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HwCg to handle Evans & Tate distribution

Published:  23 July, 2008

HwCg has gained full control of distribution for the Evans & Tate Wine Group in the UK.
The deal also includes the acquisition of a winery in Mildura, owned by Evans & Tate, by Neqtar, which in turn owns HwCg.
At this year's LIWSF, HwCg will host a major relaunch of the Barramundi brand, and will reposition Evans & Tate as a Western Australia specialist.
HwCg MD Guy Young said: We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with Evans & Tate. At HwCg we are now in a position where we can access good-quality Australian wines across regions, varietals and price points.'

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First-ever Veuve Ros

Published:  23 July, 2008

Champagne house Veuve Cliquot has released the first NV Ros in its history. The company says that the new product epitomises the famous Cliquot style - exhibiting a softness, roundness and freshness combined with depth, intensity and strength. A Pinot Noir-dominated blend, the Ros comprises 12% of red wines, as well as around one-third of reserve wines of up to nine years old. A spokeswoman for the brand said that the popularity of the ros market was one reason for its introduction, adding that no additional advertisement campaigns were likely.

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High hopes for 2006 vintage

Published:  23 July, 2008

by stuart peskett
The 2006 vintage in Argentina has been described as the best on record.
Jos Gil-Fournier, MD of the O Fournier group, said that the latest vintage for the Uco Valley in Mendoza will be the best vintage we've ever seen, even better than 2002'.
Roberto de la Mota, chief winemaker at Terrazas de los Andes, told Harpers that December and January were warmer than normal, February a little fresher, and
March is perfect' so far.
He said: For Terrazas, 2006 will be
much better than 2005. For the reds,
we will probably have the same
concentration as 2005, with excellent balance and acidity.'
Expectations are also high in New Zealand, where the crop is expected to increase from 142,000 tonnes in 2005, to between 165,000 and 185,000 tonnes.

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DRC breaks records

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new world record price for a single case of wine was set in New York last week.
At an auction at Christie's on 2 March a six-magnum case of 1985 Romane-Conti fetched $170,375 (97,365) or just
over $14,000 a bottle. In a mammoth $2.5 million sale, an unprecedented five other lots broke the $100,000 barrier, and 88% of all lots exceeded their pre-sale high estimate.
The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, however, remains a 1787 Chteau Lafite, which reached $160,000, at Christie's London in 1985. A bottle of 1787 Chteau d'Yquem sold for $100,000 in February.

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Benchmark California

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Institute of California has once again selected the
14 wines that represent the best of California in the 5 to 10 price category.
UK director John McLaren commented: This is our third year of Benchmark Wines and some trends begin to emerge, particularly in the impressive consistency of some wineries' entries. There is a pleasing spread of wines from large and small wineries and we look forward to unveiling the range at our annual tasting in London on 23 March.'
This year's list includes wines from Beringer, Fetzer, Gallo, Ravenswood and Hahn.

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Waitrose puts the squeeze on

Published:  23 July, 2008

Waitrose - widely regarded as the most benign of the multiple retailers - has asked its wine suppliers to prepare to absorb any duty increase in the Chancellor's budget or see their on-shelf price points rise.

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Diageo spends 8.5M on fruit-drink launch

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite falling sales for its flagship ready-to-drink (RTD) brand Smirnoff Ice, Diageo Great Britain is hoping to inject new life into the sector with an alcoholic fruit-drink aimed at the older consumer.

Much in the same way that wine is made from grapes and cider from apples, Quinn's is made using only fruit. We believe the fruit ferment concept will revolutionise the 5pm to 8pm drinks occasion,' said Steven White, innovation marketing manager.
Quinn's has an ABV of 4% and will be available in three flavours: mango and passion fruit, raspberry and blueberry, and orange and tropical fruits. The brand will be launched in
250ml bottles with a 700ml format expected to be available from September.
Quinn's has an off-trade RSP of 1.50 and an on-trade RSP of 2.75. It is expected to sit in the RTD fixture in off-trade accounts.

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Pinot Grigio (and USA) girl

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's official. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus when it comes to choosing wine. In my role as research director at Wine Intelligence, I presented new research insights at a Women of Wine event on 2 March in London entitled Women as wine consumers'.

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Beelgara joins Fullers

Published:  23 July, 2008

Beelgara Estate, Fine Wines of Australia has signed up to a new distribution partnership with Fuller's Wine Agencies, following its split with Hallgarten late last year.
Beelgara and Fuller's have joined forces to continue to build on the already strong foundation created during the last three years, particularly in the on-trade and specialist retailer sectors,' said Beelgara CEO Michael Hill.
We believe working with the Fuller's Wine Agencies will prove to be an exciting partnership. We recognise the power of their distribution and the capability to grow further together throughout the UK.'
Beelgara's wine brands include: Beelgara Vineyards, The Gun Shearer and the Estate Range.

