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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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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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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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Aevum Limited Edition Crystal Decanter Series

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As part of The Penfolds Collection 2017 release, we are proud to unveil the second decanter in the Aevum Limited Edition Crystal Decanter Series. This contemporary, minimalistic crystal decanter is an evolution to the previous hallmark Saint-Louis crystal cut. The new design showcases the fluidity of the fine wine within with a flowing band of incised crystal, allowing an uninterrupted view of the depth of colour and consistency of the liquid inside.  Hand-blown by a Saint-Louis master craftsmen, each decanter is artistically designed to delicately aerate the wine. The Penfolds Aevum Crystal Decanter gift box includes 2013 Grange 750ml and a certificate of authenticity. Decanting Wine Delivering the ultimate service ritual is part of our culture and wine etiquette. Tradition, care, decanting and ceremony is woven into the fabric of Penfolds and transcends the ordinary. It enhances the enjoyment of a Penfolds wine to release aromas and flavours through aeration, and importantly delivers an unforgettable...

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2016 Bordeaux’s Greatest Hits

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© Rebecca Gibb | Figeac was one of the stand-out wines from last year's vintage. Former Wine-Searcher editor Rebecca Gibb MW goes wandering through the barrel halls of Bordeaux. There's no disputing that the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux is going to go down in history as a stunner: even as barrel samples the wines are bloody delicious. The general standard across the region is nothing short of incredible. Of course, in a region with more than 6300 winegrowers, there are going to be hits and misses, particularly when there was a drought and young vines have their roots in gravel or sandy soil. But on the whole, there are very few wines you'd put in Room 101. While the winemakers and many critics are calling this a classic; the weather in 2016 was far from classic. It rained and rained in the first half of the year – cue disease. And just when they...

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EVIDENCE OF OLDEST WINE IN HUMAN HISTORY DISCOVERED

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The oldest evidence ever found of wine made using grapes has been discovered in Georgia. Some 8,000 years old it confirms that mankind’s relationship with wine is as much as 500-1,000 years older than previously thought. In a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of historians and scientists laid out the biomolecular archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence for the earliest wine yet discovered. The lead author on the report was Dr Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania who has been the discoverer of numerous ancient wines and alcoholic concoctions, including the funerary wine of ‘King Midas’ (actually of his father King Gordius) and the, until today, oldest evidence of wine yet discovered; 7,000 year-old traces found in pottery from the Zagros Mountains of northern Iran. The team analysed trace evidence preserved in clay jars recently unearthed in Neolithic villages in southern Georgia, not far from...

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AFC WIMBLEDON WINE TASTING EVENT

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Well done to AFC Wimbledon's Business Team on hosting a fantastic wine tasting networking event. In the above image above you can see several of our staff listening intently to the wine expert. We look forward to your next event! https://www.afcwimbledonbusinessclub.co.uk/events      ...

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