A little “Camarillo Brillo” will clear that right up, don’t forget to use the Circular Motion

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I found this on winesearcher.com. Apparently a bacterium causes acne in grapevines. This bacterium was transferred to vines from human, researchers were insipired to name the agent of such a weird and funky occurence after one of the weirdest and funkiest guitarists that ever lived and dubbed it “Propionbacterium acnes type Zappae”. see the whole story at:
http://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2014/03/frank-zappa-lends-his-name-to-vine-acne

http://sr1.wine-searcher.net/images/news/38/84/Frank-Zappa-guitar-10003884.jpg

copyright Heinrich Klaffs

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: April 24 – May 1, 2014: Aussie, Cali, Frenchie, Italy

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These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.

Domaine Cabirau Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec Cotes du Roussillon 2011
Domaine Cabirau Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec Cotes du Roussillon 2011–$19.99 SAVE 20% (on sale through 05.01.14)
93 Points – Wine Advocate, January 2014
“…The nose here is the epitome of schistic Maury in its smoky (no doubt to some extent reductive) evocations of crushed stone, smoked meat, resinous herbs and black tea allied to sweetly-ripe, succulent profusion of cassis, black raspberry, and blueberry. There is a wonderful sense of polish here allied to underlying firmness as well as almost electric energy. Mouthwatering salinity adds to the irresistible appeal of a torrential finish rushing across a bed of stone, from which you pick yourself up eager to savor and explore the next sip. Don’t miss a chance to follow this through at least 2020!” -David Schildknecht


Shinas Estate Viognier The Innocent 2012
Shinas Estate Viognier The Innocent 2012–$17.84 SAVE 15% (on sale through 05.01.14)
“Pale yellow gold in colour, this radiates heady aromas of apricot and melon and seduces the palate with its ripe, full-bodied, soft acid and lightly spicy flavours that are full of apricot, custard and honey. It has an initial Australian ‘sunburnt earth’ character and is quite exciting and distinctive with a fabulous expression of Viognier’s varietal character.” -The Winery


Lanciola Chianti Classico La Masse di Greve 2010
Lanciola Chianti Classico La Masse di Greve 2010–$21.24 SAVE 15% (on sale through 05.01.14)
“This is powerful and rich with velvety tannins and lots of wet earth and dried berries. Full body, chewy tannins and a long finish. Needs two or three years of bottle age to resolve the tannins. Already impressive.”


First Drop Garnacha The Matador Barossa Valley 2012
First Drop Garnacha The Matador Barossa Valley 2012–$17.59 SAVE 20% (on sale through 05.01.14)
90 Points – International Wine Cellar, July/August 2013
“Glass-staining ruby. An exotic bouquet displays candied red fruits, allspice and licorice, with a sexy floral overtone. Pliant and sweet in the mouth, offering plump raspberry and cherry flavors and a hint of white pepper. Smoke and bitter chocolate nuances come up on the finish, which features dusty tannins and lingering spiciness.” -Josh Raynolds


Armida Poizin Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2012
Armida Poizin Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2012–$18.39 SAVE 20% (on sale through 05.01.14)
“Deep, dark garnet in color, the bright nose exhibits plums, raspberry and blackberries. The rich, complex flavors of black cherry, anise, spicy strawberry, and red currants include darker notes of chocolate, coffee and clove spice. The Petite Sirah in the blend contributes black pepper, mocha, caramel and cedar, and gives this wine a rustic personality. The moderate oak contributes subtle vanilla and a smoky nuance. The tannins are substantial, yet still supple and velvety.” -The Winery


Shinas Estate Sweet Justice Moscato 2012

Shinas Estate Sweet Justice Moscato 2012–$13.59 SAVE 15% (on sale through 05.01.14)
“Sweet Justice Moscato is an Italian style sparkling white Wine produced in north-west Victoria. This new addition to the Shinas Estate Boutique wine collection is sweet, low in Alcohol and is perfect for any occasion.” -The Winery


Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: April 17-23 2014: Easter Picks with Paul

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These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.

