March 04, 2015

Vintage › WINE ›

More High Auction Sales. - Is Fine Wine Set For More Records This Year?

Dreweatts and Bid For Wine Hold Best Fine Wine Sale to Date

 2nd March 2015

London - The February Fine Wine sale saw yet another big step forward for the wine department at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, with a sale that far surpassed any previous wine sale for the firm. With the sale totalling £279,000 over 402 lots, it highlighted the benefits of the company’s joint venture with ‘online only’ wine specialist Bid for Wine.

The top lot of the day was a mixed case of Domaine de la Romanee Conti 2004 which sold for £16,856 with other highlights including a case of Chateau Margaux 2000 for £6,020 and a La Mission Haut Brion 1990 for £3,732. A single bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1949 realised £1444. There was also keen bidding on Jaboulet’s iconic ‘100 pointer’ Hermitage La Chapelle 1978 with the 7 bottles offered all selling above their high estimates and reaching a premium inclusive total of £4,680.

Read more here.


March 03, 2015

London › ~WHISKY ›

Beckham at Haig bar launch

the drinks business

3rd March, 2015


The pair attended a dinner, hosted by Beckham, at the iconic London landmark Wellington Arch on Sunday to mark the launch of the Haig Club pop-up bar, which will be based at the Hyde Park landmark for one week.

Described as a “modern interpretation” of the British private clubs that featured in the brand’s original “clubman series” of advertisements in the 1920s, the bar’s interior has been designed by Amanda Sheppard while the venue’s food menu has been created by Brett Graham, Mike Robinson and Alex Harper, of the Michelin starred Harwood Arms.

Signature cocktails served at Haig Club London have been crafted by drinks consultancy firm Sweet and Chilli in collaboration with Haig Club global brand ambassador Ewan Gunn. Wellington Arch will be illuminated blue for the week, in a nod to Haig Club’s square blue bottle.

Posting to his Facebook page after the event, the sports icon said: “Great to have my beautiful wife in attendance at my Haig Club London dinner. ‪#‎HaigClubLondon‬

Beckham launched single grain Scotch whisky Haig Club last year in collaboration with UK drinks giant Diageo and music mogul Simon Fuller.

Haig Club is a no-age-statement whisky comprised of a variety of aged whisky from three types of cask: first-fill, rejuvenated and refill Bourbon barrels, created at the Cameronbridge distillery.

Robert Parker - I'll die on the road

Robert Parker: I'll never retire, despite giving up Bordeaux en primeur tasting,_despite_giving_up_Bordeaux_en_primeur_tasting.html


Robert Parker has said that he will never retire, despite handing over duties for scoring and reviewing en primeur Bordeaux to protégé Neal Martin.
Martin has been with the Wine Advocate team since 2006 and covered Bordeaux for 18 years, writing a book on Pomerol in the process.

Parker will continue to taste Bordeaux in bottle and is planning to taste the 2012 vintage next month, before producing a 10-year retrospective on the “incredible” 2005 vintage. He added that he has no plans to give up tasting Napa and Sonoma.

Parker said: “I have no intention of retiring. I will die on the road, or keel over in some winery. Retirement is a formula for death.

“I love tasting. I am going to miss en primeur, the challenge of trying to find out a new vintage – you are always a student, I’ve been doing it for 37 years, Neal for 18 years, but every new vintage throws up something new. Still 2014 will throw surprises, no matter how much experience you have.”

Parker has tasted virtually every Bordeaux en primeur vintage since 1978 and made his name on the 1982 vintage, but said change was inevitable and that Martin was the perfect replacement.

He described Martin as “a natural and, coincidentally, the best prepared for the job”, adding: “I have total confidence in Neal’s independence, work ethic, and abilities.”

Parker was in a wistful mood at a London press conference yesterday evening, reflecting over changes in the wine world in the past 37 years.

“The wine world I entered in 1978 doesn’t look anything like the wine world today,” he said. “Nothing has stayed the same. In the first issue of Wine Advocate I reviewed 300 wines. The one that made my name, tasting the 1982 vintage in the spring of 1983, featured 600 wines. This last year in total the Wine Advocate team has generated 29,000 professional tasting notes.

