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May 30, 2022 View:

Acker Fine Wine Auction reported to be auctioning counterfeit Romanee-Conti wines

A wine enthusiast recently emailed Acker Merrall Condit to expose the auction of counterfeit Romanee Conti wines.

Image courtesy of: Wine Business Watch

Evidence was provided that the old wines at Acker Auction House were fakes

Last weekend, Don Cornwell, a lawyer and wine enthusiast, emailed a number of Burgundy wine collectors to report that Acker Fine Wine Auctioneers Acker and its controller John Kapon were planning to sell a fake bottle of 1924 vintage Romanee Conti in Hong Kong.

Don Cornwell notes that Acker will hold an auction in Hong Kong on June 11-13, 2020. One of the lots, numbered 710, is falsely described as a bottle of 1924 vintage Romanee Conti. The bottle has a pre-sale estimate of between $20,000-$28,000. The description stated that the wine came from the cellar of a collector named Aziz Khan. However, the wine does not have a label and has a completely wrong wax seal, which is not original and is a quarter of an inch thick. The catalog shows a very uneven glass surface and an irregular bottle shape that is unlikely to have been used by DRC in that era.

Don Cornwell showed several other authentic bottles of the 1929 vintage of Romanee Conti and compared the changes in the bottle, the wax seal, to conclude that the bottle being auctioned by Acker was a fake.

Don Cornwell says he sent a total of three emails to John Capone and Acker Auctions informing them that the bottle was a fake and asking for high-resolution images of the bottle, the bottom, the cork and the mouth, but received no response.

Image courtesy of: Wine Business Watch

Involved in counterfeit wine repeatedly accused, once won by LVMH

According to the official website, Acker is the oldest wine store in the United States and the leading wine auction house in the world.

However, Acker Auctions has been involved in numerous cases of counterfeiting. This is not the first time that Don Cornwell, a lawyer and wine enthusiast, has accused Acker Auctioneers.

Don Cornwell alleges that the 1967 and 1960 vintages of Chateau Romanee Conti (DRC) La Tche presented at Acker"s March 25, 2017 auction at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong are most likely fakes. The evidence is that this bottle of 1967 Romanee Conti La Tache has a small line of La Tache printed on the bottle, which should read Mise du Domaine instead of La Tache.

In addition, Conwell noted that the green color of the label did not match the other bottles. From all these suspicions, Don Cornwell concluded that the 1967 La Tassie was clearly presumed to be a fake.

In addition, Don Cornwell further pointed out that the 1959 vintage of Latour, as well as a number of large bottles of Grand Cru wines that appeared at the auction, were highly suspect.

Also in 2017, Moet Hennessy (LVMH) won a lawsuit against Acker Auctions for the sale of counterfeit wine. The lawsuit stemmed from a September 2012 Acker auction in Hong Kong, where LVMH alleged that a bottle of 1947 vintage Champagne Krug Collection was a fake.