Bodegas El Nido El Nido 2009
Bodegas El Nido El Nido 2009–$111.19 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.23.14)
94 Points – International Wine Cellar, September 12
“(made from a blend of 70% cabernet sauvignon and 30% monastrall; 15.5% alcohol): Inky purple.  Dark berry preserves, cola, smoky oak and sandalwood on the intensely scented nose.  Weighty and broad, with unlikely vivacity to its ripe blueberry and cherry compote flavors.  Toasty, sweet and velvety in texture, with superb finishing thrust and persistent sweetness.  This exotic, velour-like wine gains spiciness and floral character with air, and shows a suave blend of fruit and tannins; it should be even better with a few years of bottle age. 94(+?) points” -Josh Raynolds
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast, November 2012
“Dense, cool and masculine on the nose, this has aromas of prune, cola, tobacco, cheese and leather. It feels silky and soft, showing maximum ripeness and excellent balance. It tastes of ripe berry, stewed plum, spice and tobacco. Complex and classy on the finish; drink now–2017.” -Michael Schachner
Bodegas El Nido El Nido 2010–$111.19 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.23.14)
92 Points – International Wine Cellar, September/October 2013
“(70% monastrell and 30% cabernet sauvignon; aged for 24 months in new French and American oak): Opaque ruby. Ripe, expressive scents of black raspberry, cassis, dark chocolate, vanilla and potpourri. Fat, full and concentrated, offering intense black and blue fruit preserve flavors and notes of licorice and mocha. Finishes spicy and very long, with smooth, sweet tannins and slow-building smokiness.” -Josh Raynolds


Scott Family Chardonnay Dijon Clone Arroyo Seco 2012
Scott Family Chardonnay Dijon Clone Arroyo Seco 2012–$15.29 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.23.14)
“Dijon Clones impart distinctive mineral characteristics with rich flavors of citrus, stone fruits, white peach, melon and other tropical notes. The 2012 Scott Family Estate Chardonnay has vibrant aromas of fresh pear, orange zest, mineral notes and vanilla with bright acidity and flavors of Meyer lemon, white peach and butterscotch, leading to a long, lingering finish. This finely balanced wine is food-friendly and versatile. Enjoy with a seafood salad, chicken with cashews or an omelet.” -The Winery


Aime Roquesante Cotes de Provence Rose 2013
Aime Roquesante Cotes de Provence Rose 2013–$8.49 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.23.14)
“Produced from a selection of the best varietals, Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. This wine expresses the aromas and typical flavors of the Viduaban vineyard. The combination of an ultra-modern winery and traditional wine marking technique ensures perfect quality control and preserves the authentic character. Salmon color with pronounced rose shades. Powerful bouquet, with aromas of red fruits and cut grass. Full and powerful on the palate with a pleasing acidity. Spicy and balanced, very fine Provencal bouquet.” -The Importer


Juan Gil Monastrell 2011
Juan Gil Monastrell 2011–$13.59 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.23.14)
90 Points – International Wine Cellar, September/October 2013
“(aged for a year in French oak): Brilliant ruby. Sexy, floral-accented dark berry aromas show very good clarity. Sweet, penetrating blackberry and lavender pastille flavors are complemented by smoky oak and vanilla nuances and show a hint of peppery spices. Finishes with lingering florality, smooth, even tannins and very good length.” -Josh Raynolds


Domaine de Dionysos Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne La Cigalette 2011
Domaine de Dionysos Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne La Cigalette 2011–$13.59 SAVE 20%!
91 Points – International Wine Report
“Brings an old-world character with exotic spices, pepper, lavender wrapped in ripe raspber-ryand plum fruit. The texture is so silky, the wine just glides across your palate effortlessly into the velvety finish.”


