Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

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Victor Hong
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#1 Post by Victor Hong » October 5th, 2016, 3:37 am

http://www.wsj.com/articles/film-digs-i ... 1475622506

John Kapon seems appropriately portrayed.
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#2 Post by Mark Golodetz » October 5th, 2016, 4:09 am

I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.
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#3 Post by Brian Gilp » October 5th, 2016, 7:14 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.
I thought that either Don or Maureen indicated a belief that Rudy wasn't working alone but my search skills are poor.

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#4 Post by Maureen Downey » October 5th, 2016, 3:10 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.
Rudy was making fakes for at least 10 years. I first caught him in early 2002. He was in full swing by 2004. He was arrested in 2012.

I didn't take him anywhere near an hour to produce each bottle. Esp after he was getting his labels printed in Asia.

He absolutely had help. Financial - information- substantiation - materials- a marketplace
He was created by the creative writing & substantiation of his #1 vendor, important source of funding, and "best friend" John Kapon.
Kapon went on to get his other friends/clients of Acker to give Rudy "Loans" through Acker. (so weird!)
As Laurent Posnot oft explains, there is just no way Rudy was able to learn the history and intricacies of Burgundy on his own. He had help.
When it comes to putting bottles together - this really becomes secondary after you have the materials and the information needed.
I'm learning a lot about ageing techniques, and what specific counterfeiters have done, across many fields. Rudy aged labels in batches, and was very sloppy about it. There is just no way he spent 1 hr per bottle.

Once he got the liquid blend down & had the Kapon crew with Rosania & the punisher /hillbilly /rob the f*cknuckle or what ever the other idiots believing and swooning about his fake mags of 1950 Lafleur & 1945 Mouton (which were really variations of blends of 2002 Liberty Bay Cellers Merlot with some oxidized basic medoc mixed in and a splash of 2000/2006 Opus One or Duckhorn for brightness) his work was basically done.

Financially he had a lot of "help." According to public documents - Rudy Kurniawan's Post Sale Reports from Acker Merrall & Condit sales, The Cellar and The Cellar II (RK PSA 061 & RK PSA 069) there were millions in "loans" - written as "loans" and they all seem to have interest, that went through acker to Rudy from "friends of Acker.

I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.
Last edited by Maureen Downey on October 5th, 2016, 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#5 Post by L e o F r o k i c » October 5th, 2016, 3:18 pm

Does anyone have a list of wine that Rudy was faking?
The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe as its handle was made of wood and they thought it was one of them.

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#6 Post by Jonathan H » October 5th, 2016, 4:04 pm

Hi Maureen,

Where in Calgary is the film playing on November 1st and 2nd? I can't seem to find the venue.
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#7 Post by Maureen Downey » October 5th, 2016, 4:24 pm

L e o F r o k i c wrote:Does anyone have a list of wine that Rudy was faking?
Yes- and copies of all the evidence sized fropm his home, and used in court.
We are also going through producer by producer and pointing out all his tells, what he got wrong... Its tedious, but I am working through. Jayer should be up next week. It's all on WineFraud.com.
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#8 Post by Maureen Downey » October 5th, 2016, 4:27 pm

As soon as I know where in Calgary - I'll let you know!
it will open to the public on Nov 2nd.
Its a Documentary Film Festival.
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#9 Post by Michael Martin » October 5th, 2016, 4:38 pm

For obvious reasons all the "recipes" can't be exposed, if they are even known, but I find that part fascinating.

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#10 Post by David Glasser » October 6th, 2016, 3:50 pm

Maureen Downey wrote:I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.
Thank you for posting this Maureen. I just bought tickets for DC. My wife and I are excited to see the film and look forward to the opportunity to meet you.

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#11 Post by Drew Goin » October 6th, 2016, 4:24 pm

Maureen Downey wrote:
He absolutely had help. Financial - information- substantiation - materials- a marketplace...

As Laurent Posnot oft explains, there is just no way Rudy was able to learn the history and intricacies of Burgundy on his own. He had help.
When it comes to putting bottles together - this really becomes secondary after you have the materials and the information needed.
I'm learning a lot about ageing techniques, and what specific counterfeiters have done, across many fields. Rudy aged labels in batches, and was very sloppy about it. There is just no way he spent 1 hr per bottle...

