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Is it a problem with all these new “cheap amarones”?

Are all the new, low(ish) priced appassimento, ripasso, passito, “baby-amarone” wines a cause for concern? I received an interesting question on email from someone in the wine business. In short: “You see more and more of ‘cheap amarone’ (or ripasso, appassimento, passito), not least in Sweden at Systembolaget where amarone has become fantastically popular, but […]

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The world’s biggest spirits brands 2012

Do you know which the world’s biggest selling spirit is? It is probably not at all what you think! There is actually quite a lot of myths around which is the world’s biggest selling spirits brands. One reliable source for information is IWSR (International Wine and Spirits Research). They have recently published their Top 100 […]

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An Italian woman with long legs and high heels

Champagne is like haute couture?

More and more champagne houses mention the disgorging date on the label. A champagne often spends several years in the cool cellar of the producer, resting on the dead yeast from the second fermentation. Removing the lees is called disgorging. It is quite fashionable today to put this date on the label, along with information […]

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Bernard Magrez Stradivarius

Saint Emilion and Stradivarius for lunch

In late October we were invited by Bernard Magrez to a luxurious lunch at Le Cinq, star restaurant at the Hôtel Georges V in Paris. We were there to celebrate several things. Bernard Magrez’ Château Fombrauge in Saint Emilion had just been given its new classification, Grand Cru Classé, and he had only a few […]

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Wine shop in Bordeaux

Prices on Bordeaux primeurs mostly going up

Prices for Bordeaux primeurs are mainly going up. Again. Is that a cause for concern? No, we argue. Most if not all chateau in Bordeaux will have announced their prices for the primeurs 2010 by now although many of the “releases” seems to have been done later than usual. Perhaps that is because they wanted […]

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Chateau Lafite circular barrel cellar

Prices on Bordeaux primeurs mostly going up

Prices for Bordeaux primeurs are mainly going up. Again. Is that a cause for concern? No, we argue. Most if not all chateau in Bordeaux will have announced their prices for the primeurs 2010 by now although many of the “releases” seems to have been done later than usual. Perhaps that is because they wanted […]

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In a wine shop

Wine sales on internet up 30%, in France

According to recent statistics wine sales on the internet grew with 30% compared to last year and reached 176 M euro in France. The increase is higher than the growth in general e-shopping, that grew on average with 24%. But it is still only a minor part of all wine that is bought on the […]

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A bio-dynamic dynamiser dynamiseur to make herbal infusions by stirring a mix of plants and herbs in water.

Biodynamic management training!?

Biodynamic winemaking is a subject that elicits very diverging views (and that is often misunderstood). Some wine commentators (and winemakers) are totally convinced that the sometimes strange principles work, while others seem to approach the issue as a crusade with an enemy (“the non-scientific biodynamists”) that must be crushed. Now there is a new twist […]

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The world market in wine in pocket format

Global Wine Markets, 1961 to 2009: A Statistical Compendium is the name of a recently published book on the international trade in wine, published by The Wine Economics Research Centre at the University of Adelaide. It is filled with all sorts of statistics on the global wine market. You can buy the printed book for […]

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Old bottles in the cellar, 1961

A Perfect 10?

Mother Nature was unkind in 2010 – an earthquake in Haiti, floods in Pakistan and an unpronounceable volcano in Iceland. There was huge financial trauma; many are still recovering. But commodities and collectibles – especially wine – have carried on regardless. The art market – or at least Damien Hirst’s reputation – wobbled before the […]

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Chateau Haut Brion

Record price for vineyard in Bordeaux

A chateau neighbouring Chateau Haut Brion has been sold at a record price. It is Chateau Les Carmes Huat Brion that has been bought by a Bordeaux based real estate company. The vineyards are 4.7 hectares, there is a park of 3 ha and a chateau of course. The vines are classified as AOC Pessac-Léognan. […]

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Estelle Roumage, Chateau Lestrille

Delicatessen and wine shop in Bordeaux

We are in no way neutral in this case: Chateau Lestrille is a small, family-owned chateau in the Entre-deux-Mers region in Bordeaux, one of those “small and little known”, as opposed to “big and classed growths”. But this is the category where you can find many well-made and interesting wines at very reasonably prices (certainly […]

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Stainless steel fermentation & storage tanks

Constellation sells wine business, loses top slot

Constellation is the world’s biggest wine producer, as mentioned elsewhere in the Brief. However, they are now set to lose the top spot to Fosters or E&J Gallo. Constellation is in the process of selling its British, Australian and South African wine business. The buyer is a Champ Private Equity. The price tag is said […]

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Christmas gift tip: champagne for sale

Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck are two champagne houses both belonging to Remy Cointreau SA. According to Bloomberg, Remy is now looking to sell the two houses. The champagne business made an operating loss of 4 m euro for the 12 months to March this year. Remy Cointreau wants to focus on its core spirits activity […]

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The Chinese wine market: a specialists’ blog

Many wine producers are betting the future on the Chinese wine market these days. The export sales to most countries are weak, but China seems to have caught an appetite for wine. According to the latest figures, if they are correct, China is now the biggest export market for Bordeaux wine, ahead of the UK. […]

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Cognac Renault acquired by Altia from Pernod Ricard for € 10 M

Cognac Renault is a brand that is mainly known on the Scandinavian market. Best known is the premium brand Renault Carte Noire, popularly called Black Renault. Altia Corporation, controlled by the Finnish state, has acquired the brand and some stock from Pernod Ricard for 10 million euro. (The acquisition is pending approval from authorities.) We […]

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Bordeaux gets new boss

Georges Haushalter has been named new President of CIVB, the producers’ marketing and promotion as well as co-ordination organisation in Bordeaux. CIVB is a very powerful and influential organisation in the wine world. They have a multi million budget for information and marketing world wide and have a great influence over what happens in Bordeaux. […]

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The world’s biggest wine producers = 15% of the total

There is a handful of very large wine producers in the world, who together represent a quite big proportion of world wine production. It is not always obvious who they are since they sell their wines under a variation of different brands and rarely under their own name. that is perhaps not very surprising since […]

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Chateau Rollan de By up for sale?

Chateau Rollan de By is a chateau in the northern Médoc that has in recent years acquired a certain fame, no doubt not to an insignificant degree thanks to the marketing skills of the owner, Jean Guyon. According to La Revue des Vins de France Guyon has put up Rolland de By for sale, and […]

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Why is Bordeaux 2009 so expensive?

One can with good reason wonder why it is that Bordeaux 2009 is so expensive. It is the most expensive vintage ever, in spite of an international wine crisis, with prices reaching dizzying heights: Yquem €540; Lafite, Mouton, Margaux €550; Haut-Brion, Latour €600; Cheval Blanc €700; Ausone €800; Le Pin €1050. Per bottle. Long before […]

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Bordeaux prices continue up for 2009s?

More and more “release prices” have been announced from the chateaux in Bordeaux, for the wines that were tasted a couple of months ago at the “primeurs”. The tendency seems to be upwards, sometimes a lot. However, it is a little bit early to judge the total picture. But from what has been seen so […]

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