Stoller Pinot Noir SV Estate Dundee Hills 2009

Stoller Pinot Noir SV Estate Dundee Hills 2009–$22.39 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.23.14)
91 Points – International Wine Cellar, July 12
“Bright ruby-red. Pungent aromas of dark berry compote, cherry-cola and black cardamom, with a smoky topnote. Ripe and fleshy but lively too, offering intense dark berry flavors and exotic hints of blood orange and bitter herbs. A sweet vanilla note comes up with air and carries through the long, sappy finish. I suspect that this pinot will be in prime drinking form by its fifth birthday.” -Josh Raynolds


Spanish Cult Wine Two Back to Back Great Vintages save 20%

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The 2009 is plush and velour like, mostly Cab Sauv beefed up with very old vines Monastrell, very limited inventory

 

If you read Spanish (or do a Google translation) visit http://www.verema.com/blog/blog-m/1156388-vertical-nido-inedita-irrepetible

These 15 wine loving Spaniards assembled a tasting of every vintage of El Nido made, from 2002 to 2011 and by consensus the 2010 was the best

this is the best price on a classic wine

Juan Gil Estates’ great line up of reds

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From the king “El Nido El Nido” down to the entry level silver label Juan Gil, this estate put Jumilla on the map as the land of Monastrell. Here’s a little about their red portfolio

Bodegas El Nido El Nido 2009, 2010

Bodegas El Nido El Nido 2009 and 2010 available, click for details
The top of the Juan Gil Food Chain, the 800 Pound Gorilla. Only about 5,000 bottles are produced This wine is made from the oldest vines blended from about 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Monastrell and aged about 24 months in French and American Oak. Famous Aussie winemaker Chris Ringland is the consultant for El Nido and Clio and the style is powerful and extracted with dense intense fruit, lavish treatment with oak and expression of the terroir and old vines through its subtler notes of spice, stone, dried fruit and meat. It is a very long lived wine for enjoying now or over several decades.
Bodegas El Nido Clio 2011

Bodegas El Nido Clio 2011 available, click for details
Clio is a larger production wine 40,000 bottles annually from the same bodega. The estate is planted with about 32 Ha of Monastrell and 12 of Cabernet so they can make more of this wine with a blend of about 75% Monastrell and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Clio is more of a dense “fruit bomb” from the large percentage of Monastrell. Also a great wine for drinking young or considerable aging. It doesn’t have the complexities and subtleties of the El Nido but is still a delicious wine.
Juan Gil 18 Meses Blue Label 2011
Juan Gil 18 meses Blue Label 2011 available, click for details
This is a tiny production sourced from fruit that may ultimately be dedicated to Clio. Whereas Clio is about $50 Juan Gil 18 month, which we call “Juanny Blue” for its blue label is a great buy at about $30. The blend and winemaking is very similar to Clio and I often refer to it as “Baby Clio”. Buy it while you can
Juan Gil 2011
Juan Gil Monastrell 2011
This is the entry level red from the Juan Gil Estate, 100% Monastrell from younger vines. It is a straightforward juicy wine full of black and red fruit flavors and a nice thick texture. Only about $15.

We are pouring El NIDO EL NIDO (NOT Clio) Sat Apr 19th at Shop!

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We are lucky to have Paul provide a bottle of this incredible wine to pour at the shop this week. We carry two vintages, the 2009 and the 2010. Stop by for a real treat.

This is a pic of Aurelio Gomez presiding over a fantastic vertical tasting (December 2013) of every vintage of El Nido made, 2002 to 2011 covered in “Blog-M” a Spanish food and wine blog. The original post is at http://www.verema.com/blog/blog-m/1156388-vertical-nido-inedita-irrepetible

One interesting points about this tasting. They started with the 2011 and tasted backward to finish with 2002. I usually put age before youth myself though I’m sure the oldest  of these wines are anything but fragile or delicate. If anything a muscular wine like El Nido may only be finding its voice after 10 years which is evidenced  in that the 2003 was one of the three best showing that day, the best being the 2010. It was speculated that maybe the wine shuts down after a couple of years as wines of this caliber do sometimes, and then they open up again with some time in the bottle. What an awesome tasting that must have been.

