Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Capital Vintners: Brazil to double fine wine consumption in next four years

The Brazilian Wine Institute and the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets want to double the total consumption of fine wine in the next four years to forty million litres.

The Brazilian government has ignored calls to put quotas on imported wine and allowed a more worldwide wine market to thrive in the country. 

The BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India, and China - nations are seeing high growth stats as the rest of the world battles with recession. China’s growth may have dropped off a little recently but latest quarterly growth figures are still over seven per cent. Brazil is predicted to see over four per cent growth in 2013. An emerging middle class is bound to attract an influx of luxury imports, with fine wine being top of that list. 

Government to spend £420,000 on fine wine to stock House of Commons bars

Capital Vintners has learned that the Government will spend close to half a million pounds on fine wine not widely available on the high street. It has been suggested that MPs are looking for rarer fine wines to stock bars in the House of Commons.   

After the ‘plebgate’ row with Andrew Mitchell last month, the government is in danger of being seen to be completely out of touch with the common man. 

A Labour source in Westminster commented: "It says a lot about this government of Old Etonians that it still sees lavish spending on fine wines as a necessity at a time when essential services like the police and pension benefits are being slashed. The rest of us are happy with a £5 bottle." 

The House of Commons bars are subsidised by the public - a glass of wine is under £2.50 - so this latest revelation is bound to reinforce stereotypes that politicians do not know what the UK's priorities are right now.    

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Worldwide wine output lowest in decades

Bloomberg has reported today that global wine production is due to fall to its lowest levels in 37 years.

Terrible weather across the globe has created the worst wine harvest in decades. France, Italy and Argentina  in particular have witnessed a year of drought, flooding and hail. Seeing as France and Italy are the largest wine-producing countries in the world, 2012 has been a tough year for wine producers. 

At Capital Vintners we are fully aware of the difficulties the worldwide wine market faces right now. A lack of produce is likely to push costs up. However, the Bordeaux region was not as badly affected as other regions (roughly 10 per cent down on 2011 harvest).

Capital Vintners provides up-to-date information on the wine investment market and will be closely following developments as we enter 2013.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bordeaux 2009 classics

Chateau Cos'Estournel
A couple of fantastic Robert Parker-endorsed Bordeaux 2009 wines are making a splash right now.

Here at Capital Vintners we know that Bordeaux wines are always a great investment opportunity, with two wines in particular proving to be successful right now. 

The Chateau Angelus 2009 and the Chateau Cos D’Estournel 2009 both featured in Robert Parker’s ‘Magical 20’. Parker – arguably the most respected Bordeaux wine critic in the world – has a 100 point wine system that is used by the wine industry all around the world. At Capital Vintners we only deal with wines with a Parker score of over 95 – the absolute best wines in the world.   

What are even more impressive are the comments Parker made on these two wines. Of the Angelus, Parker said that it was an “impressive show winner” and gave it a score of 96-100. The Cos D’Estournel gained even more praise. Parker said of the Cos, “All the debate about this should now be over. Soft. Amazing. Deep. Concentrated. Not like any of the others. I love it.” The wine was given 98-100 points.

Keep an eye on these two wines, as they are likely to skyrocket in value.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Second Chinese-owned negociant to open in Bordeaux next month

Another Chinese-owned negociant is set to open in Bordeaux next month as the Asian wine market continues to make a mark on the French region.

Chinese businessman Jinshan Zhang is responsible for the exciting new venture. The first Chinese-owned negociant in Bordeaux opened in 2008 and employs seven people, including three Chinese speakers. The new negociant – Chateau du Grand Mouëys – will aim to export roughly 60 per cent of the annual 350,000-bottle production.  

A negociant is a French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.

Mr Zhang’s foray into Bordeaux is yet another demonstration of the rise of the Chinese fine wine market and its interest in French vineyards.

With Chateau Margaux recently employing a new business development officer in Shanghai and also launching a Chinese language site, it is clear that there are major opportunities for investment in fine wines that are clearly cherished and beloved by a rapidly growing Chinese market.  