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Champagne robbery

Published:  23 July, 2008

A lorry-load of Champagne du Mont Hauban was stolen last week from a lorry in a secure' park off the M11 motorway near Stansted.
Retailers and wholesalers are being asked to watch out for suspicious offers' by the sole importer of the brand, Champers Limited.
As well as the Champagne, a quantity of 2004 Chablis and 2004 Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu' from Domaine Billaud-Simon was also stolen.
PC Martin Pawley at Dunmow Police (01376551312) is dealing with the case.

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Clarkson slams SA

Published:  23 July, 2008

Famed motormouth Jeremy Clarkson can add South Africa wine producers to the long list of groups - such as environmentalists and Vauxhall Motors - who won't be sending him a Christmas card.
In his last motoring column in The Sunday Times (which was supposed to be about the new Jaguar) Clarkson wrote that you certainly don't go to South Africa for the viniculture'.

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Reynier attacks critics of his Perilous Scotch'

Published:  23 July, 2008

Mark Reynier, owner of Islay's Bruichladdich distillery, has reacted angrily to the Scotch Whisky Association's (SWA) criticism of his attempt to resurrect a 300-year-old
Gaelic whisky recipe named usquebaugh-bual' (which means perilous whisky).
The recipe calls for a quadruple distillation (as opposed to the usual two for Scotch), leading to an alcoholic strength of 90% ABV, straight from the still.

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Bordeaux teams up with Matthew Clark

Published:  23 July, 2008

Matthew Clark, unveiled a complete overhaul of its Bordeaux selection at a recent wine tasting in London with the aim of reviving interest
in the region.
The reinvigoration of the category includes 25 new additions, and as many dismissals, from a total list of 70 wines from the appellation. Generic blends from the Mdoc or St-Emillion have been rejected in favour of chteaux wines from independent producers.
Simon Jerrome, purchasing director for wine, told Harpers: 'This way everybody wins. We're getting better quality for the same price and the customer's getting a better experience of what Bordeaux is all about.'

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The Interview: Nigel Franks, Proprietor, Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant

Published:  23 July, 2008

Was it a bit of a shock swapping life as an accountant in Edinburgh for that of an hotelier in Aberdeenshire?
Oddly enough it was, which surprised me because I had watched my parents doing it for 27 years and arrogantly thought that it wouldn't be that difficult. It's surprising how difficult, and how tiring, it is.

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Millsima launches US arm ahead of 2005 primeur scrum

Published:  23 July, 2008

Millsima - the Bordeaux ngociant which specialises in selling direct to consumers - is opening a US office in order to capitalise on the immense demand predicted for the 2005 Bordeaux en primeur campaign on the other side
of the Atlantic.
The r45 million turnover company - which, unusually, holds almost its entire stock in its own vast temperature controlled warehouse in Bordeaux - has signed up a US Master of Wine, Roger Bohmrich, to head up the US arm. Bohmrich, who will be taking a 10% stake in the company, has worked at New York-based importer Frederic Wildman & Sons for more than 20 years, latterly as senior vice president.

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Graham Hines Honoured

Published:  23 July, 2008

Graham Hines, former director of the Sherry Institute and Wines of Spain's UK offices, was honoured by Fedejerez and the Consejo Regulador for his services to Sherry wines in the UK, last month.

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Cox to chair LIWSF advisors

Published:  23 July, 2008

David Cox, managing director of Brown Forman Wines, has been named chairman of the London International Wine & Spirits Fair Advisory Board.
The other additions to the board for 2006 are Dee Blackstock MW, central buyer for Waitrose supermarkets, and Michael Sainsbury, global wine director at Maxxium Worldwide. Brintex set up the board in 2001 to advise on ways to develop the fair.

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LVMH success

Published:  23 July, 2008

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group, increased sales by 11% to E13.9 billion (9.5 billion) in 2005. Profits from recurring activities rose 16% to E2.7 billion, exceeding analysts' expectations.
All divisions contributed, with the biggest, fashion and leather goods, achieving a 12% rise in profits. But the company also singled out wines and spirits for positive comment.
The division, which includes Mot et Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Hennessy Cognac, achieved a 7% profits rise to E869 million despite the effect of negative currency movements. The company said the division had achieved increased sales volumes, particularly in the high-end of its ranges, and had followed a strict pricing policy. In addition, the duty-free operations did well.

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Slate 20 goes off

Published:  23 July, 2008

This month, Diageo Great Britain is introducing Slate 20, its male-oriented RTD', into the UK off-trade. The brand's launch is being supportedby a 3.7 million marketing campaign.
Slate 20 is a blendedbourbon-based mixed drink, cut with a twist of lime and a hint of ginger'. Now on sale in 9,500 UK pubs and bars, Slate 20 is now one of thetop-five-selling RTDs since its on-trade-launch last September,' according to a spokesperson.
It comes in a four-pack with an RSP of 5.29, and a 700ml bottle, RSP 3.29. A 12-pack will also be available in May 2006.

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Spinetta for The Wine Treasury

Published:  23 July, 2008

La Spinetta has appointed The Wine Treasury as its sole UK importer.
The London-based importer will carry both the well-established Piedmont range of wines and the new range from La Spinetta's Tuscan Casanova estate.

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