by Jane Anson in Bordeaux – A handful of releases this week all show price drops, of up to a third less than last year, but still merchants are reporting a sluggish campaign with little interest in anything except Lafite.Lafite: pointing the way to healthy 2011 sales? Since the dramatic announcement of Chateau Latour’s withdrawal from the en primeur system, and Chateau Lafite Rothschild’s price release at €420, not much has moved.
This week there have been a few key releases, including Hubert de Bouard’s Carillon d’Angelusand Chateau Bellevue, both at €35 ex-Bordeaux, a 30% and 21.35% drop respectively on their 2010 prices, and Chateau Suduiraut, from the AXA Millesimes stable, at €45 ex-Bordeaux, a drop of 7.22% from 2010.
by Adam Lechmere, and David Furer – Wine critic James Suckling has confirmed that any monies he received from the Quebec alcohol board were for videos not for tasting.
It was suggested last week by bloggers and on social media that the former Wine Spectator staffer had been paid around CAN$24,000 for tasting sessions at Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) – after both he and SAQ had explicitly denied he had any financial relationship with the state-controlled alcohol distributor.
Suckling now says he was indeed paid CAN$18,000 and his business received a further CAN$5,950 in subscriptions to his website – but this was payment for videos which he made for the SAQ.
On his blog Suckling had written ‚there is no financial relationship‘, but he says that was an entry from February 2011, before he had any agreement to supply videos to SAQ. The videos were shot in December 2011, under a different deal, he says. His contract with the SAQ will end in November 2013.
by Decanter.com staff – Decanter.com has embarked on its biggest-ever survey of en primeur buying habits – with the chance to win a magnum of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne. Decanter.com’s regular users are being asked to answer a series of questions about en primeur: what you buy and when, how long you’ve been doing it and how much you spend.
We want to know if you just buy Bordeaux en primeur, or other regions such as Burgundy, Tuscany and Rhône. Do you follow the critics’ ratings, and if so, who is your favourite? Do you buy from one particular wine merchant to whom you stay loyal, or do you pick and choose between several different merchants? Do you track fine wine market prices, and if so, how?
Answer these and other questions and you could win a magnum of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne. Key findings will be announced at a Decanter seminar at Vinexpo Hong Kong in May. Take the survey
by Adam Lechmere, and Jane Anson in Bordeaux – Cos d’Estournel has released its 2011 today at €108 per bottle ex-negociant, 45% less than last year but still 40% more than other vintages.UK merchants are selling the wine at £1200 a case. The second wine, Pagodes de Cos, comes out at €30, down 25% on last year.
A third release comes from Pomerol’s Chateau Gazin, at €42, down 12.5% on last year.
Cos d’Estournel has for several years been one of the most renowned – or notorious – wines of the Medoc. Managing director Jean-Guillaume Prats tripled the price in 2009: the 2008 and 2007 vintages were released at €65 a bottle, while 2009 was released at €210. The 2010 was released at €198.
The general feeling in Bordeaux, one observer said, is that ‘Cos still hasn’t done enough after tripling the price in 2009, and there are lots of cheaper vintages out there.’ Those after bottled vintages of Cos from the less stellar vintages can choose from the 2001, 2004 or 2008 at around £850-900 a case.
by Adam Lechmere – Chateau Lafite Rothschild has released its 2011 at €420 per bottle to the wine trade, a reduction of 30% on last year’s price of €600.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2011: First major name to release.The wine will be €420 ex-negociant, and merchants will wait to announce their price until they are sure of their allocations. The ex-chateau price is €350.Merchants are still digesting the news but one or two have commented in pleased terms.
