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DoubleLine's Gundlach Sues California Wine Merchant Over Bogus Bordeaux

FYI:(Thank God, the Linkster's bond money is with Pimco, and not with Jeff, the headline seeker !)

Jeffrey Gundlach, one of the world's best-known bond investors, has sued a California wine merchant he said sold him several dozen bottles of fake wine, including Bordeaux that experts consider among the greatest wines ever made.

In lawsuits filed on Friday, the founder of DoubleLine Capital claimed that at least 67 bottles he bought from Soutirage were fake, and that it would cost more than $1 million to replace them.


  • I certainly enjoy good wine, but the whole idea of spending $15,000 on a bottle of wine (times 67 bottles!) is absurd. Think of what that could do for a homeless shelter, food pantry, after-school program, arts organizations, and other charitable endeavors.
  • So true Bob but where/what would be the media exposure for any of those events? As with you I also enjoy fine wine but honestly I have a hard time discerning the difference between a $100 and a $10 bottle so these days I almost exclusively buy the latter and send the difference to the causes you mentioned.
  • edited July 2017
    Not so fast. Gundlach's pretty bright and probably bought the wine as an investment.

    "The term ‘alternative investments’ is relatively loose, and includes tangible assets such as precious metals, art, wine, antiques, coins and stamps, plus some financial assets such as property, venture capital, funds and trusts.

    "Investing in wine, whether that be a rare bottle, a case of highly-regarded First Growths or an entire cellar, has consistently yielded decent low-risk returns. In fact, for the last 50 years the fine wine market has remained stable, despite the world’s economic crises ..."

    Agree with @Mark. Wine around here's often on sale at 20-30% below list. Some stores offer an additional 10% off if you buy 4. You can almost always find decent tasting Californias for around $10.
  • No yacht for Jeff !? Maybe the wine was for use on his yacht !?
  • We drink wine every night with dinner. Personally, I've done so since I was eight years old. (Yes, that's "eight",not "eighteen".) I must mildly disagree with the $10/"decent" threshold mentioned above... IMHO it's closer to $15 for good wine (at least here in northern CA), though some decent reds from southern Italy can be found at Trader Joe's for under $5.
  • edited July 2017
    I'll concede to your experience Old Joe.

    I'm only a few years into wine. But, always find both the Red Rouge and Cab from Clos du Bois (Senoma County) pleasant. Retails for $12-$15 and can be had for $10. I realize this is grocery store level stuff and may have come from anywhere before they branded it. But, to my inexperienced taste, it's pretty decent.

    If you've heard of the brand, your (always) blunt appraisal is appreciated.:)
  • edited July 2017
    Haven't tried those two, but have had some perfectly decent Clos du Bois whites from Trader Joe's- $12-$15 sounds about right. Don't worry about where where you find decent wine at a decent price- grocery store or not. When you do find a good deal, but a case and stash it in a reasonably cool place. Reds should hold up for at least five years, whites for maybe one or two.

    Edit: "Good" wine is what you like, nothing more, nothing less. There is absolutely not a direct correlation between price and quality, once you get above, say maybe $20 or so. The price/quality curve is usually fairly well correlated up to $18-$20 or so, and from the on up it really flattens out, to a point where you are paying for an "ego trip", bragging rights, or maybe collectivity, to give Gundlach the benefit of the doubt.

    There are exceptional specialty wines of course- limited harvests from a small vineyard plot, and that type of thing. But for everyday use with dinner, $12-$15 should be just fine.
  • edited July 2017
    Strictly red. (And thank you, Sir)
  • @OJ,
    Costco, Total, and the occasional lucky twofer bin in the front of your local packy have good reds, sometimes, Costco often, for well under $15 and often under $10.
    Hard to find, takes some taste-testing, suffering duds.
    But for everyday we drink and serve (and have done so for years) good-enough chiantis (principally sangiovese, sometimes nebbiolo-mixed), riojas (principally tempranillo but sometimes garnacha-mixed), malbecs, the rare pinot noir, lots of montepulcianos, and when lucky modest bordeaux, all in the $6.50 - $10 range. Blends, of course, though you have to go through a lot of sketchy stuff.
    Hard to find in that range good cabs, merlots other than bordeaux, zins, and shirazes but probably doable. The herbaceous and/or grapy-jammy weaklings wind up going to the cooking deglaze bottle.
  • edited August 2017
    I would agree that there are lucky finds under $10, but if you explore this price range consistently you will drive up the average price considerably, as of necessity you purge the undrinkables. In our area at least, the grouping between $12 and $20 gives the best results for relatively consistent and predictable quality. But there are certainly exceptions- the under $5 at Trader Joe's for the Epicuro group of red wines from southern Italy being an example. We are stocking some four cases of these at this time.

    For over thirty years we have kept approximately 40 cases of wine on hand in a small air-conditioned room- nothing fancy, I assure you- but we have a fair amount of experience in selecting relatively inexpensive wines of decent quality.
  • Not quite following your point but sense your defensiveness. Not luck and not lucky.
    Just go exploring at Total and/or Costco and you'll see. TJ is fine and d'Alba etc and others from Sicily and southern Italy can be similarly fine, sure. Have not bought a daily-drinking bottle over $10 in any quantity for years, if ever. Those I buy selectively.
    Just slogged though a couple dozen gifted 1950s-1990s reds, perfectly stored but 80% over the hill, sad story. Some only slightly sherried, bordeaux and burgundies and barolos and NoCal cabs, so drinkable, and lots of finesse, but muddy by the end.
    Was glad to be back to my large cheap cellar of ~~6yo 2000s, all of them under $8 tops. I see some Totals in NoCal unless you're up near Eureka:) , then Costco.
  • Just discovered Aldi grocery stores on the west coast. Quality wines with attractive price -$8-15 a bottle.
  • I taught at Humboldt State University in the early 1970s, and even then spent some time on weekends in what was then a rather small-potatoes Sonoma-Napa wine country. But ever since then, I have visited on a somewhat regular basis. What a transformation there. Even though I have had the privilege of traveling through much of Western Europe's wine regions, I still gravitate to Northern California because of its familiarity. We belong to a number of wine clubs (Robledo, Wilson, Seghesio, Domaine Carneros, Geyser Peak, etc), mostly in Sonoma, and like others here enjoy wine almost every night with dinner. We have a group of friends that has gathered every Thursday night for more than 30 years to share some very good wine and conversation. Good friends, good wine, good food, good conversation. The world could use a lot more of that.
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