I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.
Ms Maureen,

Should collectors be concerned about sites like this:

https://labelthis.lib.ucdavis.edu

I see this label archive as a fun thing but, when the project was initially mentioned here, it was pointed out that such a resource could be useful for counterfeiting.

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#12 Post by Denny Marin » October 6th, 2016, 4:27 pm

Maureen, do you know anything about the film's future US distribution? Will it be available on Netflix?

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#13 Post by Joe B » October 6th, 2016, 4:31 pm

Maureen Downey wrote:
Mark Golodetz wrote:I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.
Rudy was making fakes for at least 10 years. I first caught him in early 2002. He was in full swing by 2004. He was arrested in 2012.

I didn't take him anywhere near an hour to produce each bottle. Esp after he was getting his labels printed in Asia.

He absolutely had help. Financial - information- substantiation - materials- a marketplace
He was created by the creative writing & substantiation of his #1 vendor, important source of funding, and "best friend" John Kapon.
Kapon went on to get his other friends/clients of Acker to give Rudy "Loans" through Acker. (so weird!)
As Laurent Posnot oft explains, there is just no way Rudy was able to learn the history and intricacies of Burgundy on his own. He had help.
When it comes to putting bottles together - this really becomes secondary after you have the materials and the information needed.
I'm learning a lot about ageing techniques, and what specific counterfeiters have done, across many fields. Rudy aged labels in batches, and was very sloppy about it. There is just no way he spent 1 hr per bottle.

Once he got the liquid blend down & had the Kapon crew with Rosania & the punisher /hillbilly /rob the f*cknuckle or what ever the other idiots believing and swooning about his fake mags of 1950 Lafleur & 1945 Mouton (which were really variations of blends of 2002 Liberty Bay Cellers Merlot with some oxidized basic medoc mixed in and a splash of 2000/2006 Opus One or Duckhorn for brightness) his work was basically done.

Financially he had a lot of "help." According to public documents - Rudy Kurniawan's Post Sale Reports from Acker Merrall & Condit sales, The Cellar and The Cellar II (RK PSA 061 & RK PSA 069) there were millions in "loans" - written as "loans" and they all seem to have interest, that went through acker to Rudy from "friends of Acker.

I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.
I'm kinda just wondering but we're his fakes good, taste wise. Did he somehow know what a 1950 xxxx should look smell and taste like.

My second question would be, if so, why bother with the original $5000 bottle if you can pour yourself a good imitation. Or maybe, is there a market for imitation 1950 xxxxx
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#14 Post by Drew Goin » October 6th, 2016, 4:35 pm

Joe, the larger issue (in my limited understanding) is whether buyers know what a 1950 xxxx should taste like. ;)

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#15 Post by Will P@yne » October 7th, 2016, 9:54 am

Maureen Downey wrote:rob the f*cknuckle
Nice.

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#16 Post by David Glasser » October 8th, 2016, 8:00 pm

Good movie, interesting Q&A with Maureen after, but nothing new for those of us who followed the Rudy K thread that Don authored. My wife, who knew very little of the story, really enjoyed it. Maureen and Don were prominently featured.

Wanted to say hi to Maureen after but she was surrounded by interested viewers after.

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#17 Post by Mel Hill » October 9th, 2016, 5:57 am

Denny Marin wrote:Maureen, do you know anything about the film's future US distribution? Will it be available on Netflix?

Netfiix US release will be around 11/18/2016 IIRC

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#18 Post by Maureen Downey » October 9th, 2016, 9:55 am

David- I wish you would have said hi!!

The Netflix release is Nov 19th in the USA.

