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This “Classy Deal” Just Got Another Touch of Class

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AFC Wimbledon have officially guaranteed themselves safety in League One! We are over the moon for them. We will be attending the final game of the season on Saturday to present Manager, Neal Ardley with a much deserved bottle of something special. Neal has guided the club since 2012. During this time he has helped to further Wimbledon's position. We cannot think of a better man to take the team forward even more. We will also be playing in Wimbledon's annual Sponsors Football Match on the 8th of May. Hopefully Neal will be able to sprinkle some of his football magic on our staff....

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We’re Following the Dons, Are You?

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As you may know by now, UK Agora are proud hospitality sponsors of AFC Wimbledon. Today we are proud to learn that Rivals MK Dons, who infamously "stole" Wimbledon's Football League position when the club was forcefully relocated to Milton Keynes have been relegated to League Two. During this time AFC Wimbledon have managed to form a Phoenix club, rise through the Football Leagues and surpass their rivals. Safety is yet to be promised but is still highly possible. When asked to explain this fierce rivalry, Nicholas Gibbs, Sales Director at UK Agora replied "You cannot clone enthusiasm. It is not something that can simply be purchased - it stems from the fans. The FA made the decision to move the club but it's heart remained in Wimbledon". "Much like with the production of Fine Wine, you could purchase vines from Bordeaux, move them half way around the world, but is that vine going to be an exact...

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Wine Critics: A good or Bad Thing?

The Fine Wine Investment Market is driven by critics. Today we explore whether their influence is deserved, as well as whether we should listen? If you have been involved in the Fine Wine Market on any capacity, chances are you have come across Robert Parker Jr. Although there are many wine critics across the world Robert Parker Jr's influence is unrivalled. He offers a simplistic scoring system. 50 Points is the lowest score a wine can received, and 100 is the highest. Many regard Parker as the guru of the Fine Wine Marker. His influence can quite literally make or break a wine. This has lead to a culture within the wine producing world where producers aim to please him. Because if Parker is a fan, chances are the rest of the wine community will follow. Should one man have such an influence? This questions has been asked many times over the decades and...

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Lloyd Sam steps up fitness by completing full 90 against Rovers

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By Rob Cornell New signing Lloyd Sam completed the full 90 minutes for an AFC Wimbledon development side against Bristol Rovers today. The experienced winger's crossing and set-piece delivery looked more than useful in a 1-1 draw that consolidated top spot in the Central League for Alan Reeves' side. Striker Richard Pingling scored from the penalty spot to level the scores in a match played at Yate Town. Wimbledon were just unable to plunder all three points against a Rovers team reduced to 10 men in the 47th minute due to Alfie Kilgour's red card. In an eventful second-half, an outfield player was forced to take over in goal for Rovers after keeper Thom Jonkerman's injury. Nik Tzanev returned in goal, back from international duty with New Zealand after being an unused substitute for the defeat in Spain against Canada. Paul Kalambayi, on loan to Tonbridge Angels, took the captain's arm band. Chris Hargreaves' Rovers...

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‘COS100’ RELEASED AT €23K A BOTTLE

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Cos d’Estournel has announced it will be selling the remaining 98 double magnums of its limited edition ‘Cos100’ for €23,000 a bottle. Launched in January this year, the limited edition wine from the 2015 vintage was produced from a centennial plot of Merlot vines at the Saint-Estèphe estate known as the ‘Parcelle des Femmes’ after the women who planted it while the First World War was at its height. Just 110 large format bottles were produced; 10 12-litre Balthazars and 100 3-litre double magnums. Two Balthazars and two magnums were auctioned by Sotheby’s at two sales, one in New York on 28 February and one in Hong Kong on 10 March. Together they raised €325,000 for the charitable organisation, Elephant Family which works to protect Indian elephants. Now, the remaining 98 double magnums are being offered to private buyers exclusively from the domaine for €23,000 a bottle. Packaged in a specially engraved bottle, individually numbered and...