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/verema/images/valoraciones/0012/9215/Aurelio_G%C3%B3mez-Miranda_bloG-M_Cata_Vertical_El_Nido_In%C3%A9dita_e_Irrepetible_Corchos.jpg?1388361838

 

 

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 11th: Give her the wine of the month club

Spirits of the month Clubs No Comments
Moras wines club

Mom’s are special, remind her you are thinking of her every month with a special gift for wine aficionados. two bottles of carefully selected wines delivered each month with an informative package of information on each wine. Choose one to suit your budget and we will take care of the rest. For local delivery please contact the store directly. For nationwide shipping please order on our site.

Remind your mom how special she is to you on Mother’s Day and for months afterwards, sign her up for one of our wine clubs! A member in one of Mora’s four Wine of the Month Club receives two bottles of carefully selected wines delivered each month with an informative package of information each wine. Choose a club to suit your budget and we will do the rest. We ship nationwide and delivery locally. Please shop on line for shipped wine clubs and call us directly to arrange a membership with local delivery.
CLICK TO SHOP ONLINE NOW

First al fresco tasting of the year at Mora’s, Hooray for Spring

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Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Monument Ridge 2009Saturday (yesterday) our tasting focused on amazing California wines from our Liberty Wine  Selections consultant, Bob. His book is brimming with some excellent Cali properties, ever hear of Cardinale, Lokoya, Verite, Hartford Court, Matanzas Creek, La Crema? Well he sells those wines. The 2009 Stonestreet “Monument Ridge” Cab from Alexander (Mountain) was the star of the show. Beautifully balanced tannins, fruit and acidity with nice volume.  We had the last of the 2009 which wasn’t getting any attention in the store in the last 6 months, it was a great wine that wasn’t selling, so we showed it and sold every bottle except the one we drank.  Stonestreet produces all their (3 or 4) cabs from mountain (not valley floor) vineyards, the Monument Ridge vineyards lay at an elevation of 400 to 1400 feet with pretty old vines, it is also the least expensive of the Stonestreet cabs so its a relative bargain. Anyway if you miss our tastings you miss a  lot of great wines to try.

2005 Bordeaux Doesn’t live up to the Hype, negative ROI for investors

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From Investor’s Chronicle December 2013

It’s a long but good article, there is an interesting table near the bottom that shows wines that have steeply dropped in value, of the 19, 9 were 2005 vintage Bordeaux including Margaux and Ausone which was a 100 point wine from this much hyped vintage.

Is wine investing corked?

Periodically we look at some of the more popular alternative investments, with the principal aim of determining whether or not they’re viable in terms of liquidity and price discovery – the usual prerequisites. Over the last year or so, we’ve assessed the relative merits of classic cars, stamps and original artworks, but it’s fair to say that one of the most sought after, yet frequently misunderstood, options for private investors is the trade in fine wine.

Since the onset of the banking crisis, and the subsequent debasement of many western currencies, there has certainly been an increased appetite for investments in physical assets, but many investors still remain wary about the market in fine wine. This is understandable given that the market is largely unregulated*, and there are limited avenues open to investors seeking redress from investment schemes that have either been mismanaged, or have been marketed using wholly unrealistic rates of return. And until relatively recently there was limited transparency in terms of pricing.

 

 

 

Avoid cold callers like the plague

Naturally, whenever we’ve written about wine investment in the past, we’ve impressed upon readers the need to exercise the utmost discretion when investing in such a niche market. After all, the market has attracted its fair share of rogue operators down through the years – so avoid cold callers like the plague. And there are numerous examples of businesses that floundered simply because of an imperfect understanding of the wine investment market – or perhaps even because they believed their own publicity.

