case knowing that it could be used at the other friend's birthday celebration. So why go looking to buy a bottle of something that doesn't exactly grow on trees, at least since Rudy's demise?

Given the amount Mr. Levy is suing HDH for, I suspect he's trying to get his money back for the fake case he bought from Acker by using the real bottle from HDH as a lever to get HDH to pay him something. He's probably just hoping HDH will just settle the case.

Otherwise, you wonder why he would post such a long set of "facts" that you've completely obliterated. He's either trying to get his money back for the Rudy wine he bought from Acker, or he's just batsh*t crazy.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8655 Post by Robert M yers » May 19th, 2020, 7:06 am

If one knows the bottle is fake when it’s purchased are you still allowed to sue for damages?

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8656 Post by Victor Hong » May 19th, 2020, 8:14 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 7:06 am
If one knows the bottle is fake when it’s purchased are you still allowed to sue for damages?
Knowingly transacting in stolen, fictitious, or misrepresented goods is a felony. Doing so across state lines means federal felony.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8657 Post by John Danza » May 19th, 2020, 9:16 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 7:06 am
If one knows the bottle is fake when it’s purchased are you still allowed to sue for damages?
Which bottle are you referring to, the single bottle Levy bought from HDH which is likely real, or the 12 bottles he bought fro Acker which were proven to be fake?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8658 Post by MBerto » May 19th, 2020, 9:16 am

Victor Hong wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 8:14 am
Robert M yers wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 7:06 am
If one knows the bottle is fake when it’s purchased are you still allowed to sue for damages?
Knowingly transacting in stolen, fictitious, or misrepresented goods is a felony. Doing so across state lines means federal felony.
Good thing the guy who sold me my Rolex in Battery Park gave me a Certificate of Authenticity with it
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8659 Post by Victor Hong » May 19th, 2020, 9:46 am

MBerto wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 9:16 am
Victor Hong wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 8:14 am
Robert M yers wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 7:06 am
If one knows the bottle is fake when it’s purchased are you still allowed to sue for damages?
Knowingly transacting in stolen, fictitious, or misrepresented goods is a felony. Doing so across state lines means federal felony.
Good thing the guy who sold me my Rolex in Battery Park gave me a Certificate of Authenticity with it
My relatives on Canal Street can sell you a replacement Certificate, if missing or lost.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8660 Post by Don Cornwell » May 19th, 2020, 4:32 pm

John Danza wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 7:02 am
Don, I find it interesting that Mr. Levy would have purchased a bottle of the 1955 Leroy Chambertin from HDH expressly for the McInerney party considering that he had some parts of a case of the 1955 Leroy Chambertin from his purchase from Acker. I would think one friend would hold back a bottle from that case knowing that it could be used at the other friend's birthday celebration. So why go looking to buy a bottle of something that doesn't exactly grow on trees, at least since Rudy's demise?

Given the amount Mr. Levy is suing HDH for, I suspect he's trying to get his money back for the fake case he bought from Acker by using the real bottle from HDH as a lever to get HDH to pay him something. He's probably just hoping HDH will just settle the case.

Otherwise, you wonder why he would post such a long set of "facts" that you've completely obliterated. He's either trying to get his money back for the Rudy wine he bought from Acker, or he's just batsh*t crazy.
John

Maybe Mr. Levy had consumed all of the counterfeits that Rudy had sold him, which he claimed "was still one of the greatest wines I ever had," and/or he was looking to find a legitimate bottle of 1955 to compare with the Rudy counterfeits. But what's really amusing here is that Levy and his buddies are complaining that 1955 Leroy Chambertin purchased from HDH "did not taste like 55 Leroy Chambertin (which Jay and I have shared more than a dozen times)" when apparently they've never tasted an authentic one. I also don't put much stock in Mr. Levy's palate. As pointed out previously, the same Jef Levy proclaimed in Sour Grapes that the 1985 Guigal La Mouline that he paid Rudy $1400 a bottle for was "fantastic" and "very real", while Wally's Christian Navarro tasted from the same bottle and said “It’s garbage, ... It tastes like skunk juice.”

