File Size: 3664 KB
Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (May 13, 2008)
Publication Date: May 13, 2008
Speculation was rife due to age and significance of this bottle, not just for the qualities as wine but also because of its historical importance. The bottle experienced been consigned to Christie's by Hardy Rodenstock, a German wine collector who refused to say where it had come from, revealing only that it was from a invisible cellar in an unknown 18th century house in Paris. The cellar allegedly contained a hundred bottles, two dozen which, all from 1784 - 1787, were engraved with the inventeur "Th. J. " Right after a bidding war, Kip Forbes, son of author Malcolm Forbes, was declared the winner with a bid of 6, 500.
Questions began to arise about this bottle almost immediately. There was no evidence that Jefferson experienced ever purchased a 1787 Lafite, as well as in fact, Jefferson had recorded the purchase of only a pair of the four wines that Rodenstock had found. The engraving style on the auctioned bottle had never before been utilized by Jefferson, and the other Rodenstock wines experienced exactly the same engraving style. "It seemed odd [too] that whoever first found the bottles will not have searched them to the greatest bidder, rather than automatically supplying Rodenstock. " As several more of the Jefferson containers came up for public auction over the next few of years, each one setting a brand new record, questions continued to arise about the bottles themselves, the amount of evaporation, and ultimately, even the instruments used to engrave the bottles. Unusually, at every tasting Rodenstock sponsored, his men secured the corks and sealing wax after the bottles were opened up, and nobody had accessibility to them for testing purposes.
In the second half of the book, author Benjamin Wallace takes the reader from 1987 to the present, detailing the new techniques which can now be used (and were later utilized on the Jefferson bottles) to date bottles, wines, sediments, engraving, wax, and corks. Hi-tech labs, with experts on everything from tests for germanium, thermoluminescence, carbon dioxide, and lead, create a fascinating story showing how the wine market has developed to the current and the shields now in spot to prevent fraud of this characteristics. Benjamin Wallace keeps the excitement high as he details the search for information about the Jefferson wines and the eventual outcome regarding their "rightness. " Nicely researched and filled with details about the wine industry, the book bears reading now, in light of recent decisions in the lawsuits through William Koch and the auctioneer, Eileen Broadbent., As a non-drinker who couldn't tell a Haute-Brion from Martini and Rossi, I still found personally intrigued by the idea here and so I actually thought it would be a good, entertaining read. And indeed it is. A crazy-quilt of eccentrics people the world of collectable, rare wine. Through the way more money than sense types who pay upwards of 20K for a bottle of something they don't actually have any idea of what it will taste like, to the haughty taste-maker / experts who's jerk or frown determine might be found, there is no conclusion of curious individuals on display here.
But distant as this world may be to you, or at the very least, me, there is much to recognize here in the way of individual nature: greed, deceit, wishful thinking, hubris, dissembling, decadence, foolishness, and one-upsmanship on a grand scale. Wallace delves deeply to the mysteries of the "Jefferson" containers and their fabricated historical past. The story is convincing, highly-readable and filled with twists and turns that business lead from dusty, 18th Hundred years cellars to modern physics laboratories. All along the way, Wallace the actual action (or in some cases, inaction) comprehensible and interesting. A lot of reviews here, and almost all of them positive. Almost all add my voice to chorus. A fine, engaging read., I'm a wines snob, I admit it. This was a great read. I love wines and so I love reading about the techniques of the. This guide give attention to a niche market of ultra old, incredibly rare and outrageously expensive wines sold, auctioned and traded from the past due 70's through the middle of the 90's. The main focus is one individual who always had an unlimited availability of these old wines. The books also focuses on a number of the key players involved with this individual. I actually don't want to disclose to much info here, just read the guide!, This is an interesting mix of true crime, the particulars and snobbery of the vintage wine market, those who can afford to participate in this expensive collectible game, and the diversity of personalities involved. Much fascinating detail and history of rare wine, the growers, the public auction houses, reputations and the nefarious players who certainly gravitate towards the forgery of any rare valuable. If you are into crime, forgery, collectibles, wines or a good private investigator story, there is something here to delight everyone with a genuinely fascinating adventure of skulduggery and egos in a very rarefied atmosphere that few is ever going to have to worry about., I found this guide overly detailed for the general reader. I do like the stories about Thomas Jefferson but I actually found the many information of various wines and wineries to be very boring. In the event you a wine fanatic I think you have a different opinion. I do believe this story would have made a great magazine article but was not meaty enough to be a book. I did plow through and the pace does pick up a bit within the last few chapters. I actually was expecting more reports of capers and less descriptions of lavish wines tastings which have limited interest to me., Money, ego, and fraud just seem to go together sometimes. This book is an interesting telling of the dirty world of fake " rare" wine that began to flourish a lot more rich people became enthusiastic about the snob appeal of buying and consuming the rarest wines despite the possible dubiousness of the authenticity.
With some editing this could be a tight read, but overall worth reading a high level00 wine fanatic.
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