Investor sues Napa wine merchant for $1m

A US bond investor is suing a Napa wine merchant for US$1 million, accusing the company of selling him dozens of fake Bordeaux wines.

Jeffrey Gundlach

Jeffrey Gundlach, the founder and CEO of US-based investment company DoubleLine Capital, filed a lawsuit against Napa wine merchant Soutirage last month at the Los Angeles Superior Court.

In it, he claims the merchant sold him 67 bottles of fake wine, which he has said will cost more than $1 million to replace.

As reported by CNBC, Gundlach says Soutirage, based out of Yountville, had assured him of the wines’ provenance when he expressed concern. However a wine expert he hired privately to assess the credibility of the bottles concluded otherwise.

Among the wines in question are a 1928 Latour, a 1947 Cheval Blanc, and a magnum of 1961 Petrus.

A separate lawsuit, filed by Gundlach, accuses the company’s founders, Aimee and Chadwick Meyer and Matthew and Ashley Wilson, of fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

According to Forbes, Gundlach is worth $1.66 billion, with DoubleLine having $100 billion under its management.

The outspoken investor studied math and philosophy at Dartmouth and then Yale, but passed on pursuing a doctorate in 1985 to be the drummer in a rock band called Radical Flat. He later turned his hand to financial investment after answering a classified ad.

Speaking to Wine Spectator, Aimee Meyer, COO of Soutirage, said: “We stand by our products and services at all times, and know how important it is to maintain our clients’ trust. Though pending litigation limits what we can say, I can tell you we are working hard both to understand and satisfy our client.”

A hearing is scheduled for November 27.

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