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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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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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Fraud Squad Finds Château-not-du-Pape

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Investigators put some numbers to a wine scam that put cheap wines into Rhône bottles. By Don Kavanagh | Posted Monday, 19-Mar-2018 French authorities have put numbers on a massive fraud uncovered last year, with an estimated 66.5 million bottles of inferior wine being sold off as Côtes du Rhône, with some even labelled as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. French consumer fraud investigators brought the CEO of bulk wine company Raphaël Michel to court in August 2017. Guillaume Ryckwaert was released on a €1 million ($1.2m) bond and his lawyer claimed jealous rivals were trying to discredit him. The allegations against Ryckwaert and the company claimed that cheap table wine from outside the Rhône had been knowingly mislabelled and sold into the trade. According to a report in the English-language French website thelocal.fr, France's consumer fraud body, the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF) revealed last week that almost...

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FINE WINE INVESTMENT: PAST PERFORMANCES

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As we shall see, investing in fine wine is becoming more like investing in stocks and shares as the market expands, a feature attested to in many recent Liv-ex reports. This means that all investors have to be very careful as to what exactly they buy. You can’t just pick up a few cases and expect all to be well. The market is now much too broad for that. 30 years ago the range of availability was so narrow that virtually anything you bought went up in value. Not now, as is patently obvious from the evidence which follows. When assembling the portfolio a year ago we took the view that an overweight position in Bordeaux was merited as the recovery in prices from mid 2015 would lead to an improvement in confidence in the sector, and while that has been true for the ‘Super Seconds’ and the Second wines on the...

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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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Club News: Neal proud of his team and the support from ‘incredible’ fans

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Neal Ardley praised Wimbledon's battling performance after his side threatened to deny Premier League Spurs at Wembley today. It needed a double from Harry Kane to finally swing it Tottenham's way and the 7,700 Dons in the famous stadium clapped their team off at the end, despite a 3-0 defeat. Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: "When you play against these teams it is very hard to get out and get some territorial advantage. We thought our best chances would be from set-pieces and we had to play quickly because they press so well. We did our best. They put out a strong team, but we frustrated them. We also had a good moment of our own through Jimmy Abdou. That was a great moment. It was always going to be hard to get into their box too often and Lyle was good when we did. It was a...

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Château Haut-Bailly owner Bob Wilmers dies

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Robert G Wilmers, known widely as Bob Wilmers, died at his home in Buffalo, New York State, on Saturday night. He was aged 83. Owner of Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan since 1998, and neighbouring Château le Pape since 2012, Wilmers was also the long-term CEO of M&T bank in Buffalo that he grew into one of the biggest financial institutions in the United States, all while retaining his image as a careful, risk-averse steward. Investor Warren Buffet said of him when learning of his death, ‘he was a remarkable banker, an even more remarkable citizen and wonderful friend’. In Bordeaux, he will be remembered for elevating Château Haut-Bailly into one of the very top estates of the region, investing in both vineyard and cellar and giving full trust to the considerable talents of director Véronique Sanders. ‘Bob arrived at Haut-Bailly extremely discreetly,’ Olivier Bernard, president of the union for Bordeaux grands crus (UGC), told...

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