Drew- you hit the nail on the head. Most people do not know what these wines "should" taste like, and now we have so many reviews out there based on fakes from prominent and self proclaimed critics, that the waters are completely muddied. In many cases the "standards" or flavor expectations are based on counterfeits. The damage that has been done is significant, and really tragic when you take in the scope of the history that's been destroyed.
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#19 Post by vincentz » October 9th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Jonathan H wrote:Hi Maureen,

Where in Calgary is the film playing on November 1st and 2nd? I can't seem to find the venue.
+1

Would enjoy opportunity to listen to the lecture.
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#20 Post by Marc Frontario » October 9th, 2016, 6:51 pm

Maureen Downey wrote:
Mark Golodetz wrote:I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.
Rudy was making fakes for at least 10 years. I first caught him in early 2002. He was in full swing by 2004. He was arrested in 2012.

I didn't take him anywhere near an hour to produce each bottle. Esp after he was getting his labels printed in Asia.

He absolutely had help. Financial - information- substantiation - materials- a marketplace
He was created by the creative writing & substantiation of his #1 vendor, important source of funding, and "best friend" John Kapon.
Kapon went on to get his other friends/clients of Acker to give Rudy "Loans" through Acker. (so weird!)
As Laurent Posnot oft explains, there is just no way Rudy was able to learn the history and intricacies of Burgundy on his own. He had help.
When it comes to putting bottles together - this really becomes secondary after you have the materials and the information needed.
I'm learning a lot about ageing techniques, and what specific counterfeiters have done, across many fields. Rudy aged labels in batches, and was very sloppy about it. There is just no way he spent 1 hr per bottle.

Once he got the liquid blend down & had the Kapon crew with Rosania & the punisher /hillbilly /rob the f*cknuckle or what ever the other idiots believing and swooning about his fake mags of 1950 Lafleur & 1945 Mouton (which were really variations of blends of 2002 Liberty Bay Cellers Merlot with some oxidized basic medoc mixed in and a splash of 2000/2006 Opus One or Duckhorn for brightness) his work was basically done.

Financially he had a lot of "help." According to public documents - Rudy Kurniawan's Post Sale Reports from Acker Merrall & Condit sales, The Cellar and The Cellar II (RK PSA 061 & RK PSA 069) there were millions in "loans" - written as "loans" and they all seem to have interest, that went through acker to Rudy from "friends of Acker.

I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.
Great post
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#21 Post by Alicia C. » October 10th, 2016, 6:01 am

I enjoyed the DC screening and Q&A with Maureen, too! Really appreciated her no-fuss responses after the film and it's fascinating how much video footage of Rudy there was available for the filmmakers. Looking forward to when the film hits Netflix so I can view it again.
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#22 Post by R_Gilbane » October 10th, 2016, 10:33 am

Any idea when this is headed to Netflix?
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#23 Post by Alicia C. » October 10th, 2016, 2:37 pm

R_Gilbane wrote:Any idea when this is headed to Netflix?
I think sometime in late November (or sometime there after) based on the first post from Todd in this thread:
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 8&t=132597
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#24 Post by Marc Breitenmoser » October 11th, 2016, 3:06 am

Saw the movie last week. After watching Rudy in the flick, I find it hard to fathom how a seemingly unsecure guy like Rudy was able to win the trust of so many wine enthusiast.

I too was fascinated about the "lumber" crowd and wanted to believe in the near miraculous re-emergances of forgotten bottles. I too believe that Rudy must have been merely a part of a more elaborate ring and while I thought, I'd never fall into the trap of being fooled into drinking fakes, my encounter with the white club was a true wake up call.

While some producers are starting to take serious precautions against fraud using prooftag and various similar methods, I'm appaled by those that don't.
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#25 Post by Michael Diaz » October 13th, 2016, 7:42 am

Michael Martin wrote:For obvious reasons all the "recipes" can't be exposed, if they are even known, but I find that part fascinating.
Why do you have some oxidized basic medoc in your kitchen cabinet? [cheers.gif]

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#26 Post by Steven Lipman » October 13th, 2016, 7:53 am

Is there going to be a more general release to theaters before appearing on Netflix?

