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Closures Supplement 2005

Published:  23 July, 2008

We have sought to be impartial, authoritative and above all stimulating and readable, since this important subject affects virtually everyone in the business of selling wine. And we hope to do this again next year and for however long it takes to establish which closures are best for whatever wine you are selling. We don't have the answers - frankly, nobody really has. But the issues and choices are becoming clearer and easier to understand.

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Jancis Robinson MW calls for cooperation on Burgundy tastings

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW OBE has called for better communication and cooperation between the various companies holding tastings of the latest vintage of Burgundy next month.

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California on the move

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Institute of California has a new address: 83 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HW.
Tel: 020 3008 8060; fax: 020 3008 6180; e-mail: info@calwine.co.uk

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Wine-investment seminar

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine Invest 2006, a one-day seminar on fine-wine investment, takes place on 7 February at Trinity House in London. Speakers include Serena Sutcliffe MW of Sotheby's, Christopher Burr MW of Uvine, and Adam Brett-Smith of Corney & Barrow.
Topics under discussion will include the US and UK auction markets, wine in the wider economy' and developing a portfolio-investment approach'.
Go to www.wineinvest2006.co.uk for more information.

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Cox is new WSET trustee

Published:  23 July, 2008

Michael Cox, the UK director of Wines of Chile, is the latest trustee of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Cox replaces Mickey Davies as a representative of The Vintners' Company. Born into the wine trade - Matthew Clark was his maternal great-great-great-grandfather - Cox has also been a WSET Diploma lecturer and set up the Wines of Chile UK generic office in 2003.
WSET chief executive Ian Harris said: It is a pleasure to welcome such a well-known figure from the trade into our rapidly evolving organisation. Michael is a dynamic, popular character and a strong asset to the Trust.'
Other WSET trustees include Julian Brind MW, Lynn Power and Nick Clarke MW.

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Bouchard Pre & Fils expands

Published:  23 July, 2008

Charlemagne, three anonymous Cistercian monks, Duke Philippe the Bold, Duke Philippe the Good, Louis XI, Pasteur... It was quite a reception party that Bouchard Pre & Fils had lined up for the opening of its new purpose-built winery outside Savigny-ls-Beaune on Saturday 19 November, the famous figures from Burgundy's rich history present in sculptures that cast long shadows along the 140 metre-wall.

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Colheitas lift Madeira

Published:  23 July, 2008

The new style of single-vintage Colheita or Harvest Madeiras has helped to revive interest in the category as a whole and almost doubled like-for-like sales between the year to October 2003 and the year to October 2005. According to the latest figures from the Instituto do Vinho da Madeira (IVM), sales of all vintage-dated wines have almost doubled since 2003, rising from 14,620 litres to 21,341 litres in 2004 and 26,848 litres in 2005.

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PLB's German debut

Published:  23 July, 2008

Riesling producer Moselland is the first-ever German producer represented by PLB. The winery has more than 3,000 member-producers in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Pfalz and Rheinhessen regions, and its brands include Divinum and Insignum.
PLB chairman Jeffrey Fredericks said: Moselland is a major wine producer with an annual sales volume of 28 million litres, providing plenty of scope to supply both excellent branded products and good-quality bulk wines for our customers.'

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Coyle works with Coto

Published:  23 July, 2008

Former Oddbins head buyer Lynne Coyle is working on a new project with Rioja producer Bodegas El Coto.
We're working on a new-wave style Rioja with more fruit and made in a more modern style,' said Coyle.
It will be targeted at the type of consumer who is more used to drinking New World wines than traditional Rioja. It will also have modern, more user-friendly packaging.'
The wine is expected to retail at around 6.99-7.99 with promotional support.
The wine will be distributed by Cockburn & Campbell (which is part of the Young's group), as is the rest of the El Coto range.

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The Interview: Mark Dorber, Manager, The White Horse

Published:  23 July, 2008

What do you think of your pub's alternative title, The Sloaney Pony'?
I have a beef with Time Out and certain other lazy journalists about that. Round here was certainly the yuppie capital of
the world in 1986, but that particular crowd has long moved on.

