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  • 1. Buying and Investing in Jancis Robinson on video How will the 2010 Bordeaux campaign pan out? The FT’s wine writer (pictured)WINEFINANCIAL TIMES SPECIAL REPORT | Saturday June 18 2011 talks to Claer Barrett www.ft.com/ wine2011 www.ft.com/wine­investment­2011 | twitter.com/ftreportsHiccups in Inside this issue Fine wine auctions Hong Kong confirms itsmarket as place at the top of the podium Page 2 Funds New ways to tapChinese into fast­growing asset class Page 3 Liv-ex Opinion Don’t put all your eggs in one basket Page 3 Fine Winebring cheer En primeur Future is 100 index looking tense for 2010 350 vintage Page 4 Bordeaux profiles Renewal at Haut­Bailly; 300 Martin Krajewski at Château de Sours Page 4Prices have risen 2008, reached just before the financial crisis,” says Ben Nel- 250unchecked for two son, HDH’s president. Burgundy Books for the true enthusiast Page 5years but can such Similarly, UK merchants such as Farr Vintners, Berry Bros & 200 Argentinagrowth be sustainable, Rudd, Bordeaux Index and The wildasks John Stimpfig Fine+Rare all reported record charms of growth and sales, partly on the 150 MendozaT he past two years have back of a bonanza 2009 Bor- are ideal provided some very deaux futures campaign. for vines happy returns to wine However, as the Chinese New 100 and visitors investors as prices have Year came and went, there were Page 5soared to record levels, largely concerns as to whether it wason the back of unrelenting possible or even desirable to 50 Undiscovered Australiademand from Asia in general maintain such meteoric growth. Five regions to look out for 2001 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 over the next few yearsand China in particular. A number of investment profes- In 2010, the Liv-ex Fine Wine sionals were quietly hoping that Source: Liv-ex.com Page 5 Photo: Dreamstime100 Index surged by an intoxi- the market indeed would pause Natural wines The grape,cating 40 per cent, closing at for breath. whole grape and nothing336, having started the year at At first, there were no such Significantly, most believe the of those listed rising by a stag- the Bordeaux négociants Bar- it appears that the pre-eminent but the grape Page 6239. The performance of the signs as 2011 saw yet more current sideways movement is gering 64 per cent in the past rière Frères suggests that “the reign of the alpha asset that isLiv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index (made gains, with the Liv-ex Fine Wine merely temporary before the two years. American market is definitely Château Lafite may be over – at Starting a collectionup of first-growth Bordeaux) 100 Index putting on another 7 market resumes its onwards and In comparison with Asia, tra- coming back more than last least for the time being. Questions to ask before youwas even better in 2010, rising per cent in the first quarter. But upwards trajectory. This is ditional fine wine markets are year”. Beck also believes it is Earlier this year, the London think of laying down a57 per cent and thereby beating just as prices were starting to thanks to Asian demand, prima- positively anaemic. In particu- only a matter of time before the merchants Bordeaux Index bottle Page 6gold, oil and equities. look frothy, particularly for rily for top red Bordeaux, but lar, Europe and the US remain Americans return. recorded a 30 per cent fall in Equally, the wine auction Lafite, April produced some also a growing thirst for grand in a pickle with economic recov- But much depends on the Lafite unit sales compared with More on FT.commarket has been on a roll with much-needed respite. cru Burgundy. ery looking slow and patchy. strength of the dollar, which has 2010. “It seems unlikely thatsome astonishing totals and per- According to Will Beck, fund Similarly, few people doubt “We’re unlikely to see the weakened against the euro. Lafite will drive future price Websitescentages over the same period, manager at Wine Asset Manag- that China will remain the driv- return of serious wine buyers in According to Judy Beardsall, appreciation any time soon,” are a usefulmost notably in Hong Kong, but ers, “the market then began to ing and dominant force over the the UK, Europe or the US any the New York fine wine consult- says Bordeaux Index’s Geraint alternativealso in the US and UK. Accord- slow for several reasons, includ- coming 12 months and beyond. time soon,” says Andrew Davi- ant: “I don’t see much appetite Carter. Instead, the increasingly to checkinging to the Chicago-based Hart ing the Japanese tsunami, politi- Last year, the Hurun “rich list”, son of the Vintage Wine Fund. from US collectors for the mar- fashionable Mouton and Haut- retailDavis Hart, its HDH Auction cal unrest in the Middle East, which tracks the fortunes of the “Consequently, the demand pro- ket in general or the current en Brion are now showing the most stockists forIndex is up 39.97 per cent over global economic uncertainty – country’s wealthiest tycoons, file will continue to look very primeur campaign.” growth of all the premiers crus fine winesthe past 18 months. and the best part of two years’ showed a 36 per cent increase in Chinese.” Meanwhile, the ground still in 2011. but how “Prices are now flirting with unchecked growth in fine wine the number of Chinese billion- Not everyone is quite so continues to shift in the ultra- good are they?the all-time highs of September prices”. aires, with the average wealth downbeat. Laurent Ehrmann of fine wine market. In particular, Continued on Page 6
  • 2. 2 ★ FINANCIAL TIMES SATURDAY JUNE 18 2011Buying & Investing in WineHong Kong confirms itsplace at top of the podium H ong Kong has this This year, though, Hong on the same period last year.Fine wine auctions year underlined its Kong’s overall sell-through rate Sales have increased both in rapid rise to the top is down by 1 percentage point. number (by one-quarter to 58)City captures half of of the global heap in Christie’s faltered at the begin- and by average turnover (byglobal revenues as fine wine auctions by capturing more than half of global reve- ning of March with a two-day sale selling only 86 per cent of one-third from $2.9m to $3.9m). Traditional markets have alsoBordeaux fever grows, nues for the first time. lots. Alone, this would class as a been strong, with Europe andwrites Ella Lister In the five months to the end of May, its wine auctions minor hiccup, but on April 9 and 10 the auction house the US growing overall revenues by 158 and 150 per cent, respec- brought in US$123.5m. Add a recorded a sell-through rate of tively, so far this year. The US very small contribution from 69 per cent – the lowest in Hong has hosted several more sales Singapore, and Asia represents Kong since Bonhams’ equally year on year, thanks in part to 55 per cent of the global total. dismal result in May 2010. the advent of new players. European auctions totalled The poor sales were variously After Spectrum Group Inter- $30m, and the US more than ascribed to overambitious pric- national’s success with Spec- double that. ing discouraging bidders, and trum Wine Auctions, launched Hong Kong generated reve- the coincidental absence of in 2009, other auctioneers have nues of $160m last year, equal to some of Christie’s best local cus- made the horizontal move into 40 per cent of the global total, tomers. “We were selling at esti- wine. One is Greg Martin Auc- not only eclipsing New York’s mates that were at the top of tions, the arms and armour spe- 23 per cent, but also the US as a the market for wines that are cialist. Formerly a Spectrum whole (36 per cent). indisputably great but not par- Group subsidiary, the auction The Asian city’s rise to the ticularly rare,” reasons Charles house returned to private own- top took less than two years fol- Curtis, head of wine at Chris- ership this year and plans to Contributors lowing the government’s adroit tie’s Asia. hold its first wine sale this John Stimpfig decision to abolish duty on wine month, under the banner Martin FT Contributing Editor in February 2008. This catalyst Wine Auctions. enabled Hong Kong to become a ‘Purchases from Heritage Auctions, the collect- Ella Lister Auctions & Secondary portal to mainland China, Hong Kong and Asia ables house, held its inaugural whose fast-growing wealthy pop- wine sale in April in Beverly Markets Correspondent, ulation