Magnum, Pee-Yew

Wine fraud -- it's all the rage. As in, three Magnums of a 1921 Bordeaux, from France's Chateau Petrus vineyard, were supposed to be auctioned off in Chicago at the end of October -- and for a small fortune. Only, the bottles were yanked at the last minute by the auctioneer, after another auctioneer said, "Ya know, I don't think them's the real deal." Turns out, reports the Chicago Tribune this morning, the alleged phonies came from "a Texas collector" -- and a Dallas wine broker was the one who outed them as fakes.

Last summer, Dallas wine dealer Jim Leeuw said he was approached by a customer who wanted to sell off part of his collection, including three magnums of 1921 Petrus. Leeuw said he declined to broker the sale, warning that the Petrus and several others in the collection might be counterfeit.

Which didn't stop the auction house from "prominently" featuring the consignment in the auction catalog, till another auction house raised the red flag on the red wine. Dunno who the Texas collector is -- the auction house and Leeuw ain't talking -- but now the FBI's involved. --Robert Wilonsky

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