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, a wine-loving young prosecutor, and a crusty FBI agent-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?
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Peter Hellman, a New York-based journalist and author, has been a contributor to Wine Spectator for more than a decade. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, and numerous other publications. His books include Chief! and When Courage Was Stronger than Fear.
Charles Constant is an actor whose professional storytelling career began at the age of thirteen, when he became an Actors' Equity Association apprentice. An accomplished audiobook narrator, Charles has recorded many popular titles, including How to Win at the Sport of Business by Mark Cuban. He lives in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
Chapter 1 Becoming Dr. Conti 1
Chapter 2 Underside of an Auction 27
Chapter 3 The Man from Morey-Saint-Denis 43
Chapter 4 The Auctioneer 61
Chapter 5 Collapse of the Con 77
Chapter 6 The Sheriff 103
Chapter 7 The Takedown 125
Chapter 8 Before a jury of His Peers 153
Chapter 9 Aftershocks 193
Photo Credits 247
About the Author 248