Pretty much anyone who consumes any wine media at all couldn't have avoided hearing the names Hardy Rodenstock, William Koch, Michael Broadbent, and Thomas Jefferson in the past year or two. The story of Koch and his purchase of, and subsequent lawsuit over, forged bottles of wine purported to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson has gotten a lot of air time, been reported on relentlessly, and of course been dramatized in the well written book, The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace.
If by chance you haven't heard about this saga rippling through the world of fine wine, never fear, the major motion picture will be coming out in 2012, directed by David Koepp.
I've read many accounts of the issues, allegations, facts, and emotions surrounding the various players in the scandal. I've also watched with interest as the story has started to become less about the cantankerous Koch and his bottomless legal coffers, and more about the growing epidemic of counterfeit wine in the upper echelons of the wine industry.
And now Michael Steinberger, one of my favorite wine writers, has just penned a truly exceptional piece of investigative wine journalism that throws new light on many shadowy nooks and crannies of the luxury wine market, including the role that Robert Parker may have unwittingly played in encouraging the growing counterfeit wine industry.
Even if you have gotten a little tired of this story, as I have, this lengthy exposé is worth reading in its entirety. I'll go out on a limb here and peg it as the most likely contender I've ever seen for a James Beard Journalism award. It's great stuff.
Check it out. You'll never want to buy another magnum of 1921 Petrus again.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Wine and Beauty Explained San Francisco's Lost Sommeliers Finding Pirate Treasure With a Corkscrew Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 1, 2015 Vinography Images: Sonoma Spring Siduri Wines: Rewarding the Search for Flavor Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 22, 2015 Vinography Images: Frost and Fog The Glory of 2013 Napa Cabernet: Tasting Premiere Napa Valley A Dose of Claret: Visiting With 2010 Bordeaux
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune