Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Capital Vintners: Eye on Asia

We all know that the Chinese wine market has boomed over the last few years, but recently there has been rumours abounding that demand has been decreasing after the boom of 2009-11. Let's investigate the data.
According to International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), the Chinese drank 160 million cases of wine in 2011, a 142 per cent increase from 2007. The IWSR also predicts that this number will increase by another 40 per cent in the next three years. 

As a side note, incredibly, 99.5 per cent of wine consumed in China in 2011 was red, white or rose. That means that only 0.5 per cent was sparkling, a statistic that will surely be utilised by the big Champagne brands - Cristal, Krug, Bollinger etc. - in the next few years.

Chinese drinkers now drink 1.4 litres of wine per year, a small amount but far higher than it was five years ago. Per capita consumption is due to increase to 2.1 litres by 2016. Interestingly, 92 per cent of wine consumed is red. White wine is on the rise, but has a long way to go before it catches up with the reds.

China's favourite source of imported wines is still France, which saw its sales multiply sixfold between 2007 and 2011. French wine now accounts for 48 per cent of the total volume of imported wine drunk in China.

Chinese home-grown wine is also on the rise. There are now 450 wine producers in the country. The Ningxia in particular is making headlines all over the world with its fantastic wines

Capital Vintners keeps a close eye on the Chinese wine market. Follow us on Twitter for the latest wine news @CapitalVintners.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bordeaux 2010 Parker Scores Released

Robert Parker released his scores for the Bordeaux 2010 vintage this weekend. 10 wines were awarded a perfect score of 100 points:

  • Latour
  • Haut-Brion
  • Petrus
  • Le Dome
  • La Violette 
  • Pontet Canet 
  • Beausejour Duffau
  • Cheval Blanc 
  • Pape Clement
  • Le Pin  

In addition to this high count of 100-point wines, eight more scored an impressive 99 points, making the 2010 vintage a 'Parker-endorsed' year just like 2009.

The standout wines in the 100 point list are Le Dome and La Violette, both small fairly unknown producers. Le Dome only produces 1,000 cases a year, therefore it is likely to be a hugely sought-after wine.

Generally considered to be more powerful than the 2009 vintage (Lafite 2010, which scored 98 points, has an alcohol content of 13.5 per cent, the highest ever achieved by the Lafite vineyard), the 2010s are proving a hit with critics who enjoy full-bodied forceful claret.

Capital Vintners is pleased to be offering its clients a range of fantastic 2010 wines

Friday, March 1, 2013

Capital Vintners Wine Auction Report

After a series of high-profile wine auctions, we examine the current state of the market in this in-depth report.

Italian Wines on the Up

On 23 February Acker, Merrall and Condit saw substantial interest in Italian vertical lots. These included a four magnum collection of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo made up of 1952, 71, 86 and 88 vintages, which nearly doubled its estimate of $4,800 and sold for $7,995.

12 bottles of Soldera Brunello sold for $6,150 and an 18-bottle lot of Gaja Sori San Lorenzo sold for $7,995, 30 per cent over its estimate.

Bordeaux versus Burgundy

The Acker, Merrall and Condit auction's top three lots were all Burgundies. Three bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2006 Romanee-Conti sold to an Asian investor for £18,000, a case of 1962 Leroy Romanee-St-Vivant sold for £16,600 and a case of Armand Rousseau 1990 Chambertin Clos de Beze sold for £12,300.

The Bordeaux wines did not get shown up by their Burgundian counterparts, accounting for 15 of the top 25 lots. Stand-out sales included a case of 1989 Haut-Brion and a 1982 Latour, both of which sold for £10,700.

At a Sotheby's auction in London on 27 February, over £650,000 worth of wine was sold, far higher than the pre-sale estimate, once again proving that the fine wine market is recovering after a turbulent last 24 months.

The star of the sale was a half case of DRC Montrachet 1993, which went to an Asian investor for £21,150.

Christie's to auction off the UK government's fine wine cellar 

On 21 March Christie's in London will be selling off a large chunk of the UK government's fine wine cellar.

As the government struggles with austerity, it cannot be seen to be luxuriating in fine wine. Recent public outrage at the number of expensive bottles in the government's cellars has led to this decision, which means that many great cases of wine will flood the market at potentially low prices.

There are some rare lots included in the auction, such as a half-case of 1961 Latour (estimated at £20-30,000), a half-case of 1970 Petrus (estimated at £4-6,000), a case of 1986 Mouton Rothschild (estimated at £5-6,000) and a case of 1986 Le Pin (estimated at £7,500-10,000).

Here at Capital Vintners we stock the finest Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italian wines.