Putting aside the other false statements and embellishments, Levy's complete fabrication of the story that Lalou told him her father died in 1955 and the corks were branded with 1955 as a memorial to him, seems to fall in your category of "just batsh*t crazy."
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8661 Post by Don Cornwell » May 20th, 2020, 1:33 am

This just keeps getting worse.

While searching for something else last night I literally stumbled across an Instagram post by Jef Levy made in January 2020 about a "Dinner at Atomix with the usual NYC suspects, celebrating two birthdays (J mac and mrs K). Really fun night." https://www.picterio.com/media/22221672 ... 212755436 and also https://www.picuki.com/profile/jeferylevy Mr. Levy stated that:
After party featured a great mag of 90 Chave, a "who knows what's in there but it's pretty dam good" bottle of 55 Leroy Chambertin in honor of j mac's birthday (I thought the 91 Leroy chambertin was real and very good).
If you click on the right arrows on the photos, the fifth picture in Levy's post is the very same bottle of 1955 Leroy Chambertin he has been complaining about in this thread.

From the comments which appear below Levy's Instagram post, I saw that John Kapon was in attendance among the “usual NYC suspects.” So I decided to search to see if Kapon wrote anything about this dinner. Sure enough, he did. https://www.ackerwines.com/pages/vt-03-15-20_Atomix Kapon confirmed that the 1955 Leroy Chambertin was served at the after party, and he posted a photo he took of the very same bottle of the 1955 Leroy Chambertin. https://campaign-image.com/zohocampaign ... stcall.jpg

Image
Photo taken and posted by John Kapon -- Notice the round Acker tag is on the back of the bottle

John Kapon rated the 1955 Leroy Chambertin as a 97 point wine and a “pretty damn fine wine.” So where is the part where Kapon supposedly says that the wine was very suspect and didn't taste like 1955 Leroy Chambertin is supposed to taste? After all, according to Levy,
Every single wine expert at that dinner was very suspect, not only of the fact that the wine did not taste like 55 Leroy Chambertin (which Jay and I have shared more than a dozen times) but by the blurry label and the unstamped cork and the strange (never seen before on a Leroy bottle) importer strip (Consolidated Distilled Spirits Of Chicago).
I don't know what game Jef Levy is playing here, but I think Jason Hernandez understated the situation -- Levy's claim is not just lacking in merit, it is an outright fraudulent claim.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8662 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 20th, 2020, 3:36 am

Methinks there is a subplot here, but I have absolutely no idea what it could possibly be. Kapon and his gang get together for a night of drinking, Mad Jef comes up with some paranoid delusional claim that he has been defrauded, makes it public, and the claim is shown to be false and absurd. The evisceration is so thorough, Mad Jef does not return to defend his position.

So what could he possibly have gained from this? Is he trying to sell his collection, and wants to show how anally retentive he is in sourcing his wines?

Would you buy from him with his known ties to Rudy?

Would you buy from him after seeing “Sour Grapes” or that creepy little video snippet?

If he is not trying to sell his collection, I remain puzzled by his motivation. Maybe he needs more love, and thought he could get it here. We berserkers are well known for doling out love to people whose first post is a litany of lies and accusations.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8663 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 20th, 2020, 3:38 am

Don,
Did you ever get an answer from HDH about returning unopened bottles?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8664 Post by Sean S y d n e y » May 20th, 2020, 6:25 am

I'm sure someone who still hangs out drinking with John Kapon in the year of our Lord 2020 is very, very interested committed to rooting out fraud and fakes.

(That said, these types don't usually care about anything until it affects them personally.)
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8665 Post by John Morris » May 20th, 2020, 7:47 am

Robert M yers wrote:
May 19th, 2020, 7:06 am
If one knows the bottle is fake when it’s purchased are you still allowed to sue for damages?
Not in most situations, because one of the necessary elements for a civil fraud claim is that the plaintiff relied on the misrepresentation.