“There has been a dramatic increase in quality throughout the world. When I started less than 1% of Bordeaux wines were good. Margaux was mediocre, Lafite was just getting its act together. Now across the board it’s getting better.

“People recognise it’s a global business, and there is incredibly intense competition. This has led to intense improvement in vineyards and an increase in organic and biodynamic production.

“The goal of wineries throughout the world now is to translate the [terroir] of the vineyard in the most unadulterated was possible and get it into bottle so that what you taste is a true representation of the soil, vintage and region.”,_despite_giving_up_Bordeaux_en_primeur_tasting.html

Latour - Merchants at the ready

Merchants on Standby for Latour 2003 release

  • 2015-03-03T06:14:00+00:00 Tuesday 3 March 2015

  • by Chris Mercer

Chateau Latour has been testing the waters in the market and is expected to release around a thousand cases of its 2003 vintage ahead of the en primeur week for the Bordeaux 2014.

Bordeaux first growth Latour announced yesterday (2 March) that it would be releasing an unspecified quantity of its 2003 grand vin and also some of its second wine, Les Forts de Latour, from the 2008 vintage.

The releases are expected in mid-March, following a pattern of back-vintage releases that Latour began in 2013 after its withdrawal from the Bordeaux en primeur system.

A spokesperson for Latour told that the estate wouldn't release price information on the wines at this stage, but that it has discussed options with negociants.

Consumer demand for Bordeaux has shown signs of recovery in recent months, according to analysts at Liv-ex and Bordeaux Index, and particularly for the 2005 vintage. The Latour release will be another test of demand for back-vintages.

It is believed to be the final stocks of the wines being held at the chateau


Thinking about fine wine? What to look for?

What affects a fine wine?
A number of key factors are absolutely crucial when buying, owning and storing fine wine.
It is not just a simple as buying a big name brand or well known producer. As a company Intercontinental Wines have a strict buying rules of purchase. This is crucial to any collector or investor of fine wine. Each factors holds a varying level of merit that Intercontinental Wines use to judge the future potential of a wine.

The below list is not in priority order as it can vary from château and vintage. This guide is or course not a guarantee but it is a fair gauge for any potential wine buyer.


  1. Producer (Chateau.)

  2. Vintage (Year born / produced.)

  3. Production Level (Wines are made in typically a restricted manner, as such low crop levels can make a wine more desirable.)

  4. Current Availability (Market availability can vary with influxes of buyers and sellers.)

  5. Market Trends (what is happening in the world, and times of year etc....)

  6. Anticipated maturity (wines vary in “life span.” Some wine can lives for 50yrs+)

  7. Re-score / Re-grading (Wines are regularly tasting by well know and adhered to wine critics, an improvement tin score and, or quality can dramatically increase a wines value.)

  8. Historical Performance (How the wine or similar wines have performed over the past period of time can be a good indicator for the future.)

  9. Provenance (The track-able history of a wine. This can change a wines value by as much as 45%)

    10). Brand Power (Brands are now more important than ever before, Châteaus or vintages wines association with other brands can spark higher interest.)

Champagne Popping all over the World

Champagne exports ‘will overtake’ French sales for first time in 2015

More Champagne will be shipped abroad than sold in France in 2015, according to the new head of the Comite Champagne, who also warned that houses and growers must ‘actively fight climate change’.

Festival: Marchers gather at the St Vincent Archiconfrerie de la Champagne 2015 last weekend

In one of his first public engagements since becoming managing director of the Comite Champagne, Vincent Perrin said he believes exports will overtake domestic consumption for the first time in memory in 2015.

‘Export sales will continue to grow, and will overtake French sales by the end 2015,’ said Perrin at the annual festival of St Vincent of the Archiconfrerie of Champagne in Epernay.

Champagne sales rose by 1% in volume in 2014, to around 308m bottles, according to provisional figures.

‘It is especially the long distance exports that are driving the growth,’ said Perrin, noting the US, Japan and Australia as the fastest growing markets. Exports within Europe increased slightly in 2014, but French consumption fell, Perrin added.

