Skip to comments.Swell or Swill? Top Vineyards Fend Off Bogus Bottles; 'French' Vintages Produced in China
Posted on 08/10/2006 11:57:09 AM PDT by Fractal Trader
Marquis Nicolò Incisa della Rochetta has no gripe with the look of the wine bottle with the 1995 Sassicaia label that sits on his file cabinet. Nor does he mind how it tastes. The problem is, he didn't produce it. Unlike authentic Sassicaia, the bottle doesn't come from vineyards on the Marquis's family estate on a hillside along the Tuscan coast. Instead, it was snagged with 20,000 other counterfeit bottles in a raid by Italian government inspectors.
Real: A bottle of 1995 Sassicaia from Italy, which costs up to $640. Sassicaia is one of a number of top wine makers struggling to fend off a growing menace: bogus bottles bearing some of the most prestigious labels in the business. Other victims in recent years include France's Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Australia's Penfolds Grange -- labels that command as much as $3,000 a bottle.
"Counterfeiting is always on the rise," says Giuseppe Fugaro, head of the Ministry of Agriculture's antifraud unit in Naples. Last month, he pulled 15,000 bottles of fake Falanghina, an appellation of white wine produced around Naples, from Italian store shelves. In 2005, he rounded up more than 6.6 million bottles of bogus Falanghina in Italy.
Authorities say counterfeit wine is a world-wide problem, although it appears U.S. winemakers have largely been untouched. Counterfeiters usually target historic wine labels, inspectors say, while wines from newer vineyards are targeted only if the wine is in vogue.
What's inside the counterfeit bottles is generally still wine, but of a lower quality than what's on the label. Fake French labels are often placed on wine that is produced in China. In China and Italy, many of the cases involve local wine and alcohol industry insiders.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
China...is there anything they won't counterfeit.
send to Doug,CA wino
Oenology news ping.
Wow, that's a large volume. Over 1,250 cases which suggests a rather large operation. Whatever happened to single bottles of Petrus the single most faked label?
Thanks! Saw it yesterday and first assumed it was only the Chinese upon quick reading, but there is pertinent line: "In China and Italy, many of the cases involve local wine and alcohol industry insiders."
The Italian clone job took insiders (other Italians, one making labels, one making bottles, in same area, no less).
Article explains why Penfold's made such a big deal a few years ago at their Recorking Clinics.
but there is no mention at that time of fakes on the market.
*Recorking Clinics* - When the screw-caps take over, they will go the way of the wagon wheel makers!
Arggh, rotten b*st*rds! Guess people will have no way of knowing until they open their bottles. If then.
If you've never tried a Grange before, how would you know if your bottle was counterfeit? Particularly if the counterfeiters took the trouble to replace the wine with half-way decent but less expensive juice. Even Parker gets them wrong sometimes, despite having tasted the wine many times (though I doubt very much you could trick him with some really cheap substitute). Me, OTOH...
If the counterfeiters replaced the Grange with TBC, would a retailer reimburse the customer? Not bloody likely, unless the person was a really valuable customer. Grrrr...
Well, all the more reason to stick with American wines, though there is no inherent reason American wines will remain immune from counterfeiting in the long run, some of the prices are already high enough to tempt any counterfeiter.
I got em for a good price and drank em all.
That's pretty darn true and funny. Still prefer cork as opposed to the plastic or the screw tops, but I have had good wine as well as bad wine in all three toppers.