But... as Don pointed out many years and pages back (and forgive me, Don, if I’m misremembering the details), some state auction laws allow a buyer to obtain a refund even if the buyer knew the wine was a fake. New York’s law provides that. Then it’s not really a fraud claim; the law just creates a special kind of refund right without the need to prove you relied on a misrepresentation. I don’t know what Illinois‘s auction laws are like.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8666 Post by Don Cornwell » May 20th, 2020, 11:03 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 3:38 am
Don,
Did you ever get an answer from HDH about returning unopened bottles?
Not an official response. There is no right to return unopened bottles because you change your mind or had buyer's remorse. But if there is a claim is that wines were not a represented in the catalog, those claims are evaluated differently.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8667 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 20th, 2020, 12:14 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 11:03 am
Mark Golodetz wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 3:38 am
Don,
Did you ever get an answer from HDH about returning unopened bottles?
Not an official response. There is no right to return unopened bottles because you change your mind or had buyer's remorse. But if there is a claim is that wines were not a represented in the catalog, those claims are evaluated differently.
That makes sense
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8668 Post by m. ristev » May 28th, 2020, 1:56 pm

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 4.54.12 PM.png
[popcorn.gif]
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8669 Post by brigcampbell » May 28th, 2020, 2:30 pm

m. ristev wrote:
May 28th, 2020, 1:56 pm
Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 4.54.12 PM.png

[popcorn.gif]
they spelled the year correctly...

the import label looks like it was printed on a mac... fonts are interesting?

I'm guessing one of those fonts didn't exist in 1924 and the game will be over.

It would take an expert in Typography 30 seconds to identify them.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8670 Post by Victor Hong » May 28th, 2020, 2:47 pm

If an auction picture says "Acker", it must be true.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8671 Post by c fu » May 28th, 2020, 2:54 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 12:14 pm
Don Cornwell wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 11:03 am
Mark Golodetz wrote:
May 20th, 2020, 3:38 am
Don,
Did you ever get an answer from HDH about returning unopened bottles?
Not an official response. There is no right to return unopened bottles because you change your mind or had buyer's remorse. But if there is a claim is that wines were not a represented in the catalog, those claims are evaluated differently.
That makes sense
i returned a bottle in a lot that didn't match the description.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8672 Post by T Turney » May 31st, 2020, 4:10 pm

Jef was shamed pretty hard here and think he deserves to provide an explanation. I’m not trying to stoke the controversy but Don lambasted his claim against HDH and clearly disproved his story on the 55 Leroy.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8673 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 1st, 2020, 5:27 am

I just watched “Sour Grapes” again, with friends who are not wine lovers. It does not make easy viewing for wine geeks; we look like asses, mainly because of people like Jef, who comes across as stupid, credulous and creepy. While I accept the editing was designed to make people like him look ridiculous, coming here with his Leroy complaint, just confirmed everything that the movie showed. His appearance here was brief and telling; opting out of the conversation after Don tore his post apart is just as telling.

One comment from a lawyer friend watching Sour Grapes really hit home. “Rudy succeeded because they wanted him to succeed. As long as the wine appeared on the surface to be fine, nobody was too concerned to try and authenticate it.”
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8674 Post by Jürgen Steinke » June 1st, 2020, 6:27 am

I guess the 12 angry men were satisfied to drink wines almost no other oenophile has ever seen. This is the mine is bigger than yours phenomenon. Furthermore I had the feeling that most if not all members of that group were rather new in the wine circle. How should they know how all the real icons taste like without having them from real bottles? Therefore it was pretty easy to fool them.