has quickly developed are now the majority Hills, California. It has differen- The World of Fine Wine an unquenchable thirst for the best that Bordeaux has to offer. of the winning bids in tiated itself by publishing reserve prices in the catalogue Stephen Brook, Andrew Jefford, Very few houses have resisted our live auctions’ and revealing absentee bid lev- Margaret Rand, Hong Kong’s siren calls. The top els during the auction. These Maggie Rosen, four – Sotheby’s, Acker Merrall transparent practices “were FT Contributors & Condit, Zachys and Christie’s Christie’s came back trium- exceptionally well received”, – derive 60-71 per cent of their phantly on May 27, selling 100 according to Frank Martell, Andrew Baxter revenues from the city. per cent of lots hailing directly director. Editorial Production With the surge in demand from Château Latour. Curtis put He noted, however, that “our Nick Smith from Asian investors, revenues the success down to “great top buyer participated using our Sub­Editor per auction are also much wines, exceptional provenance, [online] live bidding tool”, higher. The 21 sales apiece in and once-in-a-lifetime rarity”. which highlights the other big Steven Bird Europe and the US brought in Despite Christie’s recovery, the theme of the past two years to Designer average revenue of $1.4m and Asian market has shown itself match Hong Kong’s rise – the $3.2m, respectively, compared not to be untouchable. Its refusal exponential growth in the vir- Andy Mears with the average of $8.3m from to pay over the odds for wine tual side to wine auctions. Picture Editor Asia’s 15 events. In Hong Kong, without a remarkable history Houses such as WineGavel offer the average sale spans two days puts provenance higher up on online-only auctions alongside The east is red: poster advertising a Sotheby’s auction preview in Hong Kong AFP/Getty For advertising details, contact: and brings in $8.8m. Although the agenda than ever. Earlier their live events, or, in the case Mark C Howarth, the number of lots per sale is this month, some shipwrecked of Winebid.com, as the primary internet, at only 10 per cent, quently adopted by newcomers champagne, the rarity factor also mark.c.howarth@ft.com not significantly greater than 1840s Veuve Clicquot set a business model. compared with 15 per cent in Heritage and Martin Wine. paid off at Ornellaia’s Vendem- +44 (0)207 873 4885 elsewhere, each lot is worth record for a bottle of champagne. Sotheby’s launched online bid- New York and 22 per cent in “Purchases from Hong Kong mia d’Artista charity auction in or your usual Financial Times about $9,000. The champagne – certainly rare, ding at its live auctions in June London. Many buyers in west- and the Asian countries are now Berlin on May 19. Large-format representative Historically, Hong Kong’s and apparently well preserved 2009 with 90 registered bidders, ern auctions participate online the majority of the winning bids bottles bearing original artwork high-value lots have sold con- on the cold, dark seabed – was and now has 785. Since January from Asia, pushing up the pro- in our live auctions,” says Jason by Rebecca Horn fetched up to All FT Reports are available on sistently well, with a weighted- purchased for $43,630 by an 2010, 39 per cent of lots have portion of remotely won bids. Boland, Spectrum Wine Auctions 30 times more than the going FT.com. Go to: average sell-through rate of 97 anonymous Asian online bidder. received online bids in New A presence on the ground is president. The company plans to rate for the Ornellaia 2008 inside www.ft.com/reports per cent in 2010. Sotheby’s can Overall, the global wine auc- York, 46 per cent in London and thus crucial if new houses are to host the majority of future sales the bottles. The auctioneer Follow us on twitter at boast an unbroken string of so- tion market almost doubled last 48 per cent in Hong Kong. access the full extent of Asian in Asia, abandoning the US leg Christiane zu Rantzau, chairman www.twitter.com/ft.reports called white-glove sales (100 per year, to $396m. In the first five Of the three selling centres, demand. Hence the original apart from small VIP dinners of Christie’s Germany, said of cent sold) in the city from Octo- months of 2011, global sales Hong Kong has the lowest per- Spectrum model of holding live with live streaming. the bottles: “I’m sure they’re a ber 2009. reached $225m, up 66 per cent centage of lots sold via the simulcasts in Hong Kong, subse- ●As with the shipwrecked good investment.”
  • 3. FINANCIAL TIMES SATURDAY JUNE 18 2011 ★ 3 Buying & Investing in WineNew ways to tap intofast­growing asset class The fund is an Enterprise cent so far this year and 67 It is widely acceptedFunds Investment Scheme, provid- per cent since its inception today that the most reliable ing income tax breaks to in 2003. Nonetheless, Davi- returns are to be had from aWine’s outstanding UK investors on top of the son sees wine investment as small proportion of Bor-investment capital gains exemption enjoyed by wine. The “wast- “a dalliance for private investors” – the market deaux classed growths, the very same wines purchasedperformance is a ing asset” rule means wine lacks capacity for invest- by the British upper classesbig attraction, – with a life of less than 50 years – is not classed as an ment by big institutions, which would cause it to over the past century. Davi- son expounds the wisdom ofwrites Ella Lister investment for the purposes “very quickly inflate and sticking largely to Bor- of UK capital gains tax. bubble”. deaux, “which trades day Despite its ascendancy in Several funds have met in, day out”.I nvestment wine funds the world of wine, China their demise in recent Miles Davis and Will are a phenomenon of has yet to see a wine fund. years, including Vinum and Beck, ex-City of London the new millennium. Elsewhere in Asia, South Arch, wound up following founders of Wine Asset There are now more Korea and Singapore have portfolio mispricing and Managers, have one holdingthan a dozen such funds had wine funds since 2007. reporting issues, respec- in Champagne, with theworldwide; no surprise, Many western funds have tively. This led to a call for rest in red Bordeaux, and 90given the outstanding per- an active presence in Hong pricing transparency, and per cent in eight wines.formance of the asset class. Kong, in an effort to tap the widespread adoption of They manage two funds, Prices for the top wines, into the region’s growing independent valuation prac- the first launched in Fruitful activity: harvest time at the Château Margaux vineyard in the Bordeaux region Bloomberg Newsas tracked by the Liv-ex wealth. tices using Liv-ex’s “mid- August 2006 as an open-Fine Wine 100 Index, have At a conservative estimate, price”. ended vehicle aimed at indi- firmer during the period Andrew della Casa, direc- launched in March 2008 and larger institutions withrisen at a compound annual wine funds globally are The first fund, run by vidual investors. The Fine thanks to its no-redemption tor, pointing out that wine suffered considerably dur- strict internal investmentgrowth rate of 15 per cent worth a modest Ascot Wine Management, Wine Fund is up 75 per cent policy, which impeded any has a better risk-return pro- ing the crisis as it was 100 policies. There have beenover the past decade. £150m-£200m, which repre- folded five years after its since then (3 per cent this flights of fear. Anpero has file than leading stock indi- per cent geared: it entered no further developments. New funds are springing sents about 3 per cent of launch in 2000. The AWM year), riding out the global found a winning combina- ces, and even oil and gold. positive territory only in Whether or not the listingup this year. Bordeaux total investment-grade stock. Fine Wine Fund had built financial crisis relatively tion of factors: high returns, Anpero also advises SK early 2011. goes ahead, however, itIndex, the UK wine mer- Before the credit crisis, up a portfolio containing unscathed, despite a decline low risk and low correlation Networks’ wine fund in In January, the Wine seems inevitable that inter-chant, plans to launch the the Vintage Wine Fund had many wines peripheral to of 17 per cent during 2008. to financial markets. South Korea, Accilent’s in Investment Fund est in wine as an asset classFirst Growth Wine Fund in more than €100m of assets the core