In 2013, Champagne sales within France totalled 167m bottles, down 2% on 2012, while exports reached around 137m bottles, the Comite Champagne said last year.

Alongside promoting exports, Perrin said his focus for 2015 was on sustainable development.

‘To protect our heritage, we need to actively fight climatic change by making more efforts to farm in an environmentally friendly way,’ he said. Over the last 10 years, the average temperature at harvest has increased by 1.8 degrees Celsius.

It was particularly warm half-way through the 2014 harvest, which meant winemakers faced challenges to keep the grapes cool enough before pressing.

Last year, the Comite Champagne created its own ecological quality label named Viticulture Durable en Champagne.




Know your wine Chat

We are being continuously asked about wine and the chat that goes with the wine lovers of the world. Well we have heard your requests and here we have a list of pretty much all of the terminology used in the wine market. (If we have missed anything feel free to let us know and we will happily add it onto the list.





Wine Term Dictionary


acidity the liveliness and crispness noted in wine.

aeration the deliberate addition of oxygen to wine to round out and soften a wine.

aging holding wine in barrels, tanks, and bottles to advance them to a more desirable state.

alcohol ethanol (ethyl alcohol), the product of fermentation of sugars by yeast.

appellation a delineated wine producing region, particular to France. Numerous criteria have to be met to qualify.

aroma the scent of the grape, as well as the smell of wine, especially young wines. (different than "bouquet")

asomnia the loss of smell.

astringent tasting term noting the harsh, bitter, drying sensations in the mouth caused by high levels of tannins.

balance when the elements of wine - acids, sugars, tannins, alcohol - come together in a harmonious way, it is said to be "balanced".

barrel the container - preferably oak - used for fermenting and aging wine.

barrique a 225-litre oak barrel used in storing and aging Bordeaux wines.

bitter a taste sensation largely caused by tannins that is sensed on the back of the tongue.

blend a wine made from more than one grape varietal.

body a tactile sensation and term describing the weight and fullness of wine in the mouth. A wine can be light, medium, or full bodied.

Bordeaux the area in Southwest France considered by some as the greatest wine-producing region in the world.

botrytis a good mold that pierces the skin of grapes and causes dehydration, resulting in natural grape juice exceptionally high in sugar. Botrytis is largely responsible for the world's finest dessert wines. (see "noble rot").

bouquet a term that refers to the complex aromas in ages wines.

breathing allowing wine to come in contact with air to open and improve the flavors. (see "aeration")

brettanomyce. A wine-spoiling yeast that produces barnyard, mousey, metallic, and band-aidish aromas.

brilliant a tasting note pertaining to wines that appear sparkling clear.

brut french term denoting dry champagnes or sparkling wines.

bung the plug used to seal a wine barrel.

bung hole the opening in a cask in which wine can be put in or taken out.

chaptalization when sugar is added to wine before or during fermentation to increase alcohol levels. Chaptalization is illegal in some parts of the world, and highly controlled in others.

citric acid one of the three predominate acids in wine.

claret the name the English use when referring to the red wines of Bordeaux.

class growth see cru classe'.

closed term describing underdeveloped and young wines whose flavors are not exhibiting well.

complex a wine exhibiting numerous odors, nuances, and flavors.

cork taint undesirable aromas and flavors in wine often associated with wet cardboard and/or moldy basements.

corked a term that denotes a wine that has suffered cork taint (not wine with cork particles floating about).

cru classé a top-ranking vineyard designated in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855.

crush the English term for harvest.

cuvee in Champagne, a blended batch of wine.

demi-sec french term meaning "half-dry". Confusing, as it is used to describe a sweet sparkling wine.

dry opposite of sweet. A taste sensation often attributed to tannins and causing puckering sensations in the mouth.

earthy an odor or flavor reminiscent of damp soil.

enology the science of wine and winemaking (see "oenology")

fermentation the conversion of grapge sugars to alcohol by yeast.

fining the addition of egg whites or gelatin (to name a few) to clear the wine of unwanted particles and other components.

finish. The impression of textures and flavors lingering in the mouth after a wine is swallowed.

flavors. Odors perceived in the mouth.