An email from Farr Vintners read, ‘Welcome news on the pricing and let’s hope that other chateaux follow this lead and allow us to sell at a lower price than we sell physical vintages.’
by Adam Lechmere – Fine wine investors have lost £100m over four years by entrusting their savings to failed wine companies, a senior accountant has estimated. Nedim Ailyan, a director at insolvency firm Abbott Fielding, which is handling two high-profile wine investment company bankruptcies, told the BBC that some 50 such companies have failed in the last four years, costing investors up to £100m. Continue reading „decanter.com: Fine wine investors ‚have lost £100m‘ from failed companies“
by Jane Anson in Bordeaux – Bernard Magrez, owner of Chateau Pape Clement and Chateau La Tour Carnet, has extended his portfolio of estates with the addition of three new Bordeaux names. These are the 15-hectare Chateau Malleprat in Pessac Leognan, the 10ha Chateau Moulin d’Ulysse in Listrac-Medoc and the 3.5ha Chateau Romer in Sauternes, the smallest classified property in the appellation.
According to French journal Revue du Vin de France, Magrez’s intention is not necessarily to bottle the wines under their existing names, but to use them to bolster production of his current estates. For example, he already owns the nearby Chateau Latrezotte in Barsac, where he produces a wine called La Sauternes de ma Fille, and he can now integrate its production with that of Chateau Romer.
In the Medoc, he will use his newly purchased vines to create a second wine for his neighbouring classified chateau, La Tour Carnet. Magrez is now owner of approximately 40 properties, in Bordeaux, Languedoc, Spain, Portugal, Napa, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Morocco and Japan.
2011 konsumierten die Schweizer Weinliebhaber 2,74 Millionen Hektoliter (hl) in- und ausländischen Wein. Das sind 62.806 hl oder 2,3 Prozent weniger als im Vorjahr. Gemäß dem Bericht «Das Weinjahr 2011», der gestern vom Bundesamt für Landwirtschaft publiziert wurde, ging der Gesamtweinkonsum beim Rotwein um 51.111 hl und beim Weißwein um 11.695 hl zurück. Diese Rückgänge sind unter anderem mit dem langjährigen Trend und der schwierigen Konjunkturlage in Verbindung zu bringen. Sie treffen hauptsächlich die Schweizer Weine mit einer Verminderung von 28.002 hl bei den Rotweinen und 20.145 hl bei den Weißweinen. Der Konsum an ausländischen Rotweinen ging ebenfalls zurück (-23.109 hl) während derjenige beim Weißwein um 8.450 hl zunahm. Continue reading „Schweizer trinken weniger Wein“
Heinrich at its Best! “elegy 2009” und “Cupido 2009” vom Weingut Heinrich aus Deutschkreutz: 2 Flaggschiffe – Noch mehr Trophäen
Mitte April veröffentlichte das „A la Carte“, das Magazin für Ess- und Trinkkultur, die Grand Cru Sieger in der Kategorie Premium Cuvées der Jahrgänge 2009 und 2010. Der „elegy 2009“, eine Cuvée aus Cabernet Sauvignon und Merlot, konnte mit herausragenden 95 Punkten den Grand Cru Sieg davontragen. Ein paar Wochen davor wurde das zweite Flaggschiff des Weingutes, der „Cupido 2009“, ein reinsortiger Blaufränkisch, vom österreichischen Wein- und Gourmetmagazin Falstaff zum Sortensieger und 2. Gesamtsieger gekürt. Ein weiteres Highlight in der Erfolgsgeschichte dieses vielfach ausgezeichneten Weines. Continue reading „Heinrich at its Best!“
Sigi Hiss – Wie sagte man mir auf Château Palmer im Rahmen der diesjährigen Primeurs: “ Die optische Sortiermaschine hat uns den Jahrgang gerettet“. Das Grundprinzip in einfachen Worten erklärt: Optische Sensoren erkennen Farbe, Größe & Form der Beeren. Unreife, also rosarote, nicht durchgefärbte oder gar grüne Beeren oder z.B. durch Hagel verletzte Beeren erkennt die Maschine & schießt sie mit einem gezielten Luftstrahl vom rasend schnell laufenden Sortierband. Ebenso werden Spinnen, Blätter oder einfach Teile des Rappens aussortiert. Das Resultat, so einhellig ca. 10 befragte Betriebe in Bordeaux, ist hervorragend. Besser & effektiver als von Menschenhand. Warum? Ganz einfach, der Mensch wird müde, die Maschine nicht. Besonders in 2011 war die optische Sortiermaschine eine große Hilfe, in Jahren wie 2009 war sie nicht nötig, da das Lesegut perfekt war. Das Video wurde mir freundlicherweise von Fabrice Bacquey, Önologe auf Château Phelan Segur zur Verfügung gestellt. Wichtig so Fabrice Bacquey, ist ein schonendstes entrappen & die optimale Abstimmung der Entrappungs- mit der optischen Sortiereinheit.
