Counterfeiting of classified fine wines.
The finest wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux suffer from counterfeiting.
Counterfeiters tend to target the most prestigious vintages, where the margins are the highest.
Today, more bottles of Lafite Rothschild 1982 are making their way through China than were ever produced at the château.
Asia is not the only victim. The Indonesian counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan sold primarily to the United States and London. The lawsuit filed by American billionaire Bill Koch is against a fiery German, Hardy Rodenstock.
Solution n° 1
Proximity to the producers
“The farther we stray from the source market, the more fakes there are.” Luc Dabadie*
Fraud is less common in France. Estates have a strong incentive to fight counterfeiting.
Vinoptimo’s network relies on personal relationships with those who have a reputation to uphold. We avoid having more than one intermediary between us and the estate or château.
The traceability of bottles as they change hands between recognized professionals is key to secure fine wine purchases.
Knowledge of the volumes produced and traded on the market is also helpful for detecting suspicious bottles.
* Expert at Artcurial, the famous Parisian auction house
Solution n° 2
Expertise in analyzing bottles
Counterfeiters almost never get it exactly right.
Expertise in visually analyzing bottles of wine allows us to verify multiple indicators:
- the glass,
- the contents of the label and writing on the bottle,
- the material and color of the capsule depending on the vintage.
Even old bottles offer clues as to their authenticity.