 

Noble rot

Last February, the founders of Nobles Crus, a Luxembourg-registered wine fund, were under the cosh in the UK financial press over the unusual methodology behind the way its high-performing wine portfolio was being valued. The fund’s client base was deemed large enough to create an internal secondary market, but changes to European law prompted a number of its institutional investors to sell their holdings in the fund, and a subsequent liquidity problem resulted in it being suspended from paying out redemptions or accepting new funds by the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier.

 

 

 

Dwindling alternatives – the DIY option

Given that UK investors have lost upwards of £100m since 2008 due to the collapse of dozens of managed wine investment vehicles, we remain highly sceptical about the claims of many managers of wine funds. And we’re not alone. In June, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned the promotion of wine funds and other alternative investments to the bulk of retail investors in the UK, while from 31 December fund managers running unit trusts will not be allowed to invest in wine funds and other alternative investments. And while we’re certainly not suggesting that every wine investment scheme out there is badly administered, or is misleading with regard to expected rates of return, we believe that the bulk of retail investors would be best served by adopting a DIY approach to wine investment.

So, bearing in mind our general caveat, the fact remains that thousands of individuals in the UK and a surprisingly diverse range of organisations regularly profit through investments in this centuries-old industry. Indeed, the provenance of the trade is borne out by the fact that a number of Oxbridge colleges and many of the City of London’s ancient Livery Companies augment their coffers through canny management of their cellars, while Berry Bros & Rudd – probably the UK’s most famous fine wine merchants – has been plying its trade since the end of the 17th century.

 

With all markets, there is a bid-offer spread. In fine wine this is usually controlled by the merchants, so the spread can be massive.”

 

So you can certainly start building your collection safe in the knowledge that you’re entering a mature investment market, but therein lies the rub. The relative scarcity of the very best wines, coupled with the fact that vineyards and wholesalers have established relationships with long-term industry buyers, means that you will probably struggle to get hold of First (Premier Crus) or Second (Deuxièmes Crus) Growth vintages. This means it might take time, along with several purchase orders, before you start to receive preferential treatment from a trusted merchant, but there are dozens of accessible investment-grade wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, together with a smaller number of iconic wines from other regions in France and beyond. You don’t need to gain access to leading châteaux such as Margaux or Latour to make a worthwhile investment.

 

Nicely tipsy: the wines that delivered superior returns

Wine

Vintage

Price (£)

Gain (%)

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee Conti Monopole Grand Cru AOC 1999 9,555 158
Screaming Eagle Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley AVA 1995 3,057 123
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2001 449 110
Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac 5eme Cru Classe AOC 2000 73 99
Domaine Jean-Francois Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru AOC 2000 1,178 97
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee Conti Monopole Grand Cru AOC 2002 7,313 94
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2000 795 90
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Monopole Grand Cru AOC 2001 1,463 89
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2001 229 85
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee Conti Monopole Grand Cru AOC 2001 7,020 85
Chateau Leoville Poyferre St Julien 2eme Cru Classe AOC 2000 103 79
Chateau Leoville Poyferre St Julien 2eme Cru Classe AOC 2001 46 79
Penfolds Wines Grange Bin 95 Shiraz South Australia 2003 227 77
Chateau Leoville Poyferre St Julien 2eme Cru Classe AOC 2009 130 76
Petrus Pomerol AOC 2001 1,201 76
Chateau Montrose Saint-Estephe Deuxieme Cru Classe AOC 2009 174 72

 

Liquidity in the UK

In terms of aggregate value, the UK is actually one of the three largest import destinations for Bordeaux wines, along with Hong Kong and China, but just how big is the domestic market? Well, in the next three years the retail value of the UK wine market is expected to reach over £9.1bn. Estimates vary, but of that figure perhaps £1.2bn is related to the fine wine market, with only around 15-20 per cent of the wines within that category deemed ‘investment grade’. While it’s certainly not a huge market, liquidity isn’t really that much of an issue as long as you confine your investments to wines that have established a strong secondary market.

