Evidence seized at Rudy Kurniawan's residence (Image source: FBI)
Protect your interests and your collection
When fine wines are purchased, it is imperative to dispose of an exact and independent expertise on their authenticity and state of conservation. Counterfeit bottles are a common occurrence in today’s wine market: they concern numerous estates in all main producing countries and represent a very large volume of transactions. Between 2002 and 2012, famous counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan alone created and sold over US$150m in counterfeit wine. That represents over US$550m at current market value in global wine markets, and the majority of those bottles are still in the marketplace. And he is just one counterfeiter.
Bottles condition is another source of concern for many buyers who end up realizing only upon reception that the lot they have purchase contains bottles with low levels, damaged labels and evidence of heat damage. Caution advises to check the condition of the entire stock before a fine wine purchase to avoid paying the price for compromised bottles. In order to protect their interests, we highly recommend buyers to appoint an independent authentication expert before proceeding to an acquisition or a sale.
From 2012 to 2014, Russian counterfeiter Aleksandr Iugov has sold almost 400 bottles of fake Romanee-Conti and Leroy Musigny retailing for a total of US$4million
(source: Ouest France)
From 2014 to 2018, a gang of Spanish counterfeiters has sold over 3,000 bottles of counterfeit Pingus & Vega Sicilia for an estimated total of US$2million
(source: The Drinks Business)
Over 50% of Chateau Lafite sold in China is fake
(source: Xinshi Li, President of the China Academy of Inspection and Quarantine)
7,000 cases of fake Lafite, Mouton, Latour and other well-known Bordeaux wines retailing for a total of US$32million were found in a single 2013 raid in China
(source: The Cellar Insider)
INSPECTION BEFORE AN ACQUISITION
Prior to the acquisition of a collection of wines, it is essential to vet the authenticity and condition of the wines following strict procedures as a protection against the risks associated with this market (counterfeit, condition issues, financial & image risk). Following The Chai MethodTM protocole of inspection, ACES WINES inspects and reports to clients about the authenticity and condition before an acquisition.
If a doubt arises concerning the authenticity of a recently acquired bottle in his ownership, a wine collector must act rapidly to present objective evidence to cancel the sale and seek market value refund. Following an inspection of the bottle, ACES WINES will provide clients with detailed report following The Chai MethodTM protocol including numerous points of evidence and supported conclusions to seek remuneration.
Unlicensed vendors and shady intermediaries are a common occurrence in the fine wine market and the primary source for stolen and counterfeit bottles. Before purchasing a bottle or a collection of wines, it is critical for the buyer to respect due diligence procedures to ensure that the seller has the required licenses and solid track record to conduct the transaction. Besides, due diligence is also highly recommended for companies seeking to protect their corporate image and responsibility that may be engaged if dealing with merchants or individuals with a legal track record.
ACES WINES also provides professional photographic services for buyers looking for high resolution pictures for marketing purposes