Tim Atkin Keynote Fine Wine 2010

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Tim Atkin talks about what is "Fine Wine" at the Fine Wine Conference 2010 in Aranda de Duero.

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Tim Atkin Keynote Fine Wine 2010

  1. 1. WHAT IS FINE WINE?<br />Ribera del Duero<br />28th April 2010<br />
  2. 2. Remembering where we live: wine’s human dimension<br /> “For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they were born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learnt to walk , the games they played as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can’t come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.”<br /> Somerset Maugham “The Razor’s Edge” 1944<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Where we are now: the wine world in 2010<br /><ul><li>Average quality higher than at any time in history
  4. 4. Wine widely consumed worldwide (non-Muslim countries)
  5. 5. Knowledge of most consumers growing, but low. Laurent Blanc
  6. 6. Palatable wine now made (almost) everywhere
  7. 7. Global over-production. EU reforms trying to address this
  8. 8. Over-supply of wine at all levels. Australia. California. The Languedoc
  9. 9. Competition > low prices. Low return on investment. Shareholder pressure. Bankruptcy among small and highly leveraged medium sized wineries.
  10. 10. Increasingly globalised market (China, India)
  11. 11. Paradox: fewer routes to market. Retailer and distributor consolidation
  12. 12. Anti-alcohol lobby growing in importance. Neo-prohibition
  13. 13. Fine wine irrelevant to most consumers</li></ul>3<br />
  14. 14. All change?: the rise of the New World<br /><ul><li>1522 (Mexico), 1550 (Chile), 1655 (The Cape), 1697 (California), 1788 (Australia), 1819 (New Zealand), 1885 (Argentina – railway line)
  15. 15. Klein Constantia historic, but essentially a post-war phenomenon
  16. 16. 1951 first (experimental) vintage of Grange
  17. 17. 1966 Robert Mondavi establishes first new winery since Prohibition in Napa
  18. 18. 1972 First Chardonnay planted in South Australia. Fortified wines
  19. 19. 1976 Judgment of Paris
  20. 20. 1985 First vintage of Cloudy Bay
  21. 21. 1980s rise and rise of flying winemakers. Star names in their own right
  22. 22. An attitude of mind as much as a way of making wine: consumer- and retailer-led.
  23. 23. Marketing and labelling. Varietalism
  24. 24. Soil is dirt > appellations and distinguished vineyard sites</li></ul>4<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
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  29. 29. Fine wine: a traditional view<br /><ul><li>European, but mostly French. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Germany, Tokaji, Port, Sherry. What about Tuscany and Piedmont, Ribera and Rioja?
  30. 30. Wines with a track record, sometimes dating back hundreds of years
  31. 31. Vins de terroir, although the term is recent. No mention in books before 1990. Goût de pierre. Derivation probably from territorium, not terra
  32. 32. High priced wines. Ratified in the salesrooms of London and New York
  33. 33. Longevity
  34. 34. Scarcity
  35. 35. A handful of grape varieties, mostly French
  36. 36. Note changes BP and AP, especially in Bordeaux. 1855 classification
  37. 37. Protected appellations. Regulations. Anti-fraud measures
  38. 38. Taste dictated by merchants, not journalists</li></ul>9<br />
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  43. 43. So what’s changed?<br />14<br />
  44. 44. Fine wine today: the new reality <br /><ul><li>Still Bordeaux dominated to an alarming extent.
  45. 45. Liv-Ex Fine 100 Fine Wine Index (www.liv-ex.com). Tracks “the most sought after wines for which there is a strong secondary market”. A little Burgundy, Champagne, Tuscany and the Rhône, but essentially a who’s who of Bordeaux
  46. 46. Investment opportunities. 2009 Fine Wine index rose by 17.4%.
  47. 47. Counterfeit wines.
  48. 48. The power of the press. Or rather points out of 100. Absence of context
  49. 49. Reviews have made it possible to become a cult overnight. For how long?
  50. 50. Increasingly globalised market. Demand for top wines. The Lafite phenomenon. Paul Pontallier’s son. Watch the First Growths.
  51. 51. Slight enlargement of the world of fine wine. United States, Piedmont, Tuscany, Ribera, Priorat, Rioja, Douro Valley, Rhône, Australia, Austria</li></ul>15<br />
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  56. 56. Fine wine in action: the 2009 Bordeaux en primeurs<br /><ul><li>Pre-vintage hype, even before a grape had been picked
  57. 57. Third “vintage of the century” in the last decade. 2000 and 2005
  58. 58. Massive worldwide demand for the top wines. Blank cheques, investment funds. Opportunity for skulduggery.
  59. 59. Little demand for the bulk of Bordeaux. Growing polarisation
  60. 60. Parker points driving up prices of many wines. “The most important document in the history of modern wine.” (Simon Staples, Berry Brothers Rudd)
  61. 61. Merchants complicit in talking up the vintage. Cash flow in a recession?
  62. 62. Enter the Far East? 16 flags at Ducru-Beaucaillou
  63. 63. Drawn-out campaign. Vinexpo Asia
  64. 64. Unsold 2007 and 2008s. Package deal?
  65. 65. Châteaux owners seeking their share of profits. Too greedy?</li></ul>20<br />
  66. 66.
  67. 67.
  68. 68.
  69. 69.
  70. 70.
  71. 71. The IWC: tasting 10,000 wines<br /><ul><li>The world’s largest and most rigorously judged blind wine competiton
  72. 72. Now in its 27th year
  73. 73. Five co-chairmen, 20 panel leaders. More than 300 expert judges
  74. 74. Everything judged at least twice. Trophy winners as many as six times
  75. 75. Over 10,000 wines entered from 42 countries.
  76. 76. In 2010, there were 327 gold medals and 1,441 silver medals
  77. 77. Silver and golds from Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, England, Japan, Romania, Canada, Turkey , the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Mexico and Macedonia
  78. 78. Winning varieties included Agiorgitiko, Alfrocheiro, Amigne, Bogazkere, Cesanese, Chiavennasca, Greco diTufo, HondarrabiZuri, Lagrein, Mencia, Moscophilero, Narince, Pecorino, Roditis, Saperavi, Scheurebe, Trepat and Vranec
  79. 79. Good wine can come from anywhere!</li></ul>26<br />
  80. 80. The future of fine wine: where next?<br /><ul><li>Fine wine is under threat, despite the interest in 2009 Bordeaux
  81. 81. $100 a bottle Cabernets have to justify their existence more than ever
  82. 82. Our interpretation of fine wine regions and grape varieties has barely evolved in the last 100 years, despite the huge improvements in quality worldwide
  83. 83. Fine wine reliant on a small handful of grapes: Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling
  84. 84. Italy, Greece, Portugal, Turkey all have a rich array of under-used indigenous grapes
  85. 85. An end to Bordeaux-itis. Under-utilised world class grapes include: TourigaNacional, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Assyrtiko, NerelloMascalese
  86. 86. Greater diversity of opinion. Journalism based on research
  87. 87. Dare to be different! </li></ul>27<br />
  88. 88.
  89. 89. THANK YOU<br />www.timatkin.comwww.thewinegang.com<br />

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