Peter Hellman, author of
In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire
In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire marks a new, notorious legend in wine: the story of Rudy Kurnuawan, a 20-something Indonesian immigrant who bursts onto the rarified scene of ultra fine wines in 2002. Blessed with the gift of a discerning palate and a knack for tracking down impossibly hard-to-find bottles, he transforms himself from a virtual unknown, living illegally in the US, into one of the most sought-after and respected members of wine’s high society. For the next six years, he reigns as a purveyor of the last century’s most storied vintages, all from a seemingly limitless supply. The wealthiest collectors spend tens of millions of dollars on wines from his cellar, considered at the time perhaps the greatest on earth.
But in April 2008, crates of Domaine Ponsot red burgundy from Rudy’s cellars – dating back as far as 1945 – are abruptly pulled from an auction. The problem: The winemaker is certain that a particular wine was first produced in 1982. Journalist Peter Hellman was there, and would closely investigate as, over several years, Rudy’s world comes spectacularly crashing down.
Peter Hellman, a New York-based journalist and author for more than 40 years, has been a contributor to Wine Spectator for more that a decade. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine and many others. His books include When Courage was Stronger that Fear, Chief! and Fifty Years After Kitty Genovese. He and his wife, Susan, live in New York City.