investment-grade The closed-end Wine “Wine is a low-risk asset Canada, and Stratton Street announced its intention to will increase, especially ifOctober. Funds are being under management, but stable, such as mid-range Investment Fund, run by class, and we are low-risk Capital’s Fine Wine Geared launch an Aim-listed vehi- prices continue theirraised now with a minimum institutional investors Rhônes and Burgundies. Anpero Capital, held even asset managers,” says Growth Fund. The latter cle, to enable access by upward trajectory.investment of £75,000 pulled out en masse in Sep-($121,090). tember 2008. “It was a very Gary Boom, previously a touch-and-go situation,”partner in the Vintage Wine recalls Andrew Davison,Fund, says this venture will portfolio manager, puttingfollow a similar format, as the setback down to sheeran open-ended vehicle size in a small market.investing largely in top Private investors “satBordeaux. through the storm and have Ingenious Media, another been proved right to do so”,London outfit, is fundrais- he adds. The fund is nowing for Vindemia, although thriving, with assets underthe deadline has been twice management (AUM) ofdeferred, now to July 29. about €30m ($43m), up 2 perLook beyondfirst growths and, in a consistent way,Opinion rise in value as the bestPETER LUNZER wines of the best vintages become scarce. Second-Among the many rules of growth wines such asprudent investment Léoville Las Cases, Pichonstrategy, one of the most Lalande and Léovilleobvious is not to put all Barton are bankers in thisyour eggs in one basket. field and yet even theyStatistics show occasional struggle to match themeteoric rises in the price consistently predictableof premier cru (first- and positive performancesgrowth) wines, but some of of the fifth growth, Lynchthe most consistent Bages.performers are to be found There are many morein a broader group. members of this clique, During the past 30 years such as Ducru-Beaucaillou,of being involved in the Mission Haut-Brion andwine industry, it has Montrose, but there arebecome evident to me that also a few returning to theone factor which regularly high-performance arena,caused wine prices to such as Pontet-Canet andchange was limited supply Pichon Longueville.against a backdrop of The Pichon was broughtsustained demand. In a up from a deep depressionbiography of Thomas by wealthy new owners,Jefferson (by John while Pontet-CanetHailman), a telling quote emerged as a result of anfrom M. Parent in extraordinary family effortBurgundy, defending the to maximise the land andprice of a cask of the fruit’s capabilities.Meursault in a letter dated First growths symboliseDecember 4 1787, states: a “money no object”“In the past two months approach to showing offprices on old wines have and quenching thirst, andrisen greatly in our area.” since the world is filling Despite evidence to the up with wealthycontrary from the Jefferson individuals I believe westory and more recent have seen nothing yet ofexamples, some objectors the heights to which theseto the notion of wine as an wines may rise in price.asset class still suggest As for value, that isthat what is happening to another question. The wineprices today is new. There trade loves the insider element so that, as the Peter Lunzer Rolls-Royce pulls away suggests a from the St James wine generous shop with six bottles of helping of something reassuringly second to expensive, the wine expert fifth growths jumps into the Audi with six bottles of something nearly as delicious at ais a thread of truth in this fraction of the price.because brand influence is But if investment is onlybecoming more polarised about being boring,and less predictable than following consistentbefore. performers and being risk By illustration, armed averse, then wewith an arbitrary £3,700 recommend first growths($6,025), would we choose for the long term – but be12 bottles of a humble aware of the manyBordeaux “second wine”, plateaus along the way.Carruades de Lafite 2005, For a more consistentor about 20 bottles of a path with steady growth,“first wine”, Château we suggest a generousLéoville Las Cases 2000, helping of second to fifth2ème Grand Cru Classé, St growths with a carefullyJulien? considered pinch of Logic would steer my Bordeaux right-bank wines.money to the Las Cases In summary, many winesbut other forces are at costing £200 today will bework and immature £400 in five years’ time.markets react to those But if they cost £3,000forces unpredictably, so today, will someone beCarruades rises in value paying £6,000 at some pointjust because it is related to in the future? We remainChâteau Lafite. We convinced that one daycongratulate those who £6,000 will be the norm forhave made money on certain rarities, but thatsecond wines but suggest consistent returns will stillthat it was anything but be created from wines thatan obvious outcome. start at £200 and sail past In the meantime, as well £400.as first growths, wecontinue to steer clients Peter Lunzer is chieftowards second, third, executive and chieffourth and fifth growths investment officer ofwhich represent old money Lunzer Wine Investments
  • 4. 4 ★ FINANCIAL TIMES SATURDAY JUNE 18 2011Buying & Investing in Wine | BordeauxFuture is looking tense in 2010 campaign with another embarrassing, is in effect a €1.5bn initial pub- the same enthusiasm for 2010, Rudd had shifted about 15,000 prices move to a whole new markets will take up the slack.En primeur once-in-a-lifetime vintage that lic offering has been the collec- which is stylistically more akin cases by the end of May – more level. “There are high hopes that this followed the once-in-a-lifetime tive and individual indecision to 2005 and even more exp- or less the same as last year. “Brits who bought big in 2009 will be the year that mainlandSpeculation grows over 2009.” on the part of the châteaux over ensive.” Fine + Rare has also reported are even more inclined to keep China becomes a significantdemand and prices, The get-out clause for Bor- deaux was the contrasting price – what the wines are worth and what the market will Delaney is not alone in this view. In a recent Liv-ex survey, brisk business, with UK demand by the end of May exceeding their hands in their pockets this time round – especially with the player,” says Matthieu Chadron- nier, managing director of négo-writes John Stimpfig styles of the two vintages. pay. 59 per cent of international wine last year’s equivalent figures. weakness of the pound against ciant CVBG Grands Crus. Simon Davies at Fine+Rare To date, many châteaux have merchants expected demand to Wines which have gone well the euro,” says Gary Boom of However, that remains to be described 2010 as 2009’s “non- seen little or no reason to drop be lower than last year. In fact, in the UK include Potensac, Bordeaux Index. “The US is also seen. Many are predicting theB y the time you read identical twin”, while Jeffrey their prices from the dizzy several UK merchants reported Petit Bocq, Ormes de Pez, in absentia again – as are the grand finale of this year’s cam- this, there is a faint Davies, the Bordeaux-based heights of 2009 – arguably with they had received barely 10 per Chasse-Spleen and Cap Gas- mythical Russian and Indian paign will be much narrower possibility that the pre- American négociant, defined the good reason. As Christian Seely, queton. markets.” than 2009. mier cru (first-growth) age-worthy 2010 as a much more Axa Millésimes’ managing direc- Some châteaux Finally, in June things began Experienced investors are also “We might see only 10 or 12Bordeaux will have released classical, “European” vintage, tor, points out: “It’s quite proba- probably made to warm up with the release of likely to give it a miss – not brands really sell through if thetheir 2010 en primeur prelimi- compared with its more voluptu- ble that some châteaux have their best wine d’Armailhac, Calon Segur and least, because prices are likely prices are as high as we expect.nary prices (for those prepared ous elder sibling. made their greatest wines ever ever last year, Pontet-Canet, all of which sold to be at least as high as the It that happens, there will beto buy in advance of bottling). Which is superior? in 2010, including Pichon says Christian in short order, despite some 2009s, some of which have now blood on the carpet,”’ saysBut after the slowest and most Take your pick. As Anthony Baron.” Many