Tuesday 19 September 2017

A Tale Of An Empty Bottle Of DRC 1964 Richebourg - OR - How I Turned Into Rudy Kurniawan For One Day

If you haven´t already, and have a couple of days over, you just have to read the 167 pages long thread about Rudy Kurniawan on the Wineberserkers forum - Rudy Kurniawan & global wine auction fraud thread.

I have read every page and post since the start on the 4th of February 2012.

The whole affair with Rudy that ended (?) with his 10 year prison sentence has also been captured on film with the movie Sour Grapes (a must see!)

One detail that has fascinated me is - how did Rudy "make" these old Burgundies? There have been some "recipes" circulating on the net, but I thought I would give it a go myself...

The original 1964 Richebourg. Drunk at my 40 year bash and performed nicely although I thought it to be a tad warm but with rich, deep, hedonistic fruit. I scored it 92p then. My blend was better, see below...

The set up. I bought a bottle of 2014 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir from Brewer-Clifton. Why? See the pic below from Sour Grapes (evidence from the Rudy trial) - Richebourg and Brewer-Clifton standing side by side, Rudy had something going on there...
I first opened a generic Burgundy from 1964 from my stash but that one was clearly over the hill, so I grabbed a bottle of 1976 Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsort, Clos Frantin.

With the two bottles of Pinot I started out making a DRC 1964 Richebourg. I toyed with a couple of different blends before I came to the conclusion that approximately 80% Vosne-Romanée and 20% Brewer-Clifton was the ideal blend. It still tasted like a mature Burgundy but it had a firmer backbone and a lovely sweetness in the background.

The result. Halfway in our Barolo Boys dinner I presented an interlude between the flights. No other information was given. The unanimous verdict was that of a high quality Burgundy with some age, the guesses landed in the 80´s. I then presented the bottle...
A hint of disappointment - a 64 DRC Richebourg should have, or anticipated being, even greater, but there were not any disbelief that it was the real thing.
Then I presented me as Rudy Kurniawan. Shows over. We then tried the three wines side by side, the Clos Frantin, the Brewer-Clifton and my blend, and the result was again unanimous, the blend was the finest wine.

"1964 Richebourg, DRC" - Barolista style
A mature, deep, spicy nose with dried wild strawberries, moist forest floor, coffee grounds and a touch of mint. Deep, fine and a with a very fine sweetness.
The taste is mature, multi layered and warm with notes of sweet/sour raspberries, licorice, beet root and autumn leaves. Very long and finely structured. A fine mouthfeel. Really fine.
I can see a new career for myself...
93p   (tasted 2017/08)


  1. We'll try to remember to visit you in jail, Joakim! ;-)

    1. I should hope so! With lots of DRC bottles...:-)