It's something acquired through years of sophisticated training and a lot of expensive wines. Additionally, as important sums of money are thrown around, it is also the kind of area ripe for pretense. Similarly to, perhaps, the market for art collectors, there will always be people who understand art, historically and aesthetically, and those who collect it for the sheer exercise, be it financial or egotistical. The same applies to wines. It's in this contrast that Sour Grapes comes alive. The story is told through a limited collection of archival footage of Kurniawan and present day interviews with people in the business: collectors, sommeliers, wine producers.
It paints this canvas of wine as an ultimately simple and beautiful experience, pandering somewhat to Domain Ponsot's lavishly poetic narrative. Lavish to the point of being hypocritical, even. And it also frames Kurniawan as this endearing character, much liked by those who bought his wines. There's surprisingly little sourness to the movie, especially for so much money being involved. Yet, that also plays into this idea of the exclusive wine club, where people are so enlightened and rich , that they can look beyond trifling deceptions worth millions.
So perhaps that's part of what I didn't quite like, the neatness of it all, the lack of further prodding. You also get a sense there's a template for these meta-documentaries, where a deeply ironic situation is framed with lyrical prowess, only to sustain some unnecessary ambiguity about its central character s.
Kurniawan is guilty and a bunch of people were defrauded, even if he might have had to bear the brunt of it. But there's also a certain beauty to being caught in such a great deception, because the contrast is so stark. The story sells itself, so the point of the movie was to somehow capture it with the limited footage it had of its lead. Atlas and Rothwell came good and they also managed to leave any sardonic undertones as just that, undertones.
Ultimately, even for someone with no taste for wine, I was excited by the end, having sat through this very particular tasting menu of intricate lies. The thought that nothing is quite black and white lingers in the knowledge that thousands of Kurniawan wine bottles are still in wine cellars around the world. Some real, some fake - and the afterthought that one might not really want to know the truth.
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Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Those who considered themselves his friends, like the film producer Jefery Levy, and those who regularly tasted with him — the sommelier and wine producer Rajat Parr, for example — were adamant. He knew how to taste wine. Parr said he was pretty impressive. Correctly identifying a wine blind in front of a roomful of experts is not something you can fake.
If one state of mind could be said to characterize all the individuals involved, from the FBI to the CIA, Bill Koch and dogged Goldstein to the extraordinary Downey, it would be perplexity. Several of the people he defrauded are still shaking their heads in disbelief.
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No way," Levy says. They're so sure that he didn't do it, yet it's quite clear that still no one knows who he is — was — where he came from, who supplied him with money.
In the end, he is a cipher. In hindsight you can see he knew the ride couldn't last for ever. The more you watch the footage, the more you detect a glimmer of desperation in that chipmunk smile, the hearty laugh, the hail-fellow-well-met backslappings of head sommeliers and celeb collectors, the clunking hints. When the FBI came knocking, he answered the door in his dressing gown. Sign in. Inside the Weird World of Rudy Kurniawan. As a Rudy Kurniawan documentary hits Netflix, Adam Lechmere watches and wonders how he got away with it for so long.
Posted Tuesday, Dec Kurniawan House Described As "Wine Factory" Rudy, Fraud and Wine Snobs Those duped by the great wine forger Rudy Kurniawan — who is serving a year prison sentence for fraud — seem to have been prey to the same wilful blindness, according to the documentary Sour Grapes. To join the conversation, comment on our social media channels. Recent Stories View All. The World's Best Zinfandels Dec Taking the Direct Route to Wine Nov World's Best Rieslings Nov Brian, from Enfield, Co Meath , came across it on Netflix while trawling the streaming service.
Inside the Weird World of Rudy Kurniawan
I was gobsmacked. Kurniawan, 42, born in Jakarta, Indonesia, was found guilty on several charges of fraud in December Much of it turned out to be of dubious origin.
Billionaire buyer Bill Koch filed a lawsuit against Rudy in , alleging he knowingly sold fake bottles to him and other collectors, both at auction and privately. RAN out of space last week to mention a wonderful new enterprise by brother and sister Brid and Colm Carter who established the successful Honest2Goodness food market on Saturdays in Glasnevin.