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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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10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About La Mission Haut-Brion

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This Bordeaux estate has been producing wines fit for royalty for nearly 475 years No. 1: A matter of destiny: In 1983, Château La Mission Haut-Brion became the property of Domaine Clarence Dillon – already the owners of neighboring estate Château Haut-Brion. The history of the properties shows that they were first linked right back in 1540, when Bordeaux merchant Arnaud de Lestonnac bought a parcel of land in Pessac – known as the Arregedhuys plot – that would one day form the basis of La Mission Haut-Brion. In the same year, de Lestonnac married Marie, sister of Jean de Pontac, the first significant owner of Château Haut-Brion, who had arrived there just seven years earlier. The marriage meant that the two men became brothers-in-law, and the estates became friendly rivals – although it would take almost 450 years for them to be officially joined. No. 2: Aristocratic buyout: For the formal signing of the 1983 purchase...

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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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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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Wine Country Still Hurting After Fires

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The road to recovery for area's hit by October's fires will be long and hard, commentators reckon. By Liza B. Zimmerman | Posted Monday, 27-Nov-2017  A month after some of the largest forest fires in the history of Northern California broke out, it is still difficult to get an accurate count of the real amount of damage done. Almost all of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino's wineries, hotels and tasting rooms were closed for ten days to two weeks starting from October 8th. A month later, everyone is open for business but many of the tourists, particularly those traveling from a greater distance, have yet to come back. In multiple visits to Napa and Sonoma over the past two weeks, I have seen less-than-full tasting rooms, restaurants and hotels. So approximately two weeks of shuttered tasting room and restaurant doors would represent a three-to-four percent loss on the $7.2 billion in tourism spent by 23.6...

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Battling Dons prove a match for Peterborough as they earn point

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By Rob Cornell Wimbledon produced a battling display as they matched Peterborough United in front of the live TV cameras. Lyle Taylor opened the scoring inside the first minute and Cody McDonald notched his first Dons league goal in a 2-2 draw, as Wimbledon produced a strong team performance and weren’t to be denied when the visitors turned the score around in the first-half. There were two changes to the line-up that beat Lincoln City in the FA Cup first round over a week ago. George Francomb returned on the left side of defence for Callum Kennedy (back injury), while Liam Trotter came back into centre midfield in the absence of Jimmy Abdou – who was away on international duty with Comoros. Wimbledon got off to the perfect start when Harry Forrester’s ball found Taylor on the right-hand side of the penalty area. The Dons striker kept up his excellent run of form with...

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Penfolds releases $3,000 Grange blend

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Penfolds has created a blend of three of its famous Grange shiraz vintages, and each bottle will cost $3,000. Blessing or sacrilege? Angel or monster? Wine supplier Treasury Wine Estates has blended three vintages of its iconic Penfolds Grange shiraz to create a rare and pricey conglomerate: Penfolds g3. It is the first time Penfolds has created a blended Grange, using wine from the 2008, 2012 and 2014 vintages. Only 1,200 bottles of Penfolds g3 will be available worldwide, a scarcity that is reflected in the $3,000 price tag for each 750ml bottle. Some lucky wine enthusiasts were treated to the only pouring of g3 at the Liang Yi private museum in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong on Wednesday night. Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago says the g3 is a natural result of the venerated art of blending. "It wasn't about selecting the biggest or the best Grange vintages," Mr Gago said. "It was about making something different,...

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Treasury Settles Up Over Dumped Wine

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The sorry tale of millions of bottles of spilled wine is finally over for the world's biggest winemaker. By Wine-Searcher staff | Posted Tuesday, 29-Aug-20177 Miscalculating the US wine market has had a $39 million sting in the tale for the world's biggest winemaker, as Treasury Wines Estates settled a class-action lawsuit this week. The suit was filed in 2014 after Treasury announced a surprise $151m writedown of its US operations, causing a sharp fall in its share price. Investors sued, claiming that Treasury had released an unrealistic profit guidance in late 2012 and that the subsequent writedown was foreseeable. The profit guidance was met, but only after massive oversupply of Treasury product into the US market, which caused a glut of inventory on distributors' shelves. In the end, the company discounted stock heavily, before eventually destroying 18m bottles at a cost of $30m. The exercise caused a steep drop in the company's share price,...

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Is d’Yquem a Golden Investment

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Yquem was the only wine classified as Premier Cru Supérieur in the 1855 classification. Then seen then as the most prestigious wine of Bordeaux The only Grand Cru Sauternes and therefore unlike the five 1st growth, has no rival in its class. Owned by LVMH the powerhouse luxury goods in China China recently lifted the ban on wines that contain more than 250 mg/l, paving the way for Sauternes, in particular Yquem In July 2011, an 1811 bottle of Yquem was sold at the Ritz in London to a private collector for £75,000 ($117,000) Château d’Yquem explored Château d’Yquem is considered the best and most well-known sweet wine in the world. It is located 15 miles to the south of the city of Bordeaux and the picturesque Château occupies the highest point in Sauternes. The vineyard is planted solely with Sémillon (80%) and Sauvignon Blanc (20%) grapes. Only fully botrytized grapes are used and it takes...

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Penfold Grange wine sells for record $260,000 at auction to Adelaide couple

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THERE had been interest from as far abroad as Hong Kong, but in the end a retired couple from Adelaide’s west bought one of the most spectacular sets of wine ever seen in Australia for the record auction price of $260,360. John and Leanne Davison sat quietly in the 50-strong crowd — which included Adelaide restaurant identities — at du Plessis auction house in Mile End for the highly anticipated sale of the complete set of Penfolds Grange. Bidding started at $200,000 before auctioneer Mark du Plessis lowered his hammer on the couple’s bid of $230,000 (plus buyer’s margin), which earned wide applause. An elated Mr Davison, a retired earthmoving contractor, bought the set as an investment for his four grandchildren. He said he was pleased the South Australian wine, considered Australia’s most famous, was staying in its home state. “It had to stay here, for sure,” the 71-year-old said. “I am a collector and I’m...

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