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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
10 Mar 2012

It's official: is 'a popular wine blog', at least according to point 56 of this 40-page detailed accusation levelled at wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan by the FBI's fine wine specialist investigator and published by Michael Steinberger on (Note that the FBI can now field a wine expert capable of correcting even the king of wine crime sleuths Don Cornwell, by the way.)

Apart from the staggering level of spending, debt and mendaciousness outlined in the document, I was also particularly interested in point 55 which details how for several years a New York sommelier would send regular consignments of empty bottles of the best wines drunk in his establishment to Rudy at his home in southern California. He apparently got quite cross when one or two of them broke en route because they had not been packed with sufficient care.

Hours of fun may be had assigning names to the various bodies and peopleRudy Exhibit B_1 referred to in the document as, for example, 'a New York auction house' and 'a California collector'. Extraordinary sums of money seem to have been lent to Rudy by all and sundry. 

I know that everyone ought to be presumed innocent until proved guilty but it is extremely difficult to think of any other explanation for the drawerful of assorted unused labels of Petrus, Lafleur etc of which photographs have now been published. See also the picture of the bowlful of capsules and the discarded labels attached as Exhibit B to the bail appeal.