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Photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.
The wine world can't stop talking about last week's arrest of Rudy Kurniawan, a Los Angeles–based collector who had allegedly been selling counterfeit wines for years. The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI announced five counts of fraud charges that could each result in 20 years behind bars, and bloggers swarmed over the government's spectacular photos—most notably, a shot of a file cabinet in Kurniawan's home that was stocked full of brand-new-looking labels for highly desirable old wines, like 1950 Pétrus.
His case has even inspired a range of fascinating secondary stories: New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov recalled how Kurniawan became an industry star; Reuters chronicled the rise of wine fraud in China; and Bloomberg published a sort of wine-counterfeiting how-to.
Kurniawan specialized in old wines from prestigious estates—wines that could command huge sums at auction. Mentioned in the US Attorney's Office press release is a group of 78 bottles purportedly from Burgundy's undisputed top producer, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, that were expected to sell for more than $700,000. They were withdrawn from auction when onlookers noticed oddities on their labels (for example, bottles that claimed to be from between 1959 and 1971 included an accent mark not used until 1976).
Here are five current-release red Burgundies that may not be quite as prestigious, but are certainly a bit more affordable. They're not cheap (Burgundy rarely is), but you'll get what you pay for, because these bottles are real.
From the F&W Wine Guide 2012:
2009 Louis Jadot Bourgogne ($17)
An excellent vintage gives this basic wine depth and richness.
2009 Faiveley La Framboisière Mercury ($35)
A straightforward, affordable taste of textbook Burgundy, with graceful red fruit and spice.
2009 Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune du Château Beaune Premier Cru ($53)
Made since 1907, this earthy, fruity cuvée blends fruit from a handful of premier cru vineyards.
2008 Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis ($70)
More affordable than most of Dujac's estate-grown reds, this sleek, outstanding wine melds sweet red cherry with fragrant violet and spice notes.
2009 Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Corton Grand Cru ($130)
Produced only in the best vintages, this bottling features the ideal Burgundy combination of structure and seductive grace.
Related: Value Wines