by Adam Lechmere – Medoc cru bourgeois Chateau d’Angludet is the first Bordeaux 2011 to release – at £198 a case in bond from London merchants.Angludet is €16 a bottle direct from the chateau. The wine is not sold via negociants.
Commentators have been quick to point out this may be 20% less than 2010, but it is still £20 more than the 2008 vintage, which some are using as benchmark for 2011, both in terms of price and quality. The chateau has jumped in price in recent years, London merchant prices going from £150 on release in 2008 to £250 in 2010. The 2008 is currently selling for around £170 a case.
The 2011 from the Sichel-owned Margaux Cru Bourgeois, which was graded ‘Exceptionnel’ before the new Cru Bourgeois listing removed that higher category, has been praised by critics. Simon Staples at Berry Brothers called it ‘damn fine’. Stephen Browett at Farr Vintners in London told Decanter.com the release was ’not significant‘ as it was sold direct from the chateau and therefore not subject to the extra layer of negociant pricing. Other commentators have pointed out that the price of producing wine in Bordeaux made a reduction of more than 20% very difficult when a wine is below £300 a case in the first place.
Decanter’s full Bordeaux 2011 ratings and vintage report will be published at 9am on Monday 16 April.
by Richard Woodard – Neusiedlersee has been named as the latest DAC appellation in Austria – completing the family of DACs in Burgenland and the first to focus on the Zweigelt grape variety. From vintage 2011, wines can be released under the Neusiedlersee or Neusiedlersee Reserve DACs, alongside Burgenland’s existing DAC appellations: Mittelburgenland, Leithaberg and Eisenberg.
Straight Neusiedlersee wines should be ‘variety-typical, spicy and harmonious’, made up of 100% Zweigelt, matured in steel or oak and at least 12% abv. Meanwhile, Neusiedlersee Reserve wines can be pure Zweigelt or a blend consisting of at least 60% Zweigelt, with the remainder made up of indigenous varieties. The Reserve wines must be matured in traditional big wooden casks or in barriques, with a minimum abv of 13% stated on the label.
Zweigelt is Austria’s best-known red grape variety and the most widely planted grape in Burgenland, with 1,812ha under vine. ‘Through the new Neusiedlersee DAC, fruitiy and harmonious red wines marked by local climate and soil characteristics should be emphasised and their level of awareness raised,’ said Andreas Liegenfeld, head of Burgenland’s regional wine committee. Austria created the DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) designation in 2003, with other DACs across the country including Weinviertel, Traisental, Kremstal and Kamptal.
by Adam Lechmere – As the UK wine trade makes its way back from Bordeaux they are more preoccupied with price than at any time since the 2008 vintage. At this stage of the week there are points on which most agree. Few would argue that the vintage is not ‘mixed, to say the least,’ as Neil Sommerfelt MW of Jeroboams said. But, he added, ‘when they are good they are very good.’
by Jane Anson in Bordeaux – Herve Berland, managing director of Mouton Rothschild since 2006, and with the Rothschild family since 1977, will be heading to Chateau Montrose after his retirement from the Pauillac First Growth.
Berland was at Mouton during the 2011 en primeur tastings, and Decanter.com understands he will be starting his new job today, Tuesday April 10. Berland’s decision to join Montrose, just a few kilometres away from Mouton in Saint Estèphe, will confirm the Second Growth’s habit of attracting former First Growth directors to its 94 hectares
Jean-Bernard Delmas, formerly director of Chateau Haut-Brion, has been in charge of the property since the Bouygues brothers, Martin and Olivier, bought it in 2006. Delmas retired last year.