BTW. In sour grapes one can see a group of people and Bipin Desai in the middle. I guess this was not a picture of the 12 angry men because Desai is one of the few people who had almost all the legends from genuine bottles several times. I think Kurniawan could not fool him easily.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8675 Post by Jerry Hey » June 1st, 2020, 9:42 am

I have been wine friends with Bipin Desai since the early 80's and I know he had authentic bottles of some hard to source wines. My first dinner with Bipin featured the 82 Musigny Blanc and a 47 Cheval Blanc. After that night I found some 47 Cheval and bought 6 bottles at $325. Bipin called a few years later to see if I had any 47 Cheval left for a tasting he was doing. He knew mine was legit and wasn't sure about the other. I sold it to him and as it turns out then other bottle was a fake, but before Rudy had started. Bipin has a great palate.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8676 Post by John Morris » June 1st, 2020, 10:08 am

brigcampbell wrote:
May 28th, 2020, 2:30 pm
m. ristev wrote:
May 28th, 2020, 1:56 pm
Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 4.54.12 PM.png

[popcorn.gif]
they spelled the year correctly...

the import label looks like it was printed on a mac... fonts are interesting?

I'm guessing one of those fonts didn't exist in 1924 and the game will be over.

It would take an expert in Typography 30 seconds to identify them.
Many old bottles have been imported into the US in recent years, so the fact that the importer's strip isn't from the same era as the wine doesn't really tell you much anything unless the seller represents that the bottle was imported long ago. I'd be more worried about the fact that Collectors' Cellar shows up in directories you have to pay for but doesn't seem to have its own website. Anyone ever heard of them?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8677 Post by John Morris » June 1st, 2020, 10:09 am

m. ristev wrote:
May 28th, 2020, 1:56 pm
Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 4.54.12 PM.png

[popcorn.gif]
What does Acker say about the provenance? And what auction is this from?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8678 Post by m. ristev » June 1st, 2020, 10:15 am

hk auction, from the cellar of aziz kahn
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8679 Post by John Morris » June 1st, 2020, 10:44 am

m. ristev wrote:
June 1st, 2020, 10:15 am
hk auction, from the cellar of aziz kahn
For the benefit of others, here's a link to the catalog entry, which reads, in its entirety:
Romanee Conti 1924
Domaine de la Romanee Conti
Red Burgundy
4cm bc crc from the cellar of aziz khan nol partially visible vintage branding
1
bottle

1 bottle
Per Lot: HKD $160,000 - $220,000
About USD $20,635 - USD $28,373
Lot Location: Hong Kong
I like "partially visible vintage branding," if that's referring to the handwritten label!

The Acker catalog describes this as one of several dozen lots coming from an unnamed collector in an undisclosed locale. This is the only wine referred to in the catalog as coming from Kahn's collection (presumably the Pakistani business man, though the name is quite common), so apparently it was bought at a prior auction by the unnamed consignor:
We are delighted to welcome this established collector who has always had a taste for the best, whether it is art, wine, watches...or more wine! He always buys from the most significant collections at auction, those where he feels the provenance is top notch, as beautifully transcribed through these fifty lots of top-notch Bordeaux and Burgundy. Mouton Rothschild leads Bordeaux with nine vintages in case quantities spanning 1986 to 2009 with further case studies of 1990 Cheval Blanc, 1986 Lafite, 1982 Latour, 2000 Le Pin and 1983 Margaux before finishing with a powerful punch of Petrus and six-packs of 1989, 1998, 2000 and 2005!!! DRC leads the pack in Burgundy with a full 12 bottle OWC of 1999 La Tache (!) and bottles of Romanee Conti itself from 2001 back to 1924 (!) including the great 1990, cap-stoned by a full case of 2005 Dujac Clos de la Roche along with friends from Rousseau, Roumier, Rouget and more. Magnificent and beautiful, indeed!!! All wines removed from professional storage.
As this bottle is mentioned only in passing, it seems that Acker has some doubts about the bottle!
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8680 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 1st, 2020, 11:51 am

In the art world, there are plenty of catalog descriptions when the auction house is not sure. “Attributed to” “ in the manner of” “the school of” . I don’t get the certainty that would justify them asserting this is genuine. My guess, Khan may bring in significant future business, and Acker would not want to cause waves by rejecting the bottle.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8681 Post by Gautier Roussille » June 1st, 2020, 12:53 pm

