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Wine News

Vintage Tale to star Brad Pitt

Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt is to star in the film of Benjamin Wallace's Billionaire's Vinegar. The story tells of how in 1985, at an auction by Christie’s of London, a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux —unearthed in a Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson —went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. The discoverer of the bottle was Hardy Rodenstock, a pop-band manager turned wine collector with a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumours about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn’t Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? Pursuing the story from London to Zurich to Munich and beyond, Benjamin Wallace offers a mesmerizing history of wine and of Jefferson’s wine-soaked days in France.

The court case surrounding the counterfeit Jefferson bottles continues and billionaire William Koch has asked a US appeals court to revive the lawsuit against Christie’s for assisting the sale of the fake 1787 Lafite bottles. He had bought them from Hardy Rodenstock for around US$500,000.