Capital Vintners buys and sells the finest Bordeaux First Growths, including Chateau Margaux:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New wine trade show announced for London 2013

Capital Vintners can report that a brand new event for the wine trade will be launched in London next September.

The idea is to create a hive of business activity, where like-minded professionals can come together and conduct meetings and seminars. UK agents, producers from all around the world, and distributors will be able to mingle and discuss wine-related issues.

The event has an invitation-only policy for UK buyers and will take place on September 24 at the Royal Albert Hall.     

Burgundy wines soaring in value

Christie’s have reported that Burgundies are performing incredibly well right now.

In particular Domaine de la Romanee-Conti has performed well. Although Bordeaux wines are still top dog, Burgundies are gaining notoriety in the market, especially Asia.

Capital Vintners not only offers a wide collection of fine wines, but also the very best Burgundies:

As production in Burgundy is smaller than Bordeaux, it is more difficult to get hold of. Also the wines are more subject to variation by vintage and grower. This scarcity of wine drives up demand and desire for Burgundies, especially across Asia. Asian buyers love the pairing of Burgundy and their native seafood dishes because it is softer on the palate and more versatile than Bordeaux.  

The two big names in Burgundy wine for Asian investors right now are Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Henri Jayer, but other producers are now becoming well known. They include Leroy, Ponsot, Lafon and Dujac.  

In 2005, a magnum 1971 Romanee-Conti on average went for around £6500 in auctions; the price is now over £21,000.

It is clear that there is huge investment potential with fine Burgundies right now. As the Asian market expands, investors and consumers will look to regions other than Bordeaux for fine wine. Burgundy appears to be the perfect fit right now. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chateau Margaux focuses its business on high-flying Chinese market

Chateau Margaux (Megan Mallen)
Chateau Margaux has hired Fangyuan Zheng, a business development manager, in Shanghai to overlook the Bordeaux producer’s sales across the region.

The esteemed French wine producer is building on its brand and relationships in China - Thibault Pontallier was appointed Margaux’s brand ambassador in Hong Kong in 2010 – in order to take full advantage of the growing Chinese market. 

In the past the heavy-hitting producers like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Lafite dominated the Chinese market. These days, investors and drinkers alike are just as interested in other French producers, including Chateau Montrose, Margaux and Pichon Baron. 

French-born merchant Alexander Cros recently spoke to China Daily: “Now it is not just Beijing and Shanghai, it is the other cities where people are interested and want to understand different wines, not just Chateau Lafite."

Here at Capital Vintners we understand how strong the Chinese market is right now. Currently the world’s fifth-largest wine market, China has developed a fondness for Bordeaux wines in particular. In 2010 China replaced the UK and Germany for the first time to become the largest importer of Bordeaux wine.

Check out our wide range of fine Bordeaux wines at

Friday, October 19, 2012

Worldwide shortage of 1.3 billion bottles in wine as Europe experiences huge output slump

Capital Vintners' warehouse at Locke King, full of  fine wines 

It has been reported today that the world is facing a shortage of 1.3 billion bottles of wine this year, mainly due to the erratic weather across Europe. 

According to Bloomberg, the production slumps in France, Italy and Spain have led to worldwide shortage. And since the European harvest accounts for 62 per cent of worldwide wine production, this shortage is bound to have a serious impact on Bertrand Girard, the chief executive office of Groupe Val d’Orbieu, today said: “We’re short of wine. We've never seen that in three or four decades.” The global shortfall is expected to be over 250 million gallons. Even though wine consumption has steadily increased over the past decade, production has consistently fallen, according to data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.  

Here at Capital Vintners we know that a shortage in supply will push up demand for these fine wines across France, especially Bordeaux and Burgundy. With the Bordeaux region coming out a lot better than many other regions this harvest, the 2012 Grand Crus are bound to attract a lot of attention.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chateau Margaux hires Foster to update cellars

Chateau Margaux (Megan Mallen)
Renowned British architect Sir Norman Foster has been hired to revamp Chateau Margaux. 