critics agree, Seely of Axa hefty price increases. In particu- gone down in value. Boom.dilatory campaign on record, Barton, Château Léoville Bar- including Jancis Robinson and Millésimes lar, the must-have, much fan- “So, there’s very little incen- No wonder négociants andthe odds are very much against. ton’s engaging owner, wittily Robert Parker. The latter came cied Pontet-Canet was up 39 per tive to jump in at this stage,” merchants alike are concerned Ironically, it all began so commented: “Both vintages are out strongly behind the vintage, cent the number of wishlists for cent but still sold out in less says Susie de Paolis, a wine con- about ending up with unsoldpromisingly with the April tast- better than the other.” giving potential perfect scores 2010, compared with 2009. than half an hour. sultant. Her view is that the stock. Having taken a €50mings confirming that Bordeaux Despite the chorus of praise to 10 properties. Yet in spite of such wide- Now the gloves are off as we 2010s will be available in the position on the first growths,had plucked yet another annus for the wines, the subsequent But what about the all-impor- spread fears, the early part of await the impending arrival of market at the same or very Staples is “genuinely worried”mirabilis from its chapeau in progress of the campaign has tant punters? “A lot of people the campaign has gone surpris- the heavy-hitting super similar prices in a year or two. about how well they will sell.2010. Writing on eRobert- been akin to “pulling teeth”, filled their boots with 2009 ingly well in terms of cases sold. seconds and premiers crus. That, of course, leaves Asia, It looks like another white-Parker.com, the critic Neal Mar- according to Edward Sheldon, because it was such a ‘one-off’,” Much to the astonishment of Even so, many in the trade and especially China. Once knuckle ride. But at least theretin observed: “Whatever deity is the UK merchant. says Chad Delaney of Justerini Simon Staples, its fine wine are wondering where the again, Bordeaux will be praying will not be much more waitingup there bestowed Bordeaux Part of the problem with what & Brooks. “So, I just don’t see sales director, Berry Bros & demand will come from, as that these new and emerging before we know the result.Elegant reds that epitomiserefined style of the Graves In 1955 the estate was bought by a Château Smith Haut Lafitte, on theProfile Belgian wine merchant, Daniel map. She also retained the servicesChâteau Haut­Bailly Sanders. By this time, the vineyards were much reduced, and Sanders, of Professor Denis Dubourdieu as a consultant. Bordeaux’s foremostIt has legions of admirers lamenting that some of the finest wine-producing soils in Bordeaux authority on white-wine production, Prof Dubourdieu was increasinglydrawn by reliability and were now mere grazing land, set turning his hand to red wines asprice, says Stephen Brook about replanting and restoring them. In 1979, his son Jean took over, and well. Sanders and her team know that by 1988 Haut-Bailly was back to its Haut-Bailly has never been a wineNot far from the bustling market original size. that strives to impress. It is nottown of Léognan, the road leading to As so often happens at Bordeaux super-ripe or overtly powerful orCadaujac climbs a gentle slope and properties, some shareholders within voluptuous. Its distinction is in itstraverses an expanse of vines, the owning family decided to cash balance and harmony, qualities thatpassing many famous properties in. Jean, unable to buy out the allow the wine to age gracefully.including Haut-Bailly. defectors, had no choice but to put Although about half the barrels in This estate differs from its the property on the market. He was which the young wine is aged areneighbours in that its vineyards are lucky to find as purchaser a pensive new, Haut-Bailly rarely comes overentirely composed of red grapes, banker from New York State: Robert as oaky. And if, in its youth, it canalthough a few rows of white grapes Wilmers. The two men shared a seem restrained and diplomatic, afterdid survive until the 1950s. This area passion for the wines from Haut- a few years in bottle, it exudes thejust south of the city of Bordeaux is Bailly, and Wilmers was prepared to subtle aromas – blackcurrants,the main source of the region’s best invest heavily in renovating the mulch, tobacco, cedar – and showsdry white wines, but Haut-Bailly winery, without wishing to stamp his the silky texture and discreetsticks to what it knows best: elegant, own personality on the wines. tannins that are among itssavoury red wines that epitomise the The wine trade – writers as well as hallmarks. Great Bordeaux does notrefined leafy style of the Graves. importers and winemakers – had just impress; it should charm as The property dates back to the always been made welcome at Haut- well, and Haut-Bailly does this in Doing just vine: Haut­Bailly’s distinction comes from superb soil rather than smoke and mirrors in the winery1630s, when it was founded by a Bailly, where they were often regaled spades. It is a wine that alwaysParisian banker, Firmin Le Bailly, with a fine meal by Jean and his seems to have more to give. but from the superb quality of the Wilmers, for example, less, which, compared with thebut it did not remain in his family shrewd, intelligent granddaughter, Other illustrious growths may be soils on which the grapes are commissioned a detailed soil study, prices demanded for wines that mayfor long, passing subsequently Véronique. Wilmers swiftly more coveted by collectors and more planted. to allow more informed equal but not exceed Haut-Bailly inthrough many hands. In 1872 it had recognised her qualities and made garlanded by some wine critics, but Here, Cabernet Sauvignon, the micromanagement of the vineyards. quality, makes the latter somethinga new owner, who built the château her administrator of the estate in Haut-Bailly has legions of admirers, noblest variety of Bordeaux, thrives, Haut-Bailly has never been a of a steal.– which is little more than a 2000, a universally popular choice. and purchasers, because it sells at a while the quarter of the vineyard “collectable” wine and is all the But think of it primarily as a winedignified and spacious family home – Haut-Bailly was in Véronique’s reasonable, though never cheap, devoted to Merlot contributes flesh better for it. Its top vintages hold for the table rather than the cellar.and expanded the vineyards. This blood and she knew what needed to price, and rarely disappoints, even in and suppleness to the final blend. their value, and even gain some, but Yes, buy and store for a decade, butwas a period of great renown for be done to maintain and improve the trickier vintages. Véronique and If the Haut-Bailly formula has been wine lovers will not make a killing then pull the cork and enjoy.Haut-Bailly, and its wines sold for quality of its wines. In 2003 she hired Vialard know that the wine’s successful for decades, that does not by buying a case. Even great yearsprices that sometimes rivalled those as winemaker Gabriel Vialard, who distinction comes not from smoke incline the owner and his team to such as 1982, 1989 and 2000 can be Stephen Brook is author ofof the Médoc’s premiers crus. had helped put another Graves wine, and mirrors in the winery and cellar, rest on their laurels. obtained for £700 ($1,146) a case or “The Complete Bordeaux”New owner is ‘pulled along by the momentum’ How do you make a small De Sours was an three-year plan to make hand it on to somebody.” He has bought more Interview fortune in the wine established brand with an the château secure, A potted history of the vineyards, replanted nearly Martin Krajewski business? Start off with a enviable reputation for its improve the vineyards and recent ownership of de all the original 26 hectares, large one. rosé when Krajewski took winery, and sell. “But the Sours run something like and built a €3.5m winery.The businessman­ Martin Krajewski, however, would probably it over in 2004. He says the house was in poor moment I got my feet under the table, everything this: 1990, bought by Johnstone; 1997, Krajewski In so doing, he has demonstrated the ticklishturned­winemaker not disagree with this condition and the estate changed.” The three-year invests at Johnstone’s nature of making theis creating a family oldest of wine trade jokes. He has turned round effectively