 

 

 

Nick Martin, founder of electronic trading platform wineowners.com, told us that “with the advent of self-serve exchanges and greater market transparency, top sought-after wines are reasonably liquid. If priced to market level an investor can expect to typically cash out within one to four weeks”. That redemption period broadly ties in with the view expressed by James Sowden from AP Fine Wines, who added that “with all markets, there is a bid-offer spread. In fine wine this is usually controlled by the merchants, so the spread can be massive – 20 per cent or more – as they want to buy low and sell high, to the detriment of the investor”.

The problem linked to bid-offer spreads partially explains why, historically at least, private investors found it difficult to access accurate pricing models that serve the industry. Although the application of digitalised technology has certainly improved matters on this front, investors still need to tread carefully. Our experts told us that they employ Wine-Searcher.com as their primary source because it has the broadest, most homogenous source of fine wine prices – sourcing lists from up to 25,000 merchants worldwide and updating every 30 hours.

 

Badly hungover: the wines that would have lost you money

Wine

Vintage

Price (£)

Loss (%)

Chateau Ausone St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2005 987 -47
Chateau Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan Premier Cru Classe AOC 2005 412 -29
Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2005 391 -27
Chateau Margaux Premier Cru AOC 2005 484 -26
Chateau Latour Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2005 595 -23
Chateau Ausone St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2000 934 -22
Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2009 642 -22
Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2000 530 -14
Chateau Ausone St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2001 437 -14
Chateau Yquem Sauternes Premier Cru Supérieur AOC 2006 222 -13
Chateau Le Pin Pomerol AOC 2005 1,629 -13
Chateau Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan Premier Cru Classe AOC 2009 525 -9
Chateau Margaux Premier Cru AOC 2009 562 -9
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2009 481 -9
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2005 359 -8
Chateau Margaux Premier Cru AOC 1996 378 -8
Chateau Palmer Margaux 3eme Cru Classe AOC 2005 176 -4
Chateau Leoville Las Cases St Julien 2eme Cru Classe AOC 2000 189 -4
Chateau Leoville Las Cases St Julien 2eme Cru Classe AOC 2005 169 -4

 

What to buy – and from where

The best-performing investment wines have historically been produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Production is underpinned by a classification system (Les Grands Crus classés en 1855) that established the five First Growth estates: Lafite-Rothschild; Mouton-Rothschild; Latour; Margaux; and Haut-Brion. Château d’Yquem has also been classified as Premier Cru Supérieur, but solely for Sauternes, a French dessert wine. As mentioned, it’s somewhat unlikely that you will be able to gain immediate access to the limited output from these high-end châteaux, so you will probably look to establish your cellar with Second and Third (Troisièmes Crus) Growth wines.

While Bordeaux remains the epicentre of the fine wine market, there are other regional wines from Burgundy and the Rhône Valley that are highly sought after, and have demonstrated excellent rates of return. The relative scarcity of some top-grade wines from Burgundy and overwhelming global demand for wines by Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Rousseau, Roumier, de Vogüé, to name but a small number of highly rated estates, have made top Burgundy a consistently good bet.

 

As with the market in equities, there are a number of publications to help you along the way, such as Decanter and Wine Spectator, or perhaps the Wine Advocate. ”

 

There are numerous merchants that will be able to advise you with regard to your collection, but always bear in mind that they’re in the business of buying and selling, which means their commercial interests won’t always dovetail with yours. A point to remember is that just because a wine is highly rated by connoisseurs doesn’t automatically make it suitable from an investment perspective. So, in the first instance, you would probably be best served by contacting a long-established operator such as Berry Bros & Rudd, which offers specialist advice on purchase and storage, together with comprehensive pricing lists. In addition, a number of merchants with direct relationships with growers may offer a wine futures, or En Primeur, service, enabling investors to buy new vintages before they are bottled and released onto the market. On completion of barrel maturation and bottling, the wines are shipped to the UK and stored in a bonded warehouse under your name. As with the market in equities, there are a number of publications to help you along the way, such as Decanter and Wine Spectator, or perhaps the Wine Advocate.

