In Vino Duplicitas

In Vino Duplicitas

The Rise and Fall of A Wine Forger Extraordinaire

Book - 2017
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Workman Press.
&;An engrossing account of wine fraud and forgery . . . Hellman clearly knows his stuff.&;&;The Wall Street Journal

&;[Hellman] presents . . . the macho, competitive, one-upmanship world of the collectors, an atmosphere that perhaps contributed to their gullibility in the high-rolling economy of the early 2000s.&;&;The New York Times

&;Heady, intoxicating . . . shines a light on the esoteric and intriguing world of ultrarare, ultrafine wines.&;&;Foreword, starred review

&;In Vino Duplicitas is a cautionary tale of how we can let the romance of wine get the better of us. . . . None of us are immune.&;&;Washington Post

Few gain entry to the privileged world of ultrafine wines, where billionaires flock to exclusive auction houses to vie for the scarce surviving bottles from truly legendary years. But Rudy Kurniawan, an unknown twentysomething from Indonesia, was blessed with two gifts that opened doors: a virtuoso palate for wine tasting, and access to a seemingly limitless (if mysterious) supply of the world&;s most coveted wines.

After bursting onto the scene in 2002, Kurniawan quickly became the leading purveyor of rare wines to the American elite. But in April 2008, his lots of Domaine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis red burgundy&;dating as far back as 1945&;were abruptly pulled from auction. The problem? The winemaker was certain that this particular burgundy was first produced only in 1982.

Journalist Peter Hellman was there, and he would closely investigate as a singular cast of characters&;including a Kansas-born billionaire and self-proclaimed &;hoarder,&; a dignified Burgundian winemaker, a wine-loving young prosecutor, and a crusty FBI agent who prepared for the case by reading French Wine for Dummies&;worked to unravel the biggest con in wine history. Whether driven by the love of wine or of justice, all were asking the same question: Was the mild-mannered Kurniawan himself a dupe? Or had one young man&;with little experience and few connections&;ensnared the world&;s top winemakers, sellers, and drinkers in a web of deceit?


Baker & Taylor
In a shocking true crime story, a con man, blessed with the gift of a discerning palate and a knack for tracking down impossibly hard-to-find bottles, reigns as a purveyor of the last century’s most storied vintages until the truth comes out and his world comes spectacularly crashing down.

Baker
& Taylor

A true crime story explains how a man, blessed with the gift of a discerning palate and a knack for tracking down hard-to-find vintages, was exposed as a fraud after ensnaring the worlds top winemakers, sellers, and drinkers in a web of deceit.

Publisher: New York : Experiment, [2017]
Copyright Date: 2017
ISBN: 9781615193929
Branch Call Number: 364. 163 HEL
Characteristics: xxiv, 246 pages : colour illustrations ; 24 cm

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From Library Staff

List - Hoodwinked
bpl_staff Mar 24, 2021

A con man, blessed with the gift of a discerning palate and a knack for tracking down impossibly hard-to-find bottles, reigns as a purveyor of the last century’s most storied vintages until the truth comes out and his world comes spectacularly crashing down. True story of the biggest con in wine ... Read More »


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Beckuzz
Oct 29, 2020

This book was well-paced and surprisingly hard to put down. The author deftly brings us into the lives of the incredibly wealthy and the wine-obsessed (qualities which tend to overlap), and does a good job of conveying the impact of the crime while also acknowledging how ridiculous the pursuit of storied wines can get. The only improvements I would suggest is a glossary of wine terms (jeroboam, domaine, etc.) and maybe also a cast of characters, so those of us who haven't been steeped in this world can keep up more easily.

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patcarstensen
Mar 16, 2018

Enjoyed the book, but it doesn't really address the political issue of the inflation of "needs" of a certain stratum of our society.

b
BlueHippo
Sep 21, 2017

Always fun to read these true stories about these vacuous wealthy people who have far more money than brain cells. You know their priorities are different than yours when you read that they would not testify against this man ( or they minimized their losses) so they wouldn't look like fools to their rich friends. The only thing that would have made this book better would have been a cast of characters - I admit I had trouble keeping track of who was who! And a note to one of the other reviewers: these auction houses knew - they just didn't care because they were getting paid LOTS of money for this stuff and they knew their clientele - no one would admit to being duped out of their millions! (And as an aside, I think mom was in on it).

Bunny_Watson716 Sep 08, 2017

You may, as I did, find it hard to feel sorry for people who spend millions of dollars on wine and who get duped, but the story of Rudy Kurniawan and his excellent wine forgery skills makes for an interesting read. What I found particularly interesting were the interactions with major auction houses, who were selling these counterfeit wines, seemingly unaware.

StevenOClark Aug 28, 2017

This is yet another crazy - but true - story. It must be getting harder by the day to be a fiction writer. I had no idea that wine counterfeiting was a thing, but so it seems. I must
admit to a shade of schadenfreude as Peter Hellman spins the incredible tale of Rudy Kurniawan and how he bilks the idle rich for millions of dollars with his phony wines.

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