bust: it had been kept going “by plan became a five-year one, then seven, and now request; 2003, Krajewski joins the board; by 2004 he numbers work. Take the apparentlylegacy at Château Château de Sours in moving money round the 10. “The momentum pulls has bought out Johnstone. simple matter of planting ade Sours, writes Bordeaux partly by financial acumen and whole time”. The previous owner, Esme Johnstone, you along,” he says. Krajewski’s older Krajewski is clear why he wanted the château: “It vineyard. If you plant at 8,000 vines per hectare,Margaret Rand partly thanks to extremely says it “was viable”, and daughter has trained as a was a marvellous asset; a which in Entre-Deux-Mers deep pockets. These come that “compared with a lot winemaker, and his son is beautiful property, with a produces better quality from founding and then of vineyards around, it was about to do the same. brand with a following than the traditional 5,000, selling Blomfield, a in pretty good shape”. “It’s not like other jobs,” round the world, and a can you charge more for recruitment group. Initially, Krajewski had a he says. “You have to legacy for the future.” your wine? The annual cost of running the vineyard rises if there are more vines in it. “The problem in Entre- Martin Krajewski turned Château de Sours around Deux-Mers is that the properties tend to be too new baby, Clos Cantenac. which has now been sold. small to be viable,” he Once you start buying He was involved, with says. “At 20,000 cases, you vineyards it seems hard to winemakers John Duval can’t sustain more than a stop. In 2006, Krajewski’s and David Fatches, in team of two or three. winemaker, Sebastien making small batches of “Break-even point is at Lamothe, suggested they top-quality Shiraz, Riesling about 45,000 cases, though buy 1.7ha in Saint-Émilion. and Pinot Noir. it’s a fine line and varies That has now been But it was all very far from year to year.” increased to 3.4ha, and away. “It’s incredibly De Sours made 50,000 Clos Cantenac broke even expensive to make wine in cases last year, and will in its first year and made Australia – two or three make 70,000 in 2012. It has a small profit in 2009. times the cost of making it been breaking even on a Saint-Émilion fetches a in Bordeaux,” he says. trading basis for the past higher price than Entre- Still, he has not fully two years, and profit is Deux-Mers – five or six closed that chapter. “I’d be expected in 2011. times as much. dreadfully sorry not to do Krajewski has a team of Krajewski also had a anything in Australia ever 14, but it also makes his venture in Australia, again,” he says.
  • 5. FINANCIAL TIMES SATURDAY JUNE 18 2011 ★ 5 Buying & Investing in WineBooks draw thecork on thepassions of theBurgundophileBurgundy’s appeal is strange repeated disappointment andand unique. It offers constant court the sublime; Normanintellectual challenge, repeated provides all the context youdisappointment and occasional, could wish for, and isintense sensual reward. particularly strong on geology, How do you respond to the history and the theory andfirst, avoid the second and practice of terroir in Burgundy.pursue the third? Via books – There is more, though: onceand the past year has brought the vineyards are dealt with, a Mendoza region suitsthree very fine ones. final part of the book tackles grape varieties, winemaking, tasting, the failings of wine journalists and much else. Norman is as reluctant to both vines and visitors rhapsodise as is Morris; he is, Inside Burgundy though, entertainingly testy on by Jasper Morris occasion. Burgundy’s grands crus truly deserve a book or Berry Bros & Rudd, two of their own, and this £50 unapologetically intellectual author has met the contextual The futuristic O Fournier bodega resembles a spaceship that has just touched down on planet earth and its wines are out of this world Only one of the three challenge with assurance andfunctions as a general guide to skill few others could have wine and tourism in Mendoza. Here, as are an excellent spa and restaurant.the region, Chablis and the managed. Argentina almost everything is new, bold, bright, Travel tips Luxury accommodation is also scarceMâconnais included. This is epic – and well worth the trip. in the Uco Valley. But things are acceler-Inside Burgundy: The John Stimpfig discovers the In addition, the region has plenty of ● If you are staying in Mendoza City, ating apace. This year, a 310-hectare check out the Vines of Mendoza tastingVineyards, the Wine and thePeople by wine merchant wild charms of the world’s natural attributes to recommend itself to travellers. Its spectacular Andean back- room near the Park Hyatt Hotel. There, development, Valle de Uco Golf, Wine and Country (www.valle-de-uco.com) willJasper Morris (Berry Bros & most exciting wine region drop never disappoints; nor does the you can taste more than 50 wines from start construction of a five-star hotel andRudd Press, £50; check Pearl of the Côte weather. With more than 300 days of various bodegas and get advice on boutique vineyard lodge.www.bbr.com for non-UK by Allen D Meadows sky-blue sunshine, it is ideal terroir for where to go Meanwhile, check into the Posada Ssuppliers). Morris has elf-drive tourists beware. Unless vines and visitors. Last year alone, 1.5m Salentein, an impressive modern countrymacerated in Burgundy for 30 www.burghound you have a fully functioning sat- people made the trip and more will ● Ensure you make reservations for all hotel set in an expansive estancia. There books.com, $59.99 winery tours and restaurant visits. Mostyears, and has a rangy nav, getting to the O Fournier undoubtedly follow as word gets out. is plenty to do on site, as Salentein has charge for tours and tastings, which lastintellectual curiosity about the bodega and restaurant at the Currently, Mendoza is a work in 60­90 minutes its own Killka cultural centre. Remark-region that goes way beyond The focus of the third book southernmost tip of the Uco Valley in progress. But for the adventurous wine ably, one can do almost anything: tasteassessment alone. is tighter still: the twin Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine tourist looking for the world’s most ● Many wineries accept only cash, not wine, tour the monumental winery, wan- The history of the vineyards villages of Vosne-Romanée and region, requires considerable map-read- exciting, largely undiscovered wine credit cards. Also some bodegas are der through its art galleries or go horseand their winemaking families Flagey-Echézeaux, the ing skill. region, that is all part of the appeal. closed at the weekend riding. It is also the ideal base for visit-is woven, in this 656-page book, vineyards and their wines. The nearest outpost is La Consulta, Many describe its wild, unspoilt bucolic ing the many must-see boutique winerieswith domain profiles and This is Allen D. Meadows’ The which is little more than a one-horse charm as reminiscent of the Napa Valley ● Mendoza is vast, so plan your trips of the Uco Valley, including Andeluna,landholdings, winemaking Pearl of the Côte: The Great town in the middle of nowhere. From 40 or 50 years ago. Some believe the by specific regions – Maipú, Lujan de La Azul and Atamisque.particularities, vintage Wines of Vosne-Romanée there, the road to the winery barely con- wines are potentially much better than Cuyo or the Uco Valley. Then aim to do Much closer to Mendoza City is theassessments and attractively (www.burghoundbooks.com: stitutes a bumpy dirt track and signs are those of its North American counterpart. between two and four visits a day award-winning hotel, Club Tapiz, inclear, precise relief maps of $59.99). in short supply. No wonder our driver is Consequently, O Fournier is not the Maipú. According to its owner, Patriciaeach significant village. Meadows has, I suspect, lost and quietly cursing in Spanish. only new kid on the block looking to lure Tapiz, it was the first boutique hotel to Charting both vineyards and created the model for many Eventually, he regains his bearings in tourist dollars with its wow-factor open in the vineyards in 2004 and itdomains from Tonnerre to wine-writing careers by and within seconds we are approaching winery and restaurant. Closer to the city Fine wine aficionados should also beat remains one of the most charming, com-Chaintré with this level of becoming the English-language one of the most