Ok, this is just not for bragging, but being the same vintage I think it's funny. I bought a 1924 chtx Margaux bottle a few years back from a guy I know, the bottle was more or less in the same state as this supposed DRC, actually a little better with partial label. The way I new it was genuine? The price, under 100$. Just a bottle meant to be drunk, it didn't blow my mind, but it was a decent wine, filled with history past its prime. Those prices are crazy, genuine bottle or not, period.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8682 Post by John Morris » June 1st, 2020, 7:32 pm

Gautier Roussille wrote:
June 1st, 2020, 12:53 pm
Ok, this is just not for bragging, but being the same vintage I think it's funny. I bought a 1924 chtx Margaux bottle a few years back from a guy I know, the bottle was more or less in the same state as this supposed DRC, actually a little better with partial label. The way I new it was genuine? The price, under 100$. Just a bottle meant to be drunk, it didn't blow my mind, but it was a decent wine, filled with history past its prime. Those prices are crazy, genuine bottle or not, period.
That’s so sensible! And probably why you aren’t buying at auction.

The funny thing is, the $20.6k to $26.4k estimated price range suggests that Acker thinks the same thing, or that only fools will think it’s authentic, but measured on the Chinese auction scale. I.e., $20k In HK = $100 to a realistic, non-status-seeking buyer.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8683 Post by Jonathan Grunzweig » June 3rd, 2020, 8:14 am

An interesting teaser about M. Ponsot's ongoing quest: https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... e-novelist

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8684 Post by Don Cornwell » June 5th, 2020, 3:22 am

WARNING – COUNTERFEIT 1924 DRC ROMANEE CONTI OFFERED BY ACKER MERRALL AT ITS JUNE 11/JUNE 13 AUCTION IN HONG KONG --

Acker Merrall & Condit is scheduled to hold an auction in Hong Kong on Thursday June11th 2020 at 6:30pm & Saturday June13th 2020. Lot No. 710 is a purported bottle of 1924 DRC Romanée Conti, which is estimated to sell at US $20,000-28,000 (US) and HK$160,000-224,000. The claim made is that this bottle came from the cellar of Aziz Khan. This bottle has no labeling of any kind and a completely incorrect, non-original wax capsule which is approximately ¼ inch thick. The glass on the bottle shown in the photograph in the catalog, which is highly wrinkled and irregularly shaped, is absolutely not a bottle utilized by DRC in that era. In short, this bottle is, in my opinion, unquestionably counterfeit. I have sent a total of three emails to John Kapon and Acker (on May 28, June 1 and June 2) notifying them that I believe the bottle to be counterfeit and requesting high resolution photographs of the glass bottle, the punt, the capsule and the top of the bottle. I have received no response of any kind.

Image Image

Acker Lot 710 – Purported 1924 Romanée Conti and (right) enlarged view of the side of the bottle on Acker Lot 710

To be clear, the heavily-wrinkled glass on the Acker bottle is preposterous. The glass bottles being used by DRC during the 1920s were smooth-faced and visually not dissimilar from the burgundy bottles in use almost a hundred years later. Here, for example, is a bottle of 1923 Romanée Conti. The photo on the left below comes from Allen Meadows and his book Pearl of the Cote. On the right is a photograph taken at DRC of the oldest bottles of Romanée Conti which remain at the the domaine. Notice the smooth sides on all of the bottles.
Image Image

Below (left) is a photograph of the 1929 Romanée Conti which was sold by the Chambon family, the former co-owners of DRC along with the de Villaine family, at the Digard auction in Paris in November of 2006. Once again, notice the smooth-sided bottle. On the right is a photograph of 1929 Romanee Conti from a Christie's auction in March of 2011 for which there was documented provenance.

