Koch takes fellow collector to court

25th March, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Billionaire businessman and wine collector Bill Koch will begin new legal proceedings today against businessman Eric Greenberg.

William Koch

William Koch

The lawsuit is the culmination of six years of legal wrangling by Koch against Greenberg and the auction house Zachys.

In 2011 the drinks business reported that Koch had settled out of court with Zachys but his suit against Greenberg still stands.

The case centres around an auction in 2005 at which Greenberg was the main consignor.

Koch bought 24 bottles for several thousand dollars, including 1945, 1811 and 1870 Lafite, the latter for US$29,172.

Many have subsequently been found to be fake on further inspection – along with many other bottles on Koch’s cellar.

Koch stated in the suit that Greenberg had bought a great deal of the wine in his collection from New York City-based merchant, Royal Wine Merchants.

Greenberg himself is then reported to have discovered much of the wine was fake when Sotheby’s refused to sell it.

Despite returning a great deal of the wine to Royal Wine Merchants, Koch’s suit claimed he put other lots up for sale, fully aware they were not the genuine article.

Greenberg is said to have declared, “what they did to me, I’m going to do to somebody else.”

His initial attempt to sell the wine, including magnums of 1921 Cheval Blanc, through Acker Merrall & Condit were similarly rebuffed.

Greenberg’s lawyer, Bill Cunningham, told the Guardian that Koch was, “like Ahab,” in his pursuit of those he claimed had done him wrong.

Cunningham added that Greenberg himself had not selected the wines that appeared in the Zachys auction.

“No one doubts that there were counterfeit or inauthentic wines in [Greenberg’s] collection,” he told the newspaper.

“But what we are concerned with is firstly that Eric Greenberg did not select the wines for auction and did not knowingly sell inauthentic wines. Secondly, even the experts do not agree [about what wines are fake].”

It is also expected that the trial will see the name Rudy Kurniawan emerge, as the alleged counterfeiter (himself on trial at the moment) is said to have had dealings with Greenberg in the past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more