 

 

 

Our discussions with industry insiders have convinced us that if you are contemplating adding fine wine to your investment portfolio there are a number of basic points that you need to take on board.

■ Do not buy too cheaply – otherwise storage charges (usually ranging from £8-£20 a year per case) will eat away at your profits. A realistic outlay would be £10,000 upwards, with a starting rate of £5,000. Investors need to factor in any costs associated with storage and commission when calculating net returns.

■ Never buy mixed or partially full cases, and ensure that your wine is delivered in its original wooden case, as this helps to confirm its provenance. In addition, check with the operators of the bonded warehouse that their insurance covers the full market value of the wine.

 

 

 

■ VAT and import duties are not payable while the wine remains in bond. When you eventually come to sell your wine, the proceeds will not generally be subject to capital gains tax (CGT), because HM Revenue classifies wine as a wasting chattel – an asset whose predictable life, from the point of view of the person acquiring it, does not exceed 50 years. However, HM Revenue also says that “whilst this definition would clearly apply to cheap table wine which may turn to vinegar within a relatively short period, even in unopened bottles, our view is that it would certainly not apply to port and other fortified wines which are generally recognised to have a very long storage life. If a particular bottle of wine is not a wasting asset, then any gain accruing on its disposal may nevertheless be exempt where the disposal proceeds for that single bottle do not exceed £6,000.”

■ Investors should avoid what are sometimes termed ‘cult wines’. Take expert advice on formulating a conservative buying strategy – and stick to it. There are innumerable examples of wines that have escalated in value wildly following a glowing review from critics – most notably, Robert Parker – only for prices to crash once the initial ballyhoo has worn off.

 

Some useful points on physical storage

■ Store your wine under your name within a reputable bonded warehouse. It’s not advisable to hold the wine in a sub account in your name or an umbrella account. Merchants such as Berry Bros & Rudd will be able to arrange this for you, but failing that you could contact industry bodies such as the Wine Investment Association.

■ Ensuring the quality of your storage facilities is also vitally important given that fine wine needs to be stored within specific ranges for both temperature and humidity. Many established wine merchants have developed their own facilities.

 

 

 

An online option for investors

For retail investors looking for a viable trading platform, an online service called wineowners.com is worth a visit. Platform founder Nick Martin says: “the fine wine market has lagged far behind other many other sectors in the availability of online self-service and portfolio management tools”. Moreover, most existing online sites serve the interest of the trade, rather than individual investors.

Wine Owners puts buyers and sellers together via a two-way trading exchange, allowing sellers to pick the price at which they wish to offer their wines, as well as enabling bidders for wine to set the price at which they are prepared to buy. In addition, the site provides information on wines and wine prices, with price charting tools to actively self-manage your trades. Members can see critical reviews and scores for a given wine – and check out producer information including data on how much is actually produced each year. What’s more, as it is commission based there are no upfront financial obligations.

 

*There are some regulated entities such as the Wine-Source Fund, and managers such as Anpero Capital and Ingenious Ventures, which have put together enterprise investment schemes (EIS) based on portfolios of fine wine. The EISs afford the usual tax-efficient benefits, but their investments are as vulnerable as any other asset class if the funds are wound up during a period of falling prices.