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#27 Post by Alicia C. » October 17th, 2016, 9:22 am

The New Yorker is out with a review (and also reports a November launch date for Netflix):

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultur ... ld-of-wine
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#28 Post by Maureen Downey » October 17th, 2016, 2:35 pm

I finally have the info on the Sour Grapes film showing in Calgary by Hot Docs.
It is being hosted by Doc Soup which is in partnership with the Calgary international Film Festival

Date: November 2st, 2016, 7:00 PM
Location: Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade SW #200, Calgary, AB T2P 4R5, Canada

Tickets can be purchased here:
http://www.calgaryfilm.com/films/2016/n ... our-grapes

Looking forward to meeting some of you.
Shall we pop some corks afterwards?
Cheers,
Maureen
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#29 Post by Chris Seiber » October 17th, 2016, 3:24 pm

Maureen Downey wrote: Looking forward to meeting some of you.
Shall we pop some corks afterwards?
Cheers,
Maureen
I'll bring the Liberty Bay Merlot. Maybe someone else can bring the oxidized Medoc.

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#30 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » October 17th, 2016, 3:35 pm

Maureen Downey wrote:
Mark Golodetz wrote:I have seen these estimates of 10 thousand bottles in private cellars. Seems unlikely as I understand that it took him around an hour per fake bottle, but it is possible if he was working 40 hour weeks for five years.
Rudy was making fakes for at least 10 years. I first caught him in early 2002. He was in full swing by 2004. He was arrested in 2012.

I didn't take him anywhere near an hour to produce each bottle. Esp after he was getting his labels printed in Asia.

He absolutely had help. Financial - information- substantiation - materials- a marketplace
He was created by the creative writing & substantiation of his #1 vendor, important source of funding, and "best friend" John Kapon.
Kapon went on to get his other friends/clients of Acker to give Rudy "Loans" through Acker. (so weird!)
As Laurent Posnot oft explains, there is just no way Rudy was able to learn the history and intricacies of Burgundy on his own. He had help.
When it comes to putting bottles together - this really becomes secondary after you have the materials and the information needed.
I'm learning a lot about ageing techniques, and what specific counterfeiters have done, across many fields. Rudy aged labels in batches, and was very sloppy about it. There is just no way he spent 1 hr per bottle.

Once he got the liquid blend down & had the Kapon crew with Rosania & the punisher /hillbilly /rob the f*cknuckle or what ever the other idiots believing and swooning about his fake mags of 1950 Lafleur & 1945 Mouton (which were really variations of blends of 2002 Liberty Bay Cellers Merlot with some oxidized basic medoc mixed in and a splash of 2000/2006 Opus One or Duckhorn for brightness) his work was basically done.

Financially he had a lot of "help." According to public documents - Rudy Kurniawan's Post Sale Reports from Acker Merrall & Condit sales, The Cellar and The Cellar II (RK PSA 061 & RK PSA 069) there were millions in "loans" - written as "loans" and they all seem to have interest, that went through acker to Rudy from "friends of Acker.

I will be in Washington DC on Saturday at the Double Exposure, Investigative Film Festival speaking with the audience about the film.
I will also be in Calgary at a Film Fest on Nov 1st & 2nd talking with audiences about the film and the story.
Sorry I missed the DC showing.

I would love to replicate some of Rudy's recipes, but unfortunately Liberty Bay Merlot isn't available on Winesearcher. We should have a Rudy's recipes thread!

Some may disagree, but I think it's outrageous that Rudy got such a long prison sentence while his known enablers, who may have profited as much or more than he did from the fraud, got off scot-free without even a fine.

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#31 Post by Mel Knox » October 17th, 2016, 7:23 pm

Marcus, I agree with you. Proving anything might be difficult.
Some of the insiders probably knew, but can you prove they knew for sure??

At the very least they should be embarrassed.
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#32 Post by Mark Oldman » November 16th, 2016, 2:31 pm

[video removed by admin]
Some footage from a Q&A from the DOC NYC showing of Sour Grapes on November 14, 2016.

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#33 Post by Nate Simon » November 16th, 2016, 8:04 pm

A heart-wrenching tale of some rich people who bought fake wine but don't worry they were still rich after that but it was the crime of the century.

