Sour grapes

In vino veritas? Well, maybe not. Rudy Kurniawan was one the biggest wine fraud artist you’re going to meet in a documentary. Wine collectors like billionaire Bill Koch will tell you that he will buy the occasional counterfeit bottle of wine. But Kurniawan sold more than 40,000 fake bottles between 2003 and 2006 for a  total of more than $35 million. Inside the bottles is cheap inexpensive wine, but, as Koch and others found out, the outside was all fake. Fake sticker with fake dates and with spelling mistakes. Koch hired a detective and the feds also got involved. Domaine Ponsot’s director Laurent Ponsot got wind of an auctioneer selling one of his company Clos de la Roche bottle labeled 1929 and a series of Clos St. Denis from 1945 to 1971. The domaine did not estate bottles prior to 1934, and they only started to make Clos St. Denis in 1982. Rudy Kurniawan was a smart guy. He would spend huge amounts to buy wine bottles at auction, hiking up prices so that his counterfeit bottles could sell for more money. The Indonesia native had such an innocent boy next door look that he fooled everyone. To this day some of his friends (including some Hollywood insiders) still won’t believe he was a fraud. This a fun and interesting documentary. Although Rudy Kurniawan refused to go on camera, there are plenty of cell phone videos of him. You’ll have a good time.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

Sour grapes

Directed by:
Jerry Rothwell
Reuben Atlas

86 min.

Rated Parental Guidance

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