印尼小子“酒騙”全世界
A Vintage Crime

Wine Glass Breaking

2002年,一位名為魯迪卡尼萬的年青華僑,突然出現於各類葡萄酒的拍賣會上,他競投時總是一擲千金,又經常舉辦豪華酒宴宴請酒界中人,每席都喝掉數十萬葡萄酒,再加上近乎神級的品酒能力––每次盲品百發百中,從不出錯;於是這個印尼小子就如神話般在短時間內聲名鵲起,更得到“ 康帝博士”的稱號……
In 2002, a young Indonesian Chinese named Rudy Kurniawan began to appear and bid in various wine auctions, who always held luxury banquets with fine wines. He became famous and won the title of “Dr. Conti” due to his exceptional wine palate…

text: 蒲東

這位“康帝博士”人氣在短時間內急升,更結識了不少圈內外勢力人士,如“尖峰時刻”電影監製阿瑟沙基臣及老牌導演積菲李維;魯迪更認識到當時還只是一家小葡萄酒零售店的Acker少東約翰卡邦。約翰正雄心勃勃想進軍餐酒拍賣市場,二人一拍即合,在2003年到2006年間,由魯迪出貨給Acker拍賣的葡萄酒總值超過3千5百萬美元; 二人正趾高氣揚之際,卻不知好運已走到盡頭……

2007年4月,魯迪委托佳士得拍賣出幾瓶李鵬酒莊1982年的特大瓶裝,酒莊知道後,就發聲明說1982年就從沒出過特大瓶裝的,接着又發生了幾宗類似事件;而接着下來的事件,則對魯迪的聲譽作出致命性的打擊。

2008 年4月的一個晚上,Acker如常地在紐約一家高級餐廳內進行紅酒拍賣,現場氣氛熱烈。當進入拍賣彭索酒的時段,一位高大的法國人立即企起並大聲宣告﹕“我是勞雄彭索,我要求停止拍賣這些酒!”

這位彭索莊主堅稱拍賣會上的都是假酒;他說被拍賣的彭索紅酒酒標上寫著1929年,但酒莊要到1945年才開始獨立裝瓶,還有一些標着1945年到1971年的聖丹尼園酒,實際上第一次生產卻始於1982年!彭索更要求拍賣會幫他聯絡酒主魯迪,幾番交接後,彭索越來越懷疑魯迪是騙子。同一時間,一位買入不少魯迪紅酒的億萬富豪威廉科赫,亦找來專業私家偵探追查,最後更令聯邦調查局介入。 2012年3月,魯迪被在自己家中逮捕。警方在他家搜出一萬九千張全世界最昂貴葡萄酒的酒標、打印機、空瓶,以及混合了各種不同葡萄酒的“ 半製成品”。最終魯迪被判10年監禁,再賠償3億美元給害人,但據科赫聘請的私家偵探稱,魯迪涉及假酒的總額實際達過億美元。

表面上,事件是平息了,卻仍留下不少謎團﹕像魯迪所製作的假酒非常花功夫,有專家計過他售出市面的產量,最少一萬五千小時的製作時間,是誰在協助他?又在02至06年的時間內,魯迪的假酒拍賣得非常順利,能在行內眾多餐酒眼前瞞天過海,又是否有人協助他?

這些問題很可能永遠得不到答案,卻有一點可以肯定的,就是魯迪的驚人味覺是真實的,從2001年開始,魯迪在短短的20個月裏品嚐了超過三千款頂級葡萄酒,之後盲品都做到百發百中;有此才能在酒界必有一番作為,可惜卻走歪了路。

The popularity of “Dr. Conti” rose sharply in a short period of time, and he also met many influential people, such as Arthur M. Sarkissian, the film producer of “Rush Hour 2” and John Kapon, the third-generation chairman of Acker, an American wine merchant. Kapon was ambitious to enter the wine auction market, hence the two hit it off.From 2003 to 2006, Kurniawan had unloaded wines worth an astonishing USD 35 million at the Acker auctions. However, their luck had almost entirely run out…

In April 2007, Kurniawan consigned several magnums of 1982 Château Le Pin at Christie’s.

When the winery knew it, it contacted the auction house and issued a statement clarifying that it had never produced such wines. Several similar incidents occurred afterwards. The following incident made a fatal blow to Kurniawan’s reputation.

One night in April 2008, Acker held a wine auction in a fine-dining restaurant in New York with a lively atmosphere with bidders as usual. During the auction of the Domaine Ponsot wines, a tall Frenchman shouted and claimed that he was Laurent Ponsot. and asked Acker to withdraw the wines.

The head of Domaine Ponsot insisted that the bottles were fake as the domaine had never made a Clos St. Denis prior to 1982. Hence it was impossible to have the vintages ranging from 1945 through 1971, with wine labels indicating 1929. After contacting with Kurniawan for several times, Ponsot believed Kurniawan was a wine swindler. At the same time, Bill Koch, a billionaire who bought a lot of wines from Kurniawan, also unleashed private detectives and even FBI to expose the fakes. Kurniawan was arrested in March 2012 in his mansion. The police found about 19,000 fake labels,printers, empty bottles and semi-finished wine mixtures. The wine counterfeiter was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay USD 300 million in compensation.

The incident has subsided, but there are still mysteries left unsolved: some experts have suggested that the vast wine production by Kurniawan required at least 15,000 hours. Moreover, the wine sales from 2002 to 2006 ran smoothly under the eagle eye of numerous wine experts. Was there anyone assisting him?

These are probably questions never get answered, but one thing is certain – the sophisticated palate of Kurniawan. Since 2001, he has tasted more than 3,000 top wines in just 20 months, acing a blind tasting with 100% accuracy.The talented guy would get a great achievement if he didn’t go astray.

魯迪卡尼曼
Rudy Kurniawan