“…it is HDH’s policy that wine cannot be returned for a refund.” Jason Hernandez
My lawsuit against Hart Davis Hart alleges that HDH had, based on multiple facts, not only knowledge that the bottle of wine was counterfeit, but that HDH had intent to sell this fake wine to an innocent, trusting buyer (who turned out to be me). It should be noted that I had purchased wines from HDH many times before (under previous ownership), and never had a problem; therefore, I trusted them.
HERE ARE THE DETAILS OF MY “MERITLESS” CASE:
HERE ARE THE FACTS OF THE CASE:
I purchased a bottle of 1955 Leroy Chambertin from Hart Davis Hart in mid 2019.
The consignor had purchased the same bottle from Acker in Dec 2018.
A few months after he bought it from Acker, the consignor (whose identity I cannot reveal at this point) consigned it to HDH for HALF the price he paid to Acker for it.
BIG RED FLAG (especially to HDH! — they had to know it was fake).
In mid 2019, I bought this bottle as a birthday gift for my friend Jay McInerney (55 is his birthyear).
In January 2020, in NYC, with a group of very well known wine collectors, we drank the bottle at a dinner for Jay’s 65th birthday. I had sent the bottle to NYC 3 months in advance in order to let it settle.
Every single wine expert at that dinner was very suspect, not only of the fact that the wine did not taste like 55 Leroy Chambertin (which Jay and I have shared more than a dozen times) but by the blurry label and the unstamped cork and the strange (never seen before on a Leroy bottle) importer strip (Consolidated Distilled Spirits Of Chicago).
1. The Cork was not stamped (Lalou Leroy told me all the 55 Leroy corks were stamped because it was the year her father died, and his final year of making wine — so every single one of the corks from their 1955 Vintage was stamped “1955” as a memorial to her father). The 1955 Leroy Chambertin is regarded by Ms. Leroy as “the best wine my father ever made.”
2. Martine Saunier (importer of Leroy for more than three quarters of a century) told me in writing that “Consolidated Distilled Spirits” (the import strip) absolutely never imported any 1955 Leroys. Absolutely not. Especially not the very very special 1955 Chambertin.
3. What’s even more interesting is that the ACKER auction sticker had been removed when I received the wine (I was only able to discover that the wine was originally purchased from Acker through private investigation), and through the admission of lawyer Jason Hernandez himself, in writing.
4. Finally, as the most suspicious, questionable behavior of all, the guy who runs HDH, Allan Frischman, testified against John Kapon and Acker as an “expert witness” in the Kurniawan trial. Why would Mr. Frischman testify as an “expert witness” against an auction house that he claimed to be fraudulent, and then, just a few years later, sell a wine from that same auction house for HALF the price his consignor paid for the wine just a few months before? VERY BIG RED FLAG.
When I went back to HDH, I received an over-the-top threatening letter from a lawyer named Jason Hernandez, who was an assistant prosecutor in the Kurniawan trial, but is now in private practice in Miami (and apparently pals with Allan Frischman), representing white collar criminals (as well as others).
5. All of the dozens of experts I have shown the photos of the bottle and cork have written to me, based on the photos, that the label itself is extremely suspect, they have never seen the import strip “Consolidated Distilled Spirits of Chicago” on a Leroy wine (although some have seen it on La Tache from the 70s and 80s), and all the Leroy corks are vintage stamped, especially the most famous Leroy of all, The 1955 Chambertin.
Does this seem “meritless” to you?