foxy a term that notes the musty odor and flavor of wines made from vitis labrusca - a common North American varietal.

fruity a tasting term signifying wines that exhibit strong smells and flavors of fresh fruit. Can also describe aromas of cooked fruit, as in "jammy".

full-bodied a wine high in alcohol and flavors, often described as "big".

herbaceous a tasting term denoting odors and flavors of fresh herbs (e.g., basil, oregano, rosemary) in a wine.

hot wine high in alcohol is often described as producing a "hot" burning sensation in the mouth.

lees sediment consisting of dead yeast cells, grape pulp, seed, and other grape matter that accumulates during fermentation.

leesy a tasting term noting the rich aromas and smells resulting from a wine which spends time resting on its lees.

length how long the flavors of a wine persist in the mouth after swallowed; a lingering aftertaste.

long denotes the length of time a wine's presence stays in the mouth after swallowling.

malic acid one of the three predominate acids intrinsic in grapes. Tart-tasting malic acid occurs naturally in a number of fruits, including, apples, cherries, plums, and tomatoes.

malolactic fermentation a secondary fermentation in which lactic acid bacterias are added to wines so that tart-tasting malic acids convert into softer lactic ones. Wines described as "buttery" or "creamy" have gone through "malo".

mature ready to drink.

mouth-feel how a wine feels in one's mouth - (e.g., rough, smooth, velvety, furry).

must unfermented grape juice (including seeds, skins, and stems).

negociant French word describing a wholesale merchant, blender, or shipper of wine.

noble rot layman's term for 'botrytis". (See botrytis).

nose how a wine smells. A tasting term describing the aromas and bouquets of a wine.

oak/oaky tasting term denoting smells and flavors of vanilla and toast.

oenology the science of wine and winemaking (see "enology").

open tasting term signifying a wine that is ready to drink.

oxidation wine exposed to air that has undergone a chemical change. The deteriorating wine will exhibit stale smells and colors can look brown.

phenolic compounds natural compounds present in grape skins and seeds.

phylloxera a microscopic insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots. A breakout in the 19th century nearly destroyed part of Europe's and France's wine industry.

plonk British slang for inexpensive wine. Also used to describe very low-quality wines.

rough the tactile "coarse" sensation one experiences with very astringent wines. A tasting term, and not to be confused with "bitter".

sec French word for "dry".

spicy a tasting term used to note odors and flavors reminiscent of various aromatic spices that are found in certain wines.

structure an ambiguous tasting term that implies harmony of fruit, alcohol, acidity, and tannins.

sweet wines with perceptible sugar contens on the nose and in the mouth. Sweet, as a tasting sensation, is perceived on the tip of the tongue.

tannins the phenolic compounds in wines that leave a bitter, dry, puckery feeling in the mouth.

tartaric acid the principal acid in grapes, tartaric acid promotes flavor and aging in wine.

terroir French for "soil". Geographical characteristics - chalk, gravel, sand, clay - along with other environmental factors unique to a given vineyard, are also denoted by terroir.

texture a tasting term describing how the wine being tasted feels on the palate. "Texture" is used more often when describing heavy, dense wines with a big mouthfeel.

typicity a tasting term that describes how well a wine expresses the characteristics inherent to the variety of grape represented.

ullage the empty space left in bottles and barrels as a wine evaporates. When in barrels, one must keep ullage at a minimum so the wine does not oxidize.

vegetal tasting term describing characteristics of fresh or cooked vegetables detected on the nose and in the flavors of the wine. Bell peppers, grass, and asparagus are common "vegetal" descriptors.

vinification the process of making wine.

vitis vinifera the species of wine that comprises over 99% of the world's wine.

vintage the year in which a wine is bottled. Also, the yield of wine from a vineyard during a single season.

weight similar to "body", the thicker or richer a wine feels in the mouth, the more weight is described as having.

wine fermented juice of grapes.

yeast a microorganism - endemic to vineyards and produced commercially - that converts grape sugars into alcohol.

yield the productivity of a vineyard.

young an immature wine that is usually bottled and sold within a year of its vintage. Wines meant to be drunk "young" are noted for their fresh and crisp flavors.