In addition to Jeff Sokolin and Daniel Oliveros of Royal Wine Merchants, several other people figured prominently in my June article: Bill Koch, the collector who has been leading an effort to combat what he believes is an epidemic of fraud in the fine wine market; Eric Greenberg, a collector who allegedly sold Koch counterfeit wines, including a magnum of 1921 Pétrus; and the critic Robert Parker.
Koch, who has initiated six lawsuits since 2006 as part of his crusade, won a default judgment against Hardy Rodenstock last spring. According to Koch's spokesman, Brad Goldstein, he has now settled with two auction houses that he sued, Chicago Wine Company and Zachys. He is still pursuing claims against two others, Christie's and Acker Merrall, as well as against Greenberg.
In September, Greenberg sued wine appraiser William Edgerton, who was also cited in my article, accusing him of breach of contract (neither I nor Slate was mentioned in the complaint). Edgerton consulted for Greenberg at one time but now works for Koch. In December, Greenberg withdrew the case.
Parker responded to my article with two posts on his Web site. In the first, he said he still believed that the magnum of 1921 Pétrus served at the Rodenstock tasting he attended in Munich in1995 was real. He said he had a "great time" at that event and at tastings hosted by Sokolin and Oliveros, and that if he'd had any concerns about "criminal activity," he would have contacted the F.B.I. He went on to say that once the "rumors surfaced" about Rodenstock and Royal, it was "adios for me until this thing gets resolved one way or the other in a court of law." He didn't dispute any of the details that I reported in my story. But in his follow-up post, he said that the piece contained "lots of misinformation and intentional exaggeration." He was asked by a subscriber to specify what was incorrect or misrepresented. He never replied.