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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > The Monkey Hole > The Cellar
Kirk
A must read cliff hanger
I know someone already mentioned this somewhere, but it's a great article and a fun read, I highly recommend it.
Jaded Prole
Enough to make JMFrank jealous.
hartsmar
I like this part
QUOTE
Serena Sutcliffe, the head of Sotheby’s international wine department, jokes that more 1945 Mouton was consumed on the fiftieth anniversary of the vintage, in 1995, than was ever produced to begin with.
Jaded Prole
I've met some Sotheby’s reps and they were scum.
Pataphysician
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Sep 2 2007, 12:37 AM) *

I like this part
QUOTE
Serena Sutcliffe, the head of Sotheby’s international wine department, jokes that more 1945 Mouton was consumed on the fiftieth anniversary of the vintage, in 1995, than was ever produced to begin with.



Heh, heh. That's a riff on an old joke: Corot was a very prolific artist, he painted 800 canvases in his lifetime. And 4,000 of them are in America.
Absinthesizer
QUOTE
… more 1945 Mouton was consumed on the fiftieth anniversary of the vintage, in 1995…
It says something about America's innumeracy that the editors of a much-more-literate-than-average magazine felt compelled to spell out exactly what year was the 50th anniversary of 1945.
Pataphysician
I'm begining to think that the entire American psyche is somewhere outside of history.
Donnie Darko
That was a great article.

IMO the forensic analysis of the etching in the glass proves the engraving is fraudulent. Rodenstock's defense that collectors may have just retooled the "Th. J" engraving to make it more visible is ludicrous. Ah yes, let me risk damaging an extremely valuable item with this dremel tool. And while I'm at it, let's take this ball-point pen and clarify some of those letters in the Declaration of Indepedence I can't quite make out…

This has got me wondering about that bottle of India Ale that sold on eBay recently for more than the Jefferson bottle.
Ari
That Van Gogh isn't a forgery, the buyer just cleaned and painted over the strokes with store bought paint to make it prettier.

I loved this logic. Roden, “Is there any better proof that the wine was genuine when world-renowned experts described it as superb and gave it the highest possible grade?”
It tastes good, thus it's real.
Donnie Darko
Rodenstock has really got us there. What could possibly be a more scientific barometer of authenticity than personal perception?
Jaded Prole
That's the truthiness of it.
Wild Bill Turkey
Kirk's thread has more responses than the other thread about this same article! LARS!.gif
The Standard Deviant
Kirk provided a link to the article.
Wild Bill Turkey
This thread also stays on the forum index page because it stays at the top of the queue in the proper sub-forum, instead of getting buried in the general absinthe discussion forum by general discussions about, well, absinthe.

BTW, cliff-hanger is right! I had no intention of reading a 10-page article when I clicked on that link. It's a great story.
Kirk
I knew I saw it mentioned but I couldn't find it, so I started this thread, today I saw the other, maybe someone could merge the two?
TreesPlease
Can liquids be dated? Analyzed for degradation?
Absomphe
Only my left hand can answer that mysterious question, and he never kisses, and tells.
The Standard Deviant
Short answer: liquids which have come from living organisms are suitable for radiocarbon dating. So wine is fine here.

If you want to know how it works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiocarbon_dating
Donnie Darko
That wouldn't be suitable for dating a wine that's around 200 years old though, no? From what I understand and from what the article says, there's a window of inaccuracy of around 150-200 years with radiocarbon dating. It works great for fossils but not so great for something so new like a wine from the late 1700s.

This might be a case where a Mass-Spec could come in handy. One probably could build a library of the chemical makeup of vintage Lafitte/Lafite samples and then compare the contents of the bottle to that range. I would also think it would be possible to genetically identify wine that came from pre-Phylloxera vines vs. the newer Phylloxera resistant stalks, which would at least indicate whether or not the contents of the Jefferson Lafite are from before 1880.

However, if Rodenstock is a clever con-man as opposed to a dumb one, I suppose he could have just had some other already valuable vintage bottle of Lafite engraved with Th.J. and thus increased its value astronomically. I'd guess that's the more likely scenario.

I'd be really curious to hear Oxy's opinion on all this, since he's a seller and collector of vintage wines and spirits and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he already knew who Rodenstock was before this New Yorker exposé.
Bruno Rygseck
Is it true that wine can be used for dating water samples using its tritium content? I just read this from a Finnish book about liquor and spirits manufacturer Marli, their 100th anniversary yearbook from 1967. It says that rain water contains natural tritium that is formed in the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays and has the half life of 12,5 years. In old wines whose age is known the tritium content could be used as a benchmark to date a water sample.
The Standard Deviant
The composition of the air has changed quite a bit in the past few centuries, so yes, that would make analysis less reliable.

That tritium analysis sounds interesting.

As for DNA's robustness in wine:

QUOTE
DNA fingerprinting could also be used to determine the variety of wine in the bottle, at least young wines. "DNA material from the vine does end up in the wine," she said. However, it doesn't last long. It is easy to find in the must and during fermentation, and grapevine DNA material has been detected in a wine up to 1 year old, but it is difficult. "The process of winemaking--racking and filtration especially--tends to get rid of longer pieces of DNA," she said.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m348…i_85242682/pg_1

QUOTE
Vine DNA Used To Prevent Wine Fraud

One of the most unusual uses of DNA technology has been introduced by BRL Hardy. The company is using DNA taken from cuttings of one of Thomas Hard/s original vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia to be incorporated into a seal on the labels of their top-of-the-line Eileen Hardy Shiraz.

Hardy marketing manager, Jim Humphrys, was quoted as saying that some counterfeiting of the wine had been taking place. "The temptation is there for people to do some copies, and we have been concerned about that issue for some time," he said.

The seal is tamper-proof and can only be removed by tearing it off. The DNA can be authenticated using a special light. The technology was created by DNA Technologies of Sydney and was used to protect Sydney Olympic tickets.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m348…i_85242682/pg_4
It sounds that they are using DNA as a buzzword there, their solution is simply a form of seal. Clearly that doesn't help to prove the age of an old wine, either.
Donnie Darko
That's good to know. I didn't know one can't really get genetic information from old wine.

I'd still think some sort of chemical comparison could be possible though between some legit vintage wines and Rodenstock's questionable counterparts. Although maybe not since it sounds like it's hard to find any of those vintages that did not come from Rodenstock.
hartsmar
Judge rules that the court has no jurisdiction over embattled German wine dealer Hardy Rodenstock, but plaintiff William Koch will refile

http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Features...tml?CMP=OTC-RSS
Donnie Darko
That's unfortunate. I hate it when jurisdictional issues hinder what could otherwise be a worthwhile case.
The Standard Deviant
I bought some beer from Rodenstock, I think it was called Grand Cru. Awful, sour stuff. What a con!
Provenance
Try it on tap.
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