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May 30, 2022 View:

Bonhams withdraws 607 fake wine auction lots

Bonhams withdrew all 607 lots of A-1 Fine Wines Sale from last Saturday's auction.

Image from: Internet

The entire A-1 collection of over 600 items was consigned by Singaporean collector William Gio. The original estimate was that the auction would sell for over HK$20 million.

The auction was originally hailed as Asia"s most encyclopedic wine collection , but a detailed article published by renowned counterfeit wine vigilante Don Cornwell on the allegations of more than 100 different lots of fake wine, including notorious wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan, has raised eyebrows in the boutique wine world, with counterfeiting ranging beyond a single lot.

The overwhelming allegations forced the auction to pull out, otherwise the sale would have probably turned out to be the most counterfeit auction since the 2006 Cellar i and Cellar II auctions.

In an interview, both Bonhams Wine & Spirits Asia and Bonhams Auctions confirmed that the auction did, indeed, take place and that the auction scheduled for November 21 had been cancelled. After consensus with the consignor, the wines were withdrawn in order to cooperate with the next step of the investigation. Details about the investigation and its progress have not been disclosed.

In his book Wine Berserkers, Don Cornwell lists 17 details that have obvious contradictions. Don Cornwell lists a number of bottles of different colors and shapes in his auction catalog (shown in the photo).

Don Cornwell and his team believe that a large number of other counterfeit wines exist, including 12 bottles of Henri Jayer's wine that were bottled earlier than the winery's origin.

According to Don Cornwell, some unicorn bottles did not appear in the auction, such as Georges Jayer chzeaux from 1964 (lot 820) , Maison Leroy Musigny from 1990 (lot 694), but not Maison Leroy Musigny from 1999 and the 1999 Frederic muer gnitin, cola chambers de Beze, Chappelle tin (lot 722).

Other questionable lots, such as the Clos de Lambrays and Burgundy wines from the 1940s and 1950s, have also been questioned by this Don Cornwell.

The Chateau Lafleur collection also raises some questions, especially for the 1961 vintage, as Chateau Lafleur has not had a neck label since 1945.

More shockingly, Don Cornwell also questioned the authenticity of the 1947 Iglesias Clinay estate, as he found label inconsistencies and signs of de-escalation believed to be the modus operandi of Rudy Kurniawan.

The forger also attempted to erase and cover up the 73CL that appears on the lower left side of the label. we believe this bottle came from Rudy Kurniawan because there is a template for such a forgery in the records seized by the FBI.

While the A-1 line was withdrawn from its boutique and rare wine and whisky sales, the rest of the sales continued.

Whether or not these doubts are a reflection of the cup remains to be investigated. The seeds of doubt have already taken root, so it is important to keep your eyes open when collecting wine.