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UNSEEN ANDY WARHOL LABELS RELEASED BY NAPA WINERY

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Napa Valley winery Cuvaison has launched a new series of wines with ‘forgotten’ labels designed by Andy Warhol, who once said the original labels were “lousy”. The collaboration apparently began in early 1980s after Warhol was served a bottle of the Napa Valley Cuvaison wine at a dinner party in Switzerland hosted by his friend and the winery’s owner, Alexander Schmidheiny. When Schmidheiny asked what Warhol thought of the wine, Warhol replied, “What a lousy label,” and suggested a redesign. Commissioned by Cuvaison, Warhol took polaroids of grapes in a variety of patterns to create over 50 unique silkscreen prints for Cuvaison labels. The designs, however, were then forgotten about and left in a drawer until now. Thirty-five years on, Cuvaison, in association with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, has released the first limited-edition set of the ‘Andy Warhol by Cuvaison Collection’. The ‘Series One’ range is now available in Hong Kong and consists of...

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The Bordeaux Report

As En Primeur begins, we look at how Bordeaux is maintaining its grip on the wine world. By Tom Hyland and Wine-Searcher Staff | Posted Friday, 23-Mar-2018  Bordeaux isn't getting any more affordable, nor is it likely to; but there are some bargains to be had by canny collectors, according to the people who make it and those who sell it. As Bordeaux prepares for the En Primeur season, it's a good time to take stock of where this pre-eminent region sits in relation to the wine industry and the future. Our contributor Tom Hyland interviewed some of the region's top producers, while Wine-Searcher staff spoke to merchants around the world to get a feel for how both sides see Bordeaux's prospects. At a tasting in Chicago, representatives from more than 90 different Bordeaux estates poured their wines – white, red and sweet – from the 2015 vintage. The tasting featured producers of the...

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Boom Times for Austrian Wine

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An unheralded wine-producing region is enjoying the fruits of its labors – and the spotlight. By Natalie Sellers | Posted Friday, 16-Mar-2018 With a booming worldwide wine trade, it can be tough to pick the next big thing – but the central European country of Austria might just be it. Despite a small 2016 vintage, which reduced Austria's normal export volume by 3.3 percent to 46.8 million liters, the quality continued to be markedly high, leading to Austria's greatest export year for wine. A total increase of 7.4 percent was reported by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, translating to a record total of €158.6 million ($195m), the first time Austria has made it past €150m. Austrian wine exports rose rapidly from the end of the 1990s, but hit a plateau in 2004. Three years later, another steep rise saw exports almost double by 2013. Growth halted then for another three years, but looks to be...

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Champagne Exports Hit Record Heights

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Life's a gas for bubbly producers as thirsty international markets drive sales through the roof. By Caroline Henry | Posted Wednesday, 21-Mar-2018 Champagne exports hit a new record last year, with new markets making up for a disappointing result in one of the region's traditional strongholds. Poor sales in the UK were attributed to a post-Brexit tightening of household purse strings and a devalued currency, but Asia helped producers forget about the gloomy British picture. The record value figure was carried by the increasing export sales – which are now just shy of 50 percent of the total production, with 153.5m bottles sold totaling €2.8bn, or 57.4 percent of the total sales value. In concrete terms this means export sales increased by 5.4m bottles compared to 2016. The French market share decreased slightly in volume (from 158m bottles to 153.8m bottles) but the sales value remained stable at €2.1bn. Over the weekend, the Comité Champagne...

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The Million-Dollar Nose

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With his stubborn disregard for the hierarchy of wines, Robert Parker, the straight-talking American wine critic, is revolutionizing the industry -- and teaching the French wine establishment some lessons it would rather not learn. THE most influential critic in the world today happens to be a critic of wine. He is not a snob or an obvious aesthete, as one might imagine, but an ordinary American, a burly, awkward, hardworking guy from the backcountry of northern Maryland, about half a step removed from the farm. His name is Robert Parker Jr., Bob for short, and he has no formal training in wine. He lives near his childhood home, among the dairies and second-growth forests in a place called Monkton, which has a post office but no town center. A new interstate highway has reduced the drive to Baltimore to merely thirty minutes, but otherwise has had little effect. Monkton remains rural...

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