As reported in CNN and elsewhere, Italian police recently cracked down on an international ring of criminals involved in the production of counterfeit Sassicaia, one of the most expensive and highest rated wines produced in that country. According to authorities, the criminals were bottling inferior wine from Sicily and labeling it as the highly sought-after 2015 vintage of Sassicaia, a release that was named Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of the Year in 2018. The global average price of a bottle of 2015 Sassicaia is $304 USD, and the potential turnover on this operation was estimated at €400,000 (approx. $475,000 USD), with orders received from clients in Russia, China, and Korea before the operation was halted.
Luxury goods including fine wine and foods comprise an important sector of Italy's economy, and the industry has faced a constant battle against counterfeiting, with lost sales in excess of 4.2 billion euros annually. In the case of the Sassicaia counterfeiters, their operation was so sophisticated that even the tissue paper used for wrapping the bottles matched the exact weight of the original, and they were even able to duplicate the anti-counterfeiting hologram imprinted on the labels produced by the winery. Estate Wine Brokers provides complimentary authentication services for most wine bottles, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you suspect that you've been sold a fake.