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#34 Post by rfelthoven » November 17th, 2016, 12:46 pm

Your post is funny, but since someone is going to say it I will beat them to it: I guess crimes against rich people don't matter.

That's like saying if a quadriplegic gets beaten senseless with a bat it's no big deal since he couldn't walk anyways.
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#35 Post by Gerry Morrisey » November 18th, 2016, 11:06 am

Have they announced when it will be released on Netflix?

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#36 Post by Todd F r e n c h » November 18th, 2016, 11:11 am

merging threads
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#37 Post by Alicia C. » November 18th, 2016, 11:11 am

i haven't double checked that it's there, but it was supposed to be released TODAY (Nov. 18)...

and thanks to Mark for posting this video ... I saw Maureen speak after the DC screening, so hearing from the others behind the scenes is a perfect complement.

hoping to rewatch the film again this weekend (if it indeed was released today as expected).

[Editing to add (because it got lost in the merger, I think)] I just signed into Netflix and the film is there for your viewing pleasure. [cheers.gif]
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#38 Post by Todd F r e n c h » November 18th, 2016, 11:12 am

Mark, you've been asked by a moderator to remove your website URL from the video, and this, being your very first post, doesn't bode well for the anti-shilling rules here, so I'm removing the video...and merging threads
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#39 Post by Todd F r e n c h » November 18th, 2016, 11:15 am

Alicia C. wrote:i haven't double checked that it's there, but it was supposed to be released TODAY (Nov. 18)...

and thanks to Mark for posting this video ... I saw Maureen speak after the DC screening, so hearing from the others behind the scenes is a perfect complement.

hoping to rewatch the film again this weekend (if it indeed was released today as expected).
Yes, it's on Netflix now!
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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#40 Post by Todd F r e n c h » November 18th, 2016, 12:09 pm

Watching Sour Grapes now - nearly half way in - and I really want to punch Kapon in the mug.
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#41 Post by DanielP » November 18th, 2016, 2:11 pm

Koch has a nice home
P@ik

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#42 Post by Rich Brown » November 18th, 2016, 2:13 pm

well, I know what I'll be watching tonight!!

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#43 Post by Gerry Morrisey » November 18th, 2016, 5:56 pm

Just finished watching it. Koch comes across as purely a trophy hunter. He could give a shit what's in the bottle. All he knows is it's old and expensive. His cellar is however beautiful.

The film does not show much of the elite wine community in a very favorable light. It basically proves the point that a fool and his money are soon parted and Rudy ran a very successful con.

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#44 Post by Larry Link » November 18th, 2016, 9:20 pm

I'm watching it now, its very well done. Is Jef Levy who is featured in the movie Jeff Leve from the board?

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#45 Post by Nick Ellis » November 19th, 2016, 2:48 am

Larry Link wrote:I'm watching it now, its very well done. Is Jef Levy who is featured in the movie Jeff Leve from the board?
No.

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#46 Post by Nick Ellis » November 19th, 2016, 3:00 am

I saw it last night, and even though I knew the story thanks to the 160+ pages here, I still found it fascinating. It was interesting to see Rudy in action working his long con. It was fun to put faces to names, especially for other board members. Bill Koch definitely has a nice cellar, and Laurent Ponsot was nothing like I was expecting; more like a Gallic Cary Grant than a stereotypical Burgundian farmer.

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#47 Post by AJ Thornton » November 19th, 2016, 5:05 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:Watching Sour Grapes now - nearly half way in - and I really want to punch Kapon in the mug.
I kept thinking the exact same thing last night...

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#48 Post by Bill Sweeney » November 19th, 2016, 5:20 am

I am not finding the movie on Netflix. ?

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Wine fraud movie: "Sour Grapes"

#49 Post by AJ Thornton » November 19th, 2016, 5:21 am

Bill Sweeney wrote:I am not finding the movie on Netflix. ?
Yep, it's on there. Just search "Sour Grapes"

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#50 Post by Corey N. » November 19th, 2016, 5:53 am

Enjoyed watching it last night. Very little new information gleaned from the movie, but it was interesting seeing the clips of Rudy. He actually seemed like a nice guy.
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