In a world of wine connoisseurs very far from your average liquor store selling $20 bottles of cabernet, is the prestigious circle of high-end wine auctions. At a recent Geneva auction, single bottles of wine were priced as much as £11,000, or nearly $16,000 USD.But the entire auction was thrown into question after counterfeit claims ended in six bottles, allegedly from the iconic Domaine de la Romanée-Conti estate, being removed from the auction block. In the past, similar bottles have been sold for nearly $20,000 USD.
The whispers of fraud were originally reported on a wine forum, where users — specifically the claims from Los Angeles lawyer Don Cornwell — threw the authenticity of the wines into question. Cornwell stated that based on capsules, labels, and the type of glass used in the wine bottle’s creation, that the six bottles are “either outright counterfeit or highly questionable.”
The auction house is currently investigating the matter.
This is not the first time wine fraud has plagued the industry: In 2014, renowned wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan was sentenced to prison after making a living selling counterfeit high-end wines.