Henry Jeffreys

The shocking truth about adulterated wine: it was delicious

Provided it wasn’t actually poisonous, a beefed-up burgundy in the 1970s was often preferred to a weedy pure vintage pinot noir, says Rebecca Gibb

Three bottles used as evidence in the trial of the wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan, displayed in the Federal Court, New York, December 2013. [Getty Images]

In 2012 the esoteric world of wine connoisseurship made the news when the FBI raided the Californian home of an Indonesian national called Rudy Kurniawan. They found a factory for creating fake wines with bottles, corks, labels and even recipes. According to Rebecca Gibb in Vintage Crime, Kurniawan’s counterfeit Mouton Rothschild from the legendary 1945 vintage consisted of two parts Cos d’Estournel, one part Château Palmer and one part California cabernet.

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