 

IC VIEW:

Contrary to prevailing wisdom, there isn’t overwhelming evidence to suggest that hard assets such as wine are more volatile than equities, but the performance of the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index and other industry benchmarks have fallen away markedly since China’s infatuation with Premier Crus came to an abrupt end in 2011. The globalisation of the wine investment market, combined with the emergence of an immensely wealthy elite in China, resulted in a speculative market for first growth Bordeaux from the beginning of the millennium. In the summer of 2011 the bubble dutifully burst, and the price of first growth purchases deflated. More recently, the clampdown on gifting of Communist party officials is said to have further dampened the prospects of top Bordeaux. Nevertheless, the shake-out in the market might have proved a nightmare for pure speculators, but it could present a real opportunity for retail investors. The resultant decline in high-end prices meant that the FTSE 100 now outperforms the Wine Owners (WO) 150 index over the past one, three and five-year periods, but over a longer period this trend is reversed – with the WO-150 delivering a 119 per cent increase in a seven-year timeframe against a return of 7.59 per cent from the FTSE during that time. With the speculative element largely removed from the market, and prices pitched at more realistic levels, we think that now could be time to enter the fine wine market.

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By Mark Robinson,
13 December 2013

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: April 10-17 2014: Monumental wines highlighting Sonoma, Carneros & Monterey

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings, Weekly Wine & Spirit Specials Comments Off on Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: April 10-17 2014: Monumental wines highlighting Sonoma, Carneros & Monterey

 

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These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.

Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Monument Ridge 2009
Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Monument Ridge 2009–$35.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.17.14)
92 Points – Wine Advocate, February 2012
“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Monument is a beautiful wine. Dark cherries, mocha, plums, spices, mint, minerals and graphite are woven together in this effortless, totally captivating wine. The 2009 impresses for its nuance, clarity and precision. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021.” -Antonio Galloni
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast, July 2012
“Dark in color and full-bodied, this bone dry Cabernet is tannic and hard, despite having concentrated flavors of blackberry jam and black currant. It has plenty of structural integrity, and feels elegant in the mouth. Try holding it for a few years. If you drink it now, give it a few hours in the decanter.” -Steve Heimoff


Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2012
Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2012–$15.29 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.17.14)
“Expressive fruit-driven aromas of grapefruit, nectarine and honeydew melon flood the nose while lemon thyme and oyster shells contribute further depth, both in the nose and on the palate. Both bright and textured, the Sonoma County Sauvignon perfectly expresses the diverse range of vineyards we blended together to make this wine.” -The Winery


La Crema Chardonnay Monterey 2012
La Crema Chardonnay Monterey 2012–$16.99 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.17.14)
“Monterey Chardonnay tends towards the exotic, and this vintage is no exception. This release shows vivid tropical aromas of pineapple, lemon zest and apricot. Bright acidity and lush citrus provide the backdrop for juicy tropical flavors, while fresh, clean mineral notes punctuate the finish.” -The Winery


Rolf Binder Hales Shiraz Barossa Valley 2010
Rolf Binder Hales Shiraz Barossa Valley 2010–$15.29 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.17.14)
90+ Points – Wine Advocate, December 2011
“Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 Hales Shiraz has a core of ripe black plums and black cherries over notes of licorice, tar and dark chocolate plus a whiff of cloves. Medium-full bodied with plenty of taut, muscular fruit in the mouth, it has crisp acid, grainy tannins and a long, pure finish. Drink this one now through 2018+.” -Lisa Perrotti-Brown


Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion 2010
Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion 2010–$16.99 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.17.14)
91 Points – Wine Spectator, October 2013
“Polished and well-structured, this red offers fine tannins and fresh acidity supporting notes of pure cassis and black cherry puree. Spice, mineral and dark tobacco hints add range to the finish. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016.” -Nathan Wesley


La Crema Pinot Noir Carneros 2012

La Crema Pinot Noir Carneros 2012–$35.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.17.14)
91 Points – Wine Advocate, December 2013
“Smoky, Burgundian-like notes emerge from the 2012 Pinot Noir Ahmann Estate Vineyard… One-third new oak was used. The result is a wine that exhibits lots of black currant and black raspberry fruit intermixed with hints of mocha and wood smoke. This deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, impressive Pinot Noir can be drunk now and over the next 4-5 years. The good news is there are nearly 3,000 cases.” -Robert Parker