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

An article from The Drinks Business by Lauren Eads




Ever controversial, BrewDog is planning to open a craft beer bar on the USA/Mexico border, making a physical statement about its values of “collaboration and inclusivity”, alluding to US President Donald Trump’s plans to build a 1,000 mile wall between the two countries.
Named ‘The Bar on the Edge’, the exact location of the remote bar remains a secret, but will aim to reflect the Scottish brewer’s ambition to expand to the “farthest reaches”.
All BrewDog has said is that half of the bar will be in Texas and the other half in Chihuahua, Mexico, and that it will be built out of old shipping containers.
The geographical border will be represented by a dotted line across the centre of the bar and along the venue’s outdoor seating area, with US beers served on the Mexico side and Mexican beers on the US side, as well as BrewDog’s range of craft beers, brewed in Columbus Ohio.
“Beer has always been a unifying factor between cultures – and our business was born from collaboration and an inclusive approach – so we thought it would be fun to place the bar a few feet further to actually cross the US-Mexico border too,” said James Watt, co-founder at BrewDog.
“We will request official permission from the local authorities to put it there and adhere to any red tape stuff, but I guess it would make it more difficult to build a wall if there’s a BrewDog bar in the way. We’re planning on putting the bar there anyway until someone tells us to move it.”
Although the bar will be nowhere near any regular footfall, BrewDog hopes it will become a “magnetic pole” for craft beer fans on both sides of the border to come together.
The announcement will be celebrated with a Tex-Mex craft beer event at the brewery’s DogTap taproom in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, with beers from Texan breweries Alamo Beer Company, Brash Brewing, No Label Brewing, 512 Brewing, Copperhead Brewing and Buffalo Bayou set to feature alongside craft beer cocktails with Mexican mezcal and Tequila.

An article from The Drink Business by Lauren Eads



An archaeologist believes she may have found proof of Naboth’s biblical vineyard at an excavation site in Jezreel Valley, Israel.
The Jezreel Expedition was founded in 2012 with the aim of surveying, excavating and documenting the site of greater Jezreel over a long period of time.
Dr Norma Franklin, one of the heads of the expedition, and her team have already established that the valley was a major wine producing region during biblical times.
Now the team believes it may have found proof of Naboth’s vineyard, which was said to have been located in the Jezreel Valley according to the biblical text, 1 Kings.
The scripture states that Naboth the Jezreelite owned a vineyard in Jezreel, near the hêḵal of King Ahab of Samaria. King Ahab wanted to turn the vineyard into a vegetable garden, saying to Naboth: “Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs. (I Kings 21:2). To which Naboth replied: “The lord forbid that I should give up to you what I have inherited from my fathers!”
Using laser technology, Dr Franklin believes she may have discovered proof that the vineyard was in fact factual and did exist during this time.
Several wine and olive presses were discovered including the largest ancient winepress in Israel found to date, along with more than 100 bottle-shaped pits carved into the bedrock, which Dr Franklin believed were used to store wine.
“Vineyards do not leave archaeological remains, but circumstantial evidence suggests that Jezreel likely had one,” said Franklin in a report on her findings.
“Kibbutz Yizre’el alerted us to the fact that they had independently conducted a soil analysis and found a plot of land with proper quality for growing grapes, whereas the soils in the fields further west were found to be better suited to growing olives. This plot is immediately north of an ancient winery, and during the biblical period wine processing areas were generally located next to vineyards.”

An article from The Drinks Business by Lauren Eads


ScreenHunter_4641 Jun. 30 10.18.jpg

The Tequila Regulatory Council (TRC) is threatening to sue Dutch brewer Heineken over its use of the word ‘Tequila’ in its Tequila-flavoured Desperados beer brand.

The TRC, a trade group of Mexican Tequila producers, claim that the beer is in violation of its DO rules, which state that to use the word ‘Tequila’ a beverage must contain a significant quantity of the spirit.
Desperados is a beer flavoured with Tequila and lemon and aged in Tequila barrels, however the TRC claim tests carried out in Madrid prove that it doesn’t actually contain any Tequila and therefore does not qualify to claim use of the name.
The council has been preparing a case against Heineken’s Desperados brand for the past 10 year but haven’t had the funds to pursue it, until now.
“We cannot permit someone unscrupulously to affect Tequila’s prestige,” Ramón González, CRT director-general said speaking to the Financial Times. “Either they take the word Tequila off it, or they put some Tequila in.” If they refuse, “we’ll have no choice but to fight this [in court]”.
It comes shortly after the sale of George Clooney’s Tequila brand Casamigos to Diageo for $1 billion, signalling the category’s continued move upmarket. Further highlighting its growing success, in February José Cuervo, the world’s biggest Tequila producer, raised more than $900m through an IPO.

An article from The Drinks Business by Lauren Eads