Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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The gripping tale of skulduggery arising from the Christie’s 1985 auction of the so-called ‘Jefferson Lafite’ was the first high-profile case in a subsequent litany of suspected counterfeit wines, highlighting the growing need for the authentication of fine wine. Skyrocketing fine-wine prices, increased global demand, and the initial complacency of wine producers, auctioneers, and fine wine traders exacerbated the likely loss of revenues, brand values, and consumer confidence still further.

With the emergence of new markets, asia in particular, the potential for irretrievable damage has led to a rise in the number of wine appraisal and authentication experts as well as the exploration by producers and collectors of methods of validating the authenticity of their wines. Such approaches are limited to a certain extent, however, by a lack of coordinated effort that would result in shared industry standards and solutions such as education, investigation, and law enforcement.