stunningly futuristic of Mendoza is the appellation of Lujan de a path to the door of Achaval-Ferrer’s fortable and understated places to stay.detail is an ambitious online specialist for a single wineries in Mendoza, if not the world. Cuyo, where foodies and oenophiles will tiny Bella Vista winery in Perdriel on the Part of that charm comes from its vine-undertaking, but Morris region through his subscription Perched in the foothills of the Andes, find the tiny region of Agrelo together famous Via Cobos. For many, Achaval- yard setting and its heritage. The 19th-succeeds admirably. This will site www.burghound.com. This with soaring snow-capped peaks beyond, with several boutique bodegas to tickle Ferrer make the best Malbec wines in century property used to belong to thebe the Burgundy book I reach is the first hard-copy distillate the O Fournier bodega resembles a their fancies. Argentina. If you are planning on mak- governor of Mendoza and has beenfor first when faced with yet of his work. spaceship that has just landed on planet Not all are avant-garde; the likes of ing the pilgrimage, it is essential to book expertly converted into an 11-room hotel,another unfamiliar bottle or Under other publishing Earth. Luigi Bosca and Norton are almost “old in advance. complete with pool and the highly rec-half-remembered domain. circumstances, the book might The subsequent tour and tasting are world” compared with Melipal, Pulenta, Boutique hotels are still few and far ommended Terrunyo restaurant. There is no room in this be called a monograph: no less impressive. Ditto the lunch at its Decero and Vistalba. Apart from provid- between in the wine regions, which is Guests at Tapiz can also enjoy dinnersalready weighty single volume Meadows has a very keen eye award-winning Urban restaurant, ing first-class accommodation, the latter why most people stay in Mendoza City in the vineyards or cycle to nearby win-for systematic, vintage-by- for detail, and there are points expertly presided over by chef Nadia also has Mendoza’s finest French restau- and drive out to the vineyards. But there eries such as the excellent Trapiche,vintage tasting notes, but the where readers may reel a little Ortega. A blend of Argentine, Spanish rant, La Bourgogne. are exceptions. Familia Zuccardi, Carinae and Tempussummary tasting element under the weight of this and Mediterranean cuisine, the food is Nearby, are two other wineries not to Vistalba apart, the other place to stay Alba. For those who are “wined out”,usually provides a useful steer. (sorting out the climats in every bit as sophisticated and cutting- be missed. One belongs to the godfather in Agrelo is the new Relais & Chateaux there is horse riding, river rafting or A little more lyricism would Beaux Monts, for example). edge as its remarkable architecture. of Argentine wine, Nicholas Catena. Cat- Cavas Wine Lodge where 14 fabulously cooking lessons. By which time, theyhave been welcome, as would Like both Morris and In many ways, O Fournier’s brilliantly ena Zapata, with its pyramid design bor- appointed adobe villas dot a 35-acre vine- might have worked up a thirst for thethe occasional critical dig. Norman, Meadows has a ambitious statement winery perfectly rowed from its Mayan heritage, provides yard. Here, luxury, privacy and exclusiv- evening wine tasting, which alwaysMorris in print is a little more magnificent historical grasp of reflects the modern dynamic approach to a benchmark tour and tasting. ity are all part of the package, takes place at 8pm sharp.diplomatic than I recall Morris his subject, which helps shinein person to be, and he must light into the thickets of detail.have plenty of ammunition His book differs from the(after 30 years of frank other two in two importantdiscussions and closefriendships with growers) withwhich to lambast regional andprofessional failings. The respects. Most notably, he provides a wealth of tasting notes and scores on specific wines, culled from what is now New locations show value as knowledge growsstrengths of this commanding a database of 55,000 notes onoverview greatly outweigh any Burgundy. Western Australia intimate, a many-chambered average has just seven days a Kinzbrunner’s own outstandingdeficiencies, though. Since many of the wines he Australia Frankland landscape where height, aspect year over 30C). Long, slow work with Chardonnay, Shiraz describes are regional In contrast to Margaret River’s and soils vary constantly, and ripening Pinot Noir and and Roussanne from his references and sometimes Andrew Jefford picks gilded coastal strip, cascading where the heat of the Adelaide Chardonnay are already Giaconda vineyard now extends monuments, these notes are with surfers and tourists, plain is dissipated by elevation compellingly good here, and to an exemplary Nebbiolo – very useful to anyone five areas that Frankland is empty and and breezes. We know its most of Australia’s finest and Julian Castagna up the Grand Cru contemplating buying or have much to offer forlorn, a place where dark higher, cooler sites can make sparkling wines are built on a road has had fine results with opening one of these hugely forestry plantations seem to magnificent Chardonnay and core of Tasmanian fruit. Sangiovese, too. by Remington expensive bottles. Meadows’ have chased away the people. precise and satisfying Domaine A, though, has proved Top producers: Giaconda; Norman notes are detailed, sometimes With every new vintage, the But the quality of the wine Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir is that you can even get Cabernet Castagna; Savaterre torrentially so, but this is diversity of Australian wine emerging from its large, remote prospering in niches in the ripe here, given a generous Kyle Cathie, £40 better than excessive concision. grows. This is partly because vineyards suggests this will be hills – and Shiraz from the season and a warm, sheltered New South Wales Orange Secondly, the Burghound is the country’s avant-garde WA’s greatest zone for Shiraz: lower-lying sites to the south- site. The island has an exciting The vineyards of Orange are Remington Norman’s Grand prepared to let himself off the understands the restraint sombre, sometimes profound east is stonily promising, too. century ahead of it. the highest of the five regionsCru: The Great Wines of leash from time to time and necessary to allow the inherent wines with an architectural Top producers: Anvers; Arrivo; Top producers: Domaine A; profiled here (indeed this is theBurgundy through the express something of the sense differences in terroir to emerge. opulence backed by natural Ashton Hills; Barratt; BK Apsley Gorge; Freycinet; only GI in Australia wherePerspective of its Finest of wonder and awe that great No less importantly, it is freshness. Intricate, bone-dry Wines; Bird in Hand; The Frogmore Creek; Grey Sands; height forms part of the zonalVineyards (Kyle Cathie, £40) is Burgundy can inspire, giving because the regions pioneered Riesling and promisingly meaty Lane; Lucy Margaux; Ngeringa; Josef Chromy; Lubiana; stipulation: the vineyards musta different kind of book. It his work a welcome emotional over the past two decades are Cabernet are the other Penfolds; Petaluma; Pike & Moorilla; Pipers Brook; Pirie; lie above 600 metres). As in thecontains no grower dimension lacking in Morris beginning to show their value strengths of Frankland’s Joyce; Protero; Shaw & Smith; Tamar Ridge Adelaide Hills, white varietiesassessments at all, but is and Norman. This is also one as vines age and the nuances continental climate and iron- Tapanappa; Geoff Weaver; dominate the heights, and redinstead a scholarly and deeply of the most elegantly designed of soil and climate are better rich laterite soils. Whisson Lake Victoria Beechworth varieties flourish beneath; theconsidered account of the self-published books to have understood. Top producers: Larry One of Australia’s greatest complex soils (you can findregion’s 33 grands crus; such come my way. Here are five regions to look Cherubino (Cherubino, The Tasmania Tasmania winemaking talents, Rick both volcanic basalt andtasting notes as the book All three are essential out for over the next few years. Yard); Ferngrove; Frankland The tautology arises because Kinzbrunner, chose Beechworth limestone) encourage furthercontains are amalgams which purchases for the Each has already produced Estate the