Guilty as charged (as predicted). Rudy Kurniawan singlehandedly did for the wine world, what terrorists on 9/11 did for America – it’s the end of the innocence. While I am not comparing counterfeit wine to loss of life in any sense, the impact is similar, in that we will not be able to trust very many sources of fine wine again for a long, long time, if ever. Being a collector of Bordeaux and to a lesser extent, Burgundy, and I have stayed away from auctions for some time now, knowing the amount of bogus wine that has been dumped into the market by Kurniawn and China. Ex-château is about the only thing left at this point.
Maureen Downey of Chai Consulting in San Francisco is an advocate worthy of great praise and I know her journey dealing with fake wines in the market will be formidable and challenging. Her dedication and knowledge is incomparable in the wine industry and we’re lucky to have her. Bill Koch, a high-end collector from Florida, is also to be commended for his vigilance in bringing much of this counterfeiting activity to light.
The request by the defendant’s attorneys to have Kurniwan examined by a psychiatrist and psychologist may play into the appeal strategy, which is only legal posturing to try to get a better deal for their client. I hope that appeal fails on every level and I feel the same as everyone: there is no joy in the victory of this verdict – only a sense of satisfaction that justice has been imparted in some small way.