Mike Steinberger writes a nuanced, 5,000-word piece on Rudy Kurniawan and wine counterfeiting on VanityFair.com. Although it draws some material we have discussed here previous, such as the court documents including Kurniawan’s indictment on wine and mail fraud, the piece offers insights from numerous interviews of participants involved in the multi-million dollar saga. Lots of interesting details emerge: apparently Kurniawan purchased so much “unremarkable” old Burgundy from one negociant that he “emptied [their] cellars.” Also, the complexity of Burgundy may have been what tripped him up as early in his rise in the wine world, Kurniawan appears to have confused a Christine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis for a Domaine Ponsot (unrelated) Clos Saint-Denis that didn’t even exist. Steinberger writes “If that is what happened, it is a mistake that now has Kurniawan facing up to 80 years in a federal penitentiary.”
If you are going to looking for a long, thorough piece on the wine fraud story, check out this terrific one. What part of the story do you find the most amazing?
“A Vintage Crime” VanityFair.com