entire island is both a state in the early 1980s; others nuances. Freshness, poise andcoalesce to form a kind of ideal Burgundophile – and remember great, naturally balanced table and, at present, a single followed. Now this granite- purity of flavour are all Orangeof each studied vineyard’s that their combined cost is less wine of finesse, poise and South Australia Australian GI (geographical soiled zone in the foothills of hallmarks, and the long, cool,wine. than that of a single bottle of global distinctiveness, and will The Adelaide Hills indication). Tasmania’s higher the Victorian Alps stands out luminous season brings natural The pursuit of grands crus is, most of the great wines they produce more. They are the Forget those images of latitudes give it decided for the production of some of balance and drinkability, too.for those with the wherewithal describe. perfect counterweight to the featureless, five-mile vineyards advantages over the rest of the Australia’s most food-friendly, Top producers: Bloodwood;to afford it, a less hazardous homogenised output that dogs under a glowering sun; the country in terms of an absence layered, textured and subtly Cumulus; Philip Shaw;means than most to avoid Andrew Jefford Australia’s reputation. Adelaide Hills are wooded and of heat spikes (Hobart on composed red and white wines. Printhie
  • 6. 6 ★ FINANCIAL TIMES SATURDAY JUNE 18 2011Buying & Investing in Wine Questions to ask before you think of laying down a bottle Over time, quality has Collecting Tips for a top cellar risen – often at the expense of quantity – as has Starting a cellar For all wine collectors demand. takes skill, timing ● Develop a workable, affordable strategy for a cellar you can live with – and love “Here are some scary numbers,” cites Staples. “In and patience, says ● Review periodically, as preferences or circumstances 1982, Château Mouton Roth- Maggie Rosen change ● Buy from a few trusted sources: promiscuity can be schild made 60,000 cases and in 2010, they made 17,000. In time­ and cost­inefficient 1982, Château Latour made Building a wine collection ● Buy from someone who has tasted the wine you want 35,000 cases, and in 2009, takes patience, skill and a ● Store wine in a temperature­controlled environment they made 9,500.” good sense of timing. ● Wine in larger bottle formats seems to age more slowly Prices, mainly driven by Whether it is designed for Chinese buyers, have investment, drinking or a Especially for investment cellars soared and Staples is confi- bit of both, the ideal cellar ● Store wine in a dedicated bonded warehouse to dent this will continue. comes together one, six, 12 maintain condition and for logistical ease Berry Bros Hong Kong has bottles at a time – and ● Buy more than you plan to drink fewer than 100 mainland offers a combination of the ● When selling, plan well ahead to get the best price Chinese clients, and they thrill of the chase, achieve- ● Monitor your portfolio – but not constantly spent £30m on 2009 Bor- ment and reward. deaux alone. “We have only “Before committing to just scratched the surface.” anything, you must ask The moral is: get in with yourself: ‘What kind of much discipline they may prevent costly mistakes. a merchant that can pro- drinker am I? What kind of tolerate, and the direction Stephen Williams, manag- vide a coveted allocation orWine how it used to be: the natural version has a welcome edginess, says Katherine O’Mara of Artisan and Vine Rosie Hallam buyer am I?’,” advises their passion may take. ing director of the Antique be left behind. Shaun Kiernan, fine-wine “For me, the best way is Wine Company, says collec- While advice and accessGrape, whole grape and manager of the Wine to sit down with my clients tors should resist filling a can be invaluable, collectors Society. and talk things over,” says cellar all at once – particu- themselves may perceive For a one-time fee of £40, Simon Staples, sales direc- larly when the wine is to be their own weak points. the 137-year-old wine buy- tor of Berry Bros & Rudd. kept in the house. Although new to wine col- ing co-operative provides “I don’t think you should “Cellars are much more lecting, Francesco Giovan-nothing but the grape members with lifelong overanalyse; that takes the useful – and look much noni, a reader in economics access to bottled wine from fun out of it. more aesthetically pleasing at Bristol University, consid- all regions and at all price “But a good cellar takes – when they are full,” he ers himself too independent levels. some planning, and you can says. “But creating a to commit to a profes- “How much do you tend always change direction cellar for the long sional cellar plan. to spend a year, and per later on – particularly if term isn’t a one-off His cellar comprises a bottle? What countries, you plan well now.” buying spree; it is an few hundred bottles, David Harvey of Raeburn Fine Wines. grape varieties or styles do Berry Bros, The Wine ongoing process.” mostly Champagne,Natural wine A few to try . . . “‘Natural’ also suggests the faulty- you like, and do your Society and other mer- Extending a cellar which he feels he should Barbarossa 2009 Domaine Comte funky, overly laisser-faire brigade, choices change with the chants including Justerini under one’s house is drink sooner than later.Maggie Rosen takes a few Abbatucci, Ajaccio, Corsica. £39 which the finer practitioners detest. kind of food you eat, or & Brooks and Fine+Rare an expensive prospect, “If anything, I am toosips and asks if it is all (Artisan and Vine) And it suggests cheap price points and drunken youth, rather than wine with the season?” says Kiernan. offer formal cellar plans that give novice and experi- and moving wine is always discouraged. scared to open what I have. I think: ‘I havejust a storm in a goblet Baux de Provence (any vintage), lovers with good disposable income.” He suggests that anyone enced collectors a variety of Not least, a col- paid all this money; Domaine Henri Milan, £19 (Artisan If the natural wine scene in New looking to lay down wines options based on a defined lector with no I need a special and Vine) York and Paris – and more recently starts at £10 a bottle. strategy and monthly pay- room for more occasion.’”T he increasingly giddy interest Tokyo and London – is an indication, “Below that, you’ll struggle ment plan. trophies may This excuse is in natural wine has tracked Saint­Joseph 2009 Domaine these producers have little to worry to get anything that will These start at about £25 a have to forgo quickly followed the quest in food circles for Dard et Ribo £26.99 (Les Caves de about. It is their clientele that packs keep more than years.” month towards a collection some enticing by a justification authenticity, quality and Pyrène) Artisan and Vine, Bar Battu, Brawn, While The Wine Society for drinking or a minimum opportunities. worthy of an econ-quirk. For wine, this means a drink Green and Blue Wines and Terroirs encourages members to buy of £250 a month for an For anyone omist.that is made from the grape, the Cuvée Marginale 2009 Domaine (all in London). for drinking rather than for investment-grade portfolio. buying specifi- “If I had 3,000whole grape and nothing but the des Roches­Neuves £27.99 (Les At the higher end, restaurants such speculation, Kiernan notes Such plans also provide cally to resell, bottles, I mightgrape. Caves de Pyrène) as Michelin two-starred Hibiscus in that members may consider an entrée to rare or hard-to- one pitfall is to find it easier to Many in the wine world find this London and Bell’s Diner in Bristol, selling if their tastes or pri- source wines as well as Bor- stray from the open them –threatening, as it highlights all that is Clos Fantine Faugères 2009 have devoted a portion of their list to orities change, or simply deaux wine futures, the sta- well-defined uni- maybe I’d feel lessnot natural about most wine. £12.99 (Whole Foods Market) natural wines. because they have amassed ple of every investment cel- verse of invest- pressure to accu- Producers of even top labels use Whether there are more faults or more wine than they will lar – and, for those who ment wines – mulate,” he says.chemicals of all types in their vine- Barbaresco Crichet Paje 1999 off-notes in natural wine than in more ever drink. need it, some focus. mainly a list of ayards, along with cultivated yeasts, Alfredo Roagna £124.99 (Whole