ImageImage

The photograph of the 1929 Romanee Conti from the Chambon family contains an inset which shows the remainder of the original wax capsule on the bottle. Note that the wax is very thin and the color here is orange/almost beige from oxidation. This contrasts with the 1/4 inch thick wax shown on the Acker bottle, which has been artificially weathered and yet clearly shows the bright red wax peeking out from where the wax was removed at the bottom of the bottle.

Image Image
(Left) Remainder of original wax capsule on Chambon family 1929 Romanee Conti and (Right) enlarged photo of the thick wax capsule on Acker Lot 710

This bottle is clearly counterfeit in my view. Moreover, John Kapon clearly knows that the glass on this bottle is NOT legitimate for a purported 1924 DRC bottling. The fact that he is completely ignoring my emails and requests for photos speaks volumes and suggests that the sale of the counterfeit bottle is knowing and fraudulent. Moreover, it is incomprehensible that anyone in the wine auction business would be offering bottles with no labels of any kind and no domaine capsuling and selling them as a purported wine of a given vintage. Moreover, offering such a bottle for an estimated price in excess of $20,000 is reprehensible.
Last edited by Don Cornwell on June 5th, 2020, 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8685 Post by Gareth Welch » June 5th, 2020, 4:51 am

Looks more like a bottle of Crunk Juce to me.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8686 Post by David Glasser » June 5th, 2020, 5:15 am

Jonathan Grunzweig wrote:
June 3rd, 2020, 8:14 am
An interesting teaser about M. Ponsot's ongoing quest: https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... e-novelist

Jonathan
From the WS article, a hint of irony.
Ponsot says his book will take the form of a novel—allowing him greater latitude and interpretation.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8687 Post by Jürgen Steinke » June 5th, 2020, 5:50 am

I thought Mr. Kapon is more careful these days. But obviously not. He must have realized that a lot of eyes are on his activities. Really strange.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8688 Post by Sean S y d n e y » June 5th, 2020, 6:16 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 5:50 am
I thought Mr. Kapon is more careful these days. But obviously not. He must have realized that a lot of eyes are on his activities. Really strange.
Anybody who was willing to give him a pass before after the overwhelming evidence of his culpability with Rudy ain't gonna stop now. Given that a ton of producers/winemakers/consignors are still willing to work with him he has no incentive to change.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8689 Post by Jürgen Steinke » June 5th, 2020, 6:33 am

That some producers/winemakers/consignors are still willing to work with him is one side of the medal. But who are the clients which are still willing to buy from Acker? Are there really so many not informed people with deep pockets with no clue of the Kurniawan/Acker story? Hard to believe but maybe true.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8690 Post by John Danza » June 5th, 2020, 7:22 am

There's no surprise that this bottle would be sold in the HK auction, outside of the reach of the FBI. Maybe Kapon feels the Asians are an untapped group of people he can fleece?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8691 Post by HoosJustinG » June 5th, 2020, 7:28 am

In quite a stroke of luck, I think I just found a whole case of DRC 1924 in my basement - and not at all coincidentally after my trip to the craft store. How can I reach Mr Kapon to consign it in a future auction?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8692 Post by Sean S y d n e y » June 5th, 2020, 7:33 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 6:33 am
That some producers/winemakers/consignors are still willing to work with him is one side of the medal. But who are the clients which are still willing to buy from Acker? Are there really so many not informed people with deep pockets with no clue of the Kurniawan/Acker story? Hard to believe but maybe true.
Never a shortage of Jef Levy types and, as others have noted, an emerging Asian market without the collective knowledge or infrastructure to spot fakes.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8693 Post by MikeL238 » June 5th, 2020, 8:02 am

I wonder if he'll pull that bottle out of the auction now that it's been noticed by some group of people. It would be an utter shame if it's actually sold.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8694 Post by Mark Golodetz » June 5th, 2020, 8:15 am

God, I sometimes wonder how people can be this damned stupid!
Not to respond to Don’s private request, was incredibly dumb, as I assume if he had engaged with Don, that would have been the end of it, and Don would not have gone public.

