Burgundies Removed from London Auction Last-Minute

Suspicions over authenticity lead to withdrawal


Feb. 10, 2012 – After collectors raised doubts about the authenticity of rare Burgundies in the days preceding the Wednesday’s Spectrum Wine Auctions in London, Spectrum and its partner Vanquish, a wine merchant, removed the bottles from the auction, according to Wine Spectator.

A case of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1971 and seven bottles of Comte Georges de Vogüe Musigny Blanc 1962 were among the 21 lots removed from the auction. The domaines questioned the bottles as well, according to the article.

Don Cornwell, a Los Angeles collector, alleged that Rudy Kurniawan, another Los Angeles collector, was behind some of the lots withdrawn. Lots consigned by Kurniawan were pulled from auctions in 2007 and 2008. Red flags also went up when two magnums of Romanée-Conti 1971 with the same serial number were discovered.

From Wine Spectator:

“Geoffrey Troy, head of New York Wine Warehouse, also sounded a warning about the sale. Last July, Troy inspected a collection of DRC wines for a prospective buyer that were being stored in a Bronx temperature-controlled facility. At the inspection, the seller was represented by Brierley. One of the wines inspected, a magnum of Romanée-Conti 1971, was stamped with serial number 0048.

In the London auction catalog, a single magnum of the same wine (lot 100) is also identified as having serial number 0048. In an e-mail to Brierley the week before the sale, obtained by Wine Spectator, Troy asked if the Spectrum bottle was the same as the one inspected in the Bronx. Without answering the question directly, Brierley replied that ‘at the very least lot 100 will be withdrawn.’ That was done. Troy says he learned that the magnum he inspected is still in the hands of his client, raising the question: How many magnums are stamped with number 0048?”

Read the full article here!

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