processed wine is a subject of spirited Budget and level of expe- Even the most independ- few top Bordeaux Further resourcespowdered tannins and countless Foods Market) debate. Even those who consider rience aside, examining the ent hunter-gatherers find and a few Bur- are publishedingredients and manipulations to the sometimes stronger, forthright fla- context, tastes and motiva- that supplementing their gundies that has online atachieve desired flavour, colour and vours integral to the wine’s personal- tions that drive each collec- self-directed efforts with long defied expan- www.ft.com/wine-mouthfeel. The additive that gets the ity maintain that standards should be tor helps determine how guided cellar-planning can sion. investment-2011most attention is sulphur dioxide unexpected jolie-laide who steals the just as high as with more “processed”(SO2) – that is, sulphites used to scene from the conventionally beauti- wine.control fermentation and prevent oxi- ful film star. Peter Hogarth, wine buyer fordation – to which many drinkers Doug Wregg, sales and marketing Whole Foods Market, keeps his bar-believe they are allergic. director of Les Caves de Pyrène – one rier to entry high out of necessity. In short, it takes a great deal of of the UK’s main importers of natural “There is obviously a slight concernintervention to make a “perfect” wine, wine – was introduced to natural wine that not all these wines are palatablebottle after million bottle. a few years ago while in Paris. for everybody, so we have to be care- “In my opinion, all wine is not natu- “I had never even heard of it, didn’t ful about which natural wines weral – but we sell this dream to con- even know there were natural wine stock and promote,” he says.sumers that it is,” says Isabelle bars,” he says. “But I was just blown Hogarth and others cite theLegeron, a wine consultant and educa- away by it. It was speaking in a differ- restrained use of added sulphites intor who focuses on natural wine. “We ent idiom.” To the jaded palate, the natural wine as one of the main defin-show them gorgeous stories, rows of wine has a purity and finesse. ing factors, but by no means the onlygreen vines – but we don’t ever ques- “It has a welcome edginess to it,” one.tion how that drink is made. There is says Katherine O’Mara, owner of “There are plenty of conventionalno ingredient labelling, and you don’t three-year-old Artisan and Vine, the wines that undergo natural fermentknow what goes into your wine.” first wine bar and shop in London to without industrial yeasts and are bot- Eschewing the safety net of chemis- highlight natural wine. tled unfined and unfiltered,” he pointstry and corrective techniques means “I find the flavours are clearer and out. “So you could end up includingfocusing on achieving a balance in the purer, it has a freshness and energy pretty much everything, and the termvineyard, being extremely vigilant that are absent in most wine. The then becomes meaningless.”over what is happening to vines wines actually taste to me like they Lionel Periner, sommelier at Bell’sthroughout the growing season, and were once real fruit, as opposed to Diner in Bristol, says the lack of anaccepting that nature is not only boss, fruit-flavoured sweets.” agreed definition or certification pro-but knows best – even in the cellar. Though new to many, natural wine tocol – such as exists for both organic Natural winemakers use wild is, at heart, what all wine used to be. and biodynamic production – requiresyeasts, for example, which are capri- And its practitioners comprise some a leap of faith.cious, whereas manufactured yeasts of the most famous – Gianfranco Sol- “Because it is up to the producers toare bred to be dependable. dera, Domaine Leroy, Domaine de la decide what natural means, you have This kind of farming is not for eve- Romaneé Conti and Jean-Louis Chave to trust them,” he says. “You alsoryone, and difficult to do on a large among them. But in most cases, they have to trust your own tastes.”scale. But many find the results a have not trumpeted this aspect.refreshing change from the sea of “Great producers don’t want to be Details of where to try or buy naturalmediocre corporate wine – like the lumped with mere mortals,” says wine are published onlineHiccups as Chinese bring cheerContinued from Page 1 best wines in the best vin- term influence and high probable. “We would cer- tages”. prices will have a small pos- tainly like to see a moreAnother subtle but signifi- “Effectively, Chinese buy- itive effect,” says Chris stable and sustainable levelcant change is the slow but ers were placing the brand Smith of the Wine Invest- of growth,” he adds.discernible broadening of before the quality of the ment Fund. “Last year, it This is roughly in linethe market as more Asian vintage,” explains Beck. “So was probably 10-15 per cent with Smith’s prediction thatbuyers branch out into over the past year, there but this year it won’t be the market will grow by 21“super second” wines such has been an inverse rela- anything like as much.” per cent in 2011, with Chinaas Palmer, Montrose, Cos tionship between the per- While 2010 does not look and the strength of its cur-d’Estournel, Las-Cases, formance of the vintage and like a great investment rency being key drivers. HeDucru-Beaucaillou, Lynch- its quality.” opportunity at this early also sees a trend towardsBages and Pichon Baron. Without question, some stage, the smart money will investors looking at wine asAs a result, these wines fund managers who relied focus on a handful of stand- a hedge, rather like gold.now look increasingly on traditional relative value out vintages that seem good “With concerns over risingattractive to investors, not analysis were caught out by value. For many, the pick of inflation, investors will beleast because they continue this turn of events. But drawn to physical assetsto be bought (and drunk) by Beck believes this phenome- Fine wines such as wine,” he notes.traditional drinkers who non is purely temporary will benefit if Are there any dark cloudshave been priced out of the and has probably peaked. China’s GDP lurking on the horizon forpremiers crus. “It has to swing back as keeps rising, the fine wine market? “The According to Davison, buyers become more dis- says Liv­ex’s fundamentals remain soundthis desirable double cerning,” he says. “Eventu- Justin Gibbs and as long as China’s GDPwhammy will have the posi- ally, the premiums of the continues to grow, finetive effect of diminishing top vintages will start to wine will undoubtedly bene-supply and pushing up reassert themselves.’ the bunch is 2005, followed fit,” says Gibbs. “Also, weprices. “There are still Right now, the front-of- by 1996 and 1990. “2005 is a are still in the very earlyplenty of people in Europe, mind vintage is, of course, truly great vintage that stages when it comes toAsia and the US who are the much-lauded 2010 that looks cheap and has been China, which obviouslywilling and able to buy is currently being sold en out of the spotlight for a bodes well for the future.these wines,” he says. primeur or as “wine few years now,” says “Against that, with so Arguably, the most dra- futures”, offering the cus- Liv-ex’s Justin Gibbs. many eggs in one basket, amatic trend of the past 12 tomer the opportunity to “Many of the wines are severe, unforeseen shockmonths was brand-driven invest in a particular wine trading at less than their from China, whether it isdemand from Asian buyers before it is bottled. Fund 2008 peaks, so it looks like a wine-related or a squeezefor cheaper, “off-prime” vin- managers are generally very good buy.” on money supply, couldtages. As a result, years bullish that the predicted As for the rest of the have a massive negativesuch as 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 record primeur prices for year, the consensus view is impact. Going forward, myand 2007 unexpectedly out- the second year running that the market will return view is that there will beperformed the likes of 2000, will reaffirm the value to be to more steady growth. bumps in the road. But over2003 and 2005 – turning on found in older vintages. Beck believes a return to the medium to long term,its head the old wine invest- “I think the en primeur long-term average price the wider picture looks asment adage “only buy the campaign will be a short- rises of 15 per cent a year is positive as ever.”