But, now, it is on record, as are Don’s doubts on its authenticity, and you now have a nice legal pathway, if the owner buys and subsequently finds out that there were questions of authenticity. All for $7k of commission. Greed or stupidity, or both. Take your pick!
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8695 Post by John Danza » June 5th, 2020, 10:53 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 8:15 am
All for $7k of commission. Greed or stupidity, or both. Take your pick!
I'm not sure they're mutually exclusive with Kapon. [rofl.gif]
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8696 Post by Wes Barton » June 5th, 2020, 6:20 pm

HoosJustinG wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 7:28 am
In quite a stroke of luck, I think I just found a whole case of DRC 1924 in my basement - and not at all coincidentally after my trip to the craft store. How can I reach Mr Kapon to consign it in a future auction?
Me too! I carefully disguised them as Charles Shaw wines to deter theft, but I can write what they are in Crayon over those labels to prove what they actually are. The great thing is I'm only asking $19k each!
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8697 Post by John Morris » June 5th, 2020, 7:19 pm

Don- Any records of auction sales by Aziz Khan? It would be fascinating to have evidence and details of a prior sale of this bottle. One of the many odd things here is that this is the only bottle from this consignor that is purported to come from Khan.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8698 Post by Don Cornwell » June 6th, 2020, 1:46 am

John Morris wrote:
June 5th, 2020, 7:19 pm
Don- Any records of auction sales by Aziz Khan? It would be fascinating to have evidence and details of a prior sale of this bottle. One of the many odd things here is that this is the only bottle from this consignor that is purported to come from Khan.
John:

There are at least two auctions where Aziz Khan was a named seller -- Zachy's NY in September 2013 and Zachy's NY in October 2014. Neither of those sales included 1924 Romanee Conti. According to Wine Market Journal, a total of two bottles of 1924 Romanee Conti have been sold since 1997. One was sold by during the second quarter of 2002 in Europe. (At that time, the predecessor of Wine Market Journal did not identify the auction house or the exact date. It was likely Christie's in London.) The other bottle sold at a Zachy's New York auction held on September 28, 2012. I don't have that particular catalog, but am trying to obtain some information or photographs if there were any.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8699 Post by John Morris » June 6th, 2020, 6:59 am

Wow, Zachys seems to have cornered the market on that wine!
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8700 Post by Don Cornwell » June 6th, 2020, 5:23 pm

Here is another example of a 1920's DRC -- this one from the 1926 DRC Les Gaudichots. This photo was provided by Doug Barzelay who, along with Allen Meadows, co-authored Burgundy Vintages - A History from 1845. This photo appeared in that book in a smaller format.

Image

Here, again, note the smooth-sided glass characteristic of the period - which is quite unlike the uneven and warped/bubbled surface on the purported 1924 Romanée Conti offered in the Acker sale.

The bottle of 1924 Romanée Conti sold at Zachy's on September 28, 2012 as Lot 1378 apparently was the same bottle being offered by Acker. According to the catalog there was no label on the bottle sold at Zachy's in 2012 and the bottle had been purchased from Collector's Cellar (Bipin Desai) on "January 16, 1864." The date mistake, while comical in the present context, is actually much closer to the date of the glass bottle than 1924 is.

On inquiry to Zachy's I learned that Zachy's had a handwritten invoice from Collector's Cellar to Aziz Kahn which was dated January 16, 1984. The invoice contained a handwritten note stating: "Aziz: These are odds and ends bottles mostly purchased while I was in Europe." The invoice listed a single bottle of 1924 Romanee Conti (with no indication it was lacking a label or capsule or or had strange glass) and stated that the bottle was FOB London. 1984 was, of course, the heyday of Hardy Rodenstock and Bipin attended various dinners hosted by Hardy Rodenstock. Still it seems hard to believe that Bipin Desai would have purchased an unlabeled bottle of purported 1924 Romanee Conti with glass that appeared to date from the mid-1800s from anyone.
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