You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Sunday 5 July 2015

Tang sues LA lawyer for libel over ‘fake’ DRC

15th October, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Hong Kong’s former chief secretary Henry Tang has filed a lawsuit against LA lawyer Don Cornwell after he challenged the authenticity of DRC Tang put up for auction.

Henry Tang

Simon Tam of Christie’s leads the Henry Tang auction held in Hong Kong this March

As reported by the Wine Spectator, Tang filed the writ at Hong Kong’s High Court on 17 September.

Tang is suing Cornwell for libel, alleging that a letter he wrote to Christie’s questioning three lots of Burgundy consigned by Tang to a two-day sale put on by the auction house in Hong Kong last March “injured” his reputation.

Cornwell wrote to both Christie’s and the FBI before the auction stating that three lots in the sale were “problematic”. He also raised the subject on online wine message board Wine Berserkers.

One of the disputed lots: 1978 DRC Montrachet

One of the disputed lots: 1978 DRC Montrachet

The lots included a Methuselah of 1971 La Tâche, a three-bottle lot of 1959 Romanée-Conti and a case of 1978 Montrachet.

“It has come to my attention that Mr Tang purchased a number of the bottles in his collection from Richard Torin of Clarets in Santa Barbara. I am told that Mr Torin has at all material times been the single largest customer of Antonio Castanos.

“Mr Castanos acted as a wholesaler for wines supplied by Rudy Kurniawan. That should give Christie’s and Mr Tang considerable concern especially as there are relatively few photographs in your catalog,” Cornwell said in a statement to the auction house.

Indonesian-born wine collector Rudy Kurniawan is due to stand trail in New York in December two counts of wine fraud.

“Henry Tang wanted a public apology from me. But that would be an acknowledgment of fault, and I believe what I wrote is correct,” Cornwell told the Wine Spectator.

“I did nothing wrong and I certainly do not think that Henry Tang deliberately engaged in selling counterfeit wines,” he added.

Tang hit out at the claims at the time, dubbing them “unsubstantiated and false”.

“It has come to my attention that there were some allegations against a tiny part of my wine collection that was put to Christie’s for auction recently.

“These allegations are totally unsubstantiated and false. It is hardly convincing for anyone who purports to know wine just by looking at the labels without going into their provenance,” Tang said in a statement.

The La Tâche was withdrawn from the auction as “a precautionary measure”. The two-day auction brought in US$6.2 million.

CORRECTION: This article was updated on 7 November to clarify comments made by Don Cornwell regarding the origin of a number of the wines put up for sale at the Christie’s auction.

Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Australia puts quality centre stage

Wine Australia has pledged to invest AUD$35m annually for the next five years more...

The week in pictures: Hong Kong

The new Veuve Clicquot cocktail, the indefatigable Etienne Hugel and tasting more...

Wine from Napoleon’s carriage to be sold

A bottle of wine apparently found in Napoleon’s carriage after Waterloo – more...

Marketing and eCommerce Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive, includes equity options

Rise for Haut Bailly in Liv-ex 2015 classification

Liv-ex’s bi-annual “re-classification” of Bordeaux saw Haut Bailly leap more...

Top 10 wine brands 2015

In a year that saw major shifts in the global wine market, the drinks business more...

En primeur: beware the heralded vintage?

From an investment point of view is it best to buy the “vintages of the more...

Hong Kong: Red obsession

While whites are starting to be taken seriously in Hong Kong restaurants, the more...

Hart Davis Hart biggest in US

Chicago-based wine auctioneer Hart Davis Hart is the market leader in the US in more...

Top 10 Hong Kong craft beer bars

Anyone looking to quench their thirst with a ginseng microbrew should more...

Is fine wine turning a corner?

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index is finally showing a year-on-year gain as it more...

Auction house snaps up online wine specialist

Online auction firm Bid for Wine has been sold to The Fine Art Auction Group in more...

Louis Latour Agencies signs Gosset

Louis Latour Agencies marked its 25th anniversary last night with the more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

Bordeaux 2005: Biggest movers

Expectation surrounding the 2005s is building and pushing up prices for top more...

Sutcliffe steps down from Sotheby’s role

Serena Sutcliffe MW has stepped down from her position as worldwide head of more...

10 of Hong Kong's oldest bars

To commemorate the 18th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover on 1 July 1997, more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Bordeaux 2005: 12 ‘perfect’ wines

Twelve wines have been given “perfect” 100-point ratings in Robert more...

Austrian wine importer launches in Hong Kong

A wine importer specialising in Austrian wines has launched in Hong Kong to more...

Is Parker wrong about the 05 Médocs?

With no Médoc wines gaining 100-points in Robert Parker’s retrospective of more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

Rhône valley makes push on younger HK market

Rhone Valley Wines' recent annual tasting combined art and film in a bid to win more...

AWC launches £75k Versailles oak wine case

The Antique Wine Company has marked its 25th anniversary with the launch of a more...