The renovation will include an underground bottle library for past vintages and a new vinification cellar, where reds and whites will be able to be vinified in the same part of the estate for the first time since the 1970s.

The estate will also be more suited to visitors. New meeting rooms and tasting rooms will give the Chateau more opportunities to stage hospitality events.

Capital Vintners buys and sells a fantastic selection of Margaux wines
(, so we will be looking closely at this partnership between Chateau Margaux and Sir Norman Foster in the near future. 

As Chateau Margaux is a listed building, the planning and preparation has been slow and meticulous. Foster – in collaboration with the Bordeaux architect Guy Tropres – will have to make sure that the building’s treasured exterior is kept intact. However the interior will be completely modernised.

Work is expected to start in April 2013.

Bordeaux concept wines launched

Capital Vintners is excited to hear that four Michelin-starred chefs and Arnaud Christiaens, a French hedge fund manager and oenophile, have joined forces to create a new wine brand from four different Bordeaux appellations.

The chefs - Bruno Menard, Frederic Anton, Alain Dutournier and Yannick Alleno – have been working with Gerard Basset, a World Champion Sommelier, to create something new and exciting.

Known as Le Secret des Grands Chefs, the project consists of four 2009 wines from small vineyards in Paulliac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Médoc and Pomerol.

President of the project Arnaud Christiaens said: “I am delighted to introduce Le Secret des Grands Chefs, the fruit of four years’ hard and dedicated work that has been a struggle to keep secret. The combination of talents from Châteaux owners, the best Chefs, financial support and outstanding soils can add up to more than a simple Cartesian formula. It is a great story of man and nature in harmony.”

Christiaens added: “We wanted to produce a new ‘Grand Vin’. Many said it was impossible. But we did it.”

We look forward to seeing (and tasting) the finished product at Capital Vintners very soon.

China set to become second largest luxury market by 2017

China is due to become the world’s second largest market for luxury goods in the space of five years.

Luxury goods sales could reach $302 billion worldwide this year, up four per cent from 2011. 

Fine wine, especially Bordeaux wine, dominates the luxury goods landscape.
Most of the large UK merchants report between a third and a half of their business coming from China.

Capital Vintners will be opening up an office in HongKong in the near future to take advantage of this surge in the Asian markets.

As the Western world battles with recession, China and the other BRIC (Brazil, Russia and India) nations are forging ahead.

Euromonitor said: "Benefiting from a fast-growing middle class and a fast-developing luxury distribution network, sales of luxury goods in China have consistently outperformed the global market.”

According to Vinexpo, wine consumption in China grew 140 per cent in China from 2006 to 2010 and by 21.5 per cent in 2011 alone. Today China is the fifth largest aggregate consumer of wine worldwide, after France, the United States, Italy, and Germany.

The new craze for Chinese businessmen is to shout “ganbei” (bottoms up) and down shots of Chateau Lafite, a very expensive toast indeed. Of course this is not the only way that the Chinese enjoy fine wines, but it signifies the change in culture towards more western ideals of luxury and decadence. Wine is more than just a drink; it is a status symbol.

2012 European harvest worst in 50 years, according to experts

Bad weather across Europe has led to a terrible harvest this year, with wine experts expecting a 20 per cent drop in the grape harvest in France compared to last year.

The Champagne and Burgundy regions have been hit particularly badly, with the Chardonnay grape being affected more than most by the inclement weather. These areas could see a decline by up to 40 per cent. Bordeaux should get away with a much smaller drop – more like ten per cent. 

Here at Capital Vintners we like to look for the positives. We believe that the quality of French wine will be as good, if not better than usual, as it will be more concentrated. Thierry Coste, an expert with the European Union farmers’ union, told Associated Press:When it comes to quality, we are looking at a good year.”

At Capital Vintners we know that Bordeaux fine wine will always be a good investment. New technological advances in recent years mean that the top chateaux should be able to produce a vintage year.