brunello controversy

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Collecting  :  Collecting News

Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan's Sentencing Delayed Until Aug. 4

Judge will allow defense to question experts; Kurniawan settles lawsuit with Bill Koch

Posted: July 24, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Rudy Kurniawan Sentencing Delayed Until July 24

Judge demands federal prosecutors give him more information on victims of wine counterfeiter

Posted: July 14, 2014  By Peter Hellman, Mitch Frank

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan's Sentencing Is Delayed

Convicted fraudster asks judge for leniency; Judge asks prosecution for more information

Posted: May 29, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

That Bottle of Romanée-Conti 1923 Looks Familiar

Authentication experts and Danish journalists accuse exclusive wine club of refilling rare old bottles

Posted: May 13, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Counterfeit Wine Ain't Parcheesi

Rudy Kurniawan's lawyers claim fakes are part of the collecting 'game'; that cheapens all wine

Posted: May 8, 2014  By Mitch Frank

At the end of the month, a federal judge will decide how serious the crime of wine counterfeiting is. Rudy Kurniawan, convicted of selling an estimated $2 million to $7 million worth of fakes (no one is quite sure how many prized bottles he counterfeited), will be sentenced. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

His lawyers have made their plea for leniency, asking the judge to sentence Kurniawan to time served since his arrest—roughly 27 months. But what of their argument that counterfeit wine is just a game?

Collecting  :  Collecting News

London Wine Merchant Disputes Counterfeit Lawsuit, but Châteaus Cast Doubt on Its Claims

Antique Wine Company founder says former Yquem director signed off on 1787 wine; director denies that

Posted: May 5, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Wine Counterfeiter's Lawyers Ask Judge to Free Him Soon

In pre-sentencing memo, Rudy Kurniawan's attorneys argue for leniency and reveal details of his origins

Posted: May 2, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Atlanta Wine Collector Accuses London Merchant of Selling Fakes; Sues for $25 Million

Julian LeCraw Jr. says Antique Wine Company sold him a faux Château d'Yquem 1787

Posted: April 22, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Judge Slices Bill Koch's $12 Million Verdict in Counterfeiting Lawsuit

Punitive damages reduced to $711,000, but judge upholds verdict against collector Eric Greenberg

Posted: April 1, 2014  By Peter Hellman

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Rudy Kurniawan Could Be the Tip of a Fake Wine Crisis

Are counterfeits a victimless crime? Not when they rob us of the pleasure wine can deliver

Posted: December 18, 2013  By Mitch Frank

I love hearing people's "aha!" moments with wine—that instant when they realized that wine is more than just a beverage, that great wine has personality.

Here's a good one: A young man takes his visiting father out for dinner to celebrate dad's birthday. Neither knows much about wine, but the son decides this is a special occasion so he orders the most expensive bottle on the list. The wine—a 1996 Opus One—opens the young man's eyes. Within a few months, he's buying several bottles of Opus One, then other top wines. (Luckily, he has a decent amount of money.) Soon, he's hooked. Wine becomes his passion, and he's attending tastings and collecting rare bottles. Burgundy in particular beguiles him.

Like much of what we know about Rudy Kurniawan, it's hard to tell how much of this story is true and how much he concocted. Kurniawan told this tale to a journalist in 2006, just after an auction of his wines raised $24.7 million, a record for a single-consignor auction. Since he began attending auctions and tastings a decade ago, Kurniawan had always been vague about his origins and his seemingly deep pockets.

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Accused Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan Guilty in Landmark Case

First federal prosecution for selling fake wine yields a conviction; Indonesian collector faces possible sentence of 40 years

Posted: December 18, 2013  By Peter Hellman, Mitch Frank

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Jurors Could Decide Alleged Wine Counterfeiter’s Fate Soon

Prosecutors are ready to rest their case against Rudy Kurniawan, and the defense may not call any witnesses

Posted: December 16, 2013  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Burgundy All-Stars Testify Against Accused Wine Counterfeiter

Rudy Kurniawan watches as proprietors of Romanée-Conti, Roumier and Ponsot say wines he sold are fakes

Posted: December 13, 2013  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Prosecutors Reveal Evidence Against Accused Wine Counterfeiter

Hundreds of corks, capsules and labels of iconic wines the FBI says it confiscated from Rudy Kurniawan's home

Posted: December 11, 2013  By Peter Hellman

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Accused Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan Goes on Trial

Prosecutors accuse “Dr. Conti” of making and selling millions of dollars worth of fakes; defense calls him a scapegoat

Posted: December 8, 2013  By Peter Hellman

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Who Are They Fooling? (A Lot of Folks)

As much as 20 percent of wine on the global market may be fake. Awareness is on the rise, but will the counterfeiting continue?

Posted: November 21, 2013  By Robert Taylor

This past August, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) quietly issued a cease-and-desist letter to New Jersey's Wine Library, one of the largest retailers in the Garden State and a popular wine source for many New Yorkers.

The SLA ordered Wine Library to stop shipping wine to New Yorkers, a practice that is technically illegal but that has been happening for years without complaint or repercussion. Cease-and-desist letter or not, the ban is practically unenforceable-the SLA simply doesn't have the manpower to adequately monitor interstate sales.

Because of the letter, Wine Library and a few other out-of-state retailers indicated they would stop selling wine to New Yorkers. New York retailers worried that they would start receiving similar letters from alcohol authorities in other states, as a form of retaliation. Since then, however, there's been nothing but silence from the authorities, and Wine Library has continued shipping wine to New York.

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Will Accused Wine Counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan Plead Insanity?

With trial a month away, defense attorneys ask for psychiatric examination; Prosecution protests

Posted: November 8, 2013  By Peter Hellman

News & Features  :  News

Police Uncover Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Counterfeiting Ring

Burgundy winery tipped off authorities; two men arrested and investigation is ongoing

Posted: October 30, 2013  By Suzanne Mustacich

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

The World's Most Exclusive $20 Wines: Brunello

For some wine categories, the price of entry is too high for most, but daily-drinking alternatives can send out the vibes of the real deal

Posted: October 8, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

Brunello di Montalcino, the pure Sangiovese in the heart of Tuscany's wine country, is an expensive wine to make. Land is pricey and there's not much to go around. Producers are required to sit on inventory for two years in oak and four months in bottle—but the expected protocol is that the wines not reach the market until five years after the harvest. It's a cost passed on to the consumer: You're hard-pressed to find a bottle under $40 on the shelf.

Two Tuscan value categories can offer an impressive alternative to Brunello: Rosso di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano.

Collecting  :  Collecting News

Wine Collectors Accuse Charlie Trotter of Fraud; Chef Denies Allegations

Brothers allege in federal lawsuit that they bought phony magnum of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from restaurant

Posted: June 14, 2013  By Mitch Frank

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