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13 reasons to be cheerful

Published:  23 July, 2008

When Harpers undertook its survey of the wine trade earlier this year - canvassing importers, distributors, retailers, buyers and sommeliers - an overwhelming sense of lethargy was apparent. For every response that was bullish, enthusiastic and hopeful, there were four that were bearish, negative and despondent. Reduced margins, deep-cut promotions, retailer and producer consolidation, increasing commoditisation of the product and the dumbing down' of wine communication were all cited time and time again.

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Vincor snubs Constellation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands has thrown in the towel after Vincor International shareholders rejected repeated hostile takeover bids.
Constellation Brands' chairman and CEO Richard Sands said that it was unfortunate' for Vincor shareholders, and added that the company would now move on to other priorities'.
Mark Hilson, chairman of the special committee of independent directors of Vincor, said he was gratified that shareholders have supported our recommendation that Constellation's offer was inadequate, opportunistic and should be rejected'.

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Happy anniversary

Published:  23 July, 2008

Time and place
New Zealand Annual Trade Tasting 2006
Lord's Cricket Ground, London NW1
Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 January
10am-5pm
Contact Alison Power at New Zealand Winegrowers
020 7973 8079

Event info
This year's tasting will feature a selection of gold medal-winning wines from the Air New Zealand Wine awards, while central varietal tables will focus on aromatics, red blends and Syrahs. On Tuesday 17 at 3.30pm, a seminar titled New Zealand Syrah - New World Fruit and Old World Structure', looking at viticultural and vinicultural influences and Hawkes Bay's dominance with Syrah, will be held in the Lord's Media Centre. Speakers include Steve Smith of Craggy Range, Kate Ormond of Te Mata, Anna-Barbara Helliwell of Unison, and Ronan Sayburn, executive head sommelier at Gordon Ramsay restaurants in London. Call Alison Power on the above number to reserve your seat.

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The Macedonia massive

Published:  23 July, 2008

Macedonia is a country that people aren't quite sure about: it could be part of Greece or Turkey; it could be independent; it could be one of those confusing Balkan states. In many ways, Macedonia is all of these things, or at least it has been at some point in its history. At the moment it's independent and has been so since its peaceful secession from Yugoslavia in 1991. This is important, because the years since then can be seen as a make-or-break period for the country, and nowhere is this more relevant than in the realm of wine production.

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Majestic reacts in fizz price war

Published:  23 July, 2008

Half-price Champagne deals have become even more widespread in the run-up to Christmas, with nearly every major off-trade retailer involved and prices under 10 for a single bottle commonplace.

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Waverley HQ damaged in oil depot explosion

Published:  23 July, 2008

The headquarters of WaverleyTBS was left badly damaged after the Buncefield oil depot explosion in Hertfordshire on Sunday morning.

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The sommelier crew

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new trade association run by sommeliers has been set up.
Sommelier Cru organises monthly tastings, with forthcoming themes including Shiraz vs Syrah', Botrytis and Late Harvest Wines' and Understanding Biodynamics'.
For more information, contact MD Coz Kampanaos on 020 7792 2424 or via e-mail at Coz@sommeliercru.com

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New distribution for Foster's

Published:  23 July, 2008

Logistics giant JF Hillebrand has joined forces with South Australia transport and warehousing company Mackenzie Intermodal to handle logistics for Foster's Wine Estates (FWE).
The joint venture, Mackenzie Hillebrand, will arrange for
all packaging materials to be delivered from Adelaide to the various FWE sites, and then for the wine to be packaged and palletised ready for shipping.

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Going Forth

Published:  23 July, 2008

Forth Wines has been appointed as sole distributors for Chteau Routas, named as one of Robert Parker's favourite wine producers in Provence.
The full range of Routas wines will be launched in the UK market in March; in the meantime, the 2002 Wild Boar Red (90% Cabernet Sauvignon/10% Carignan), 2004 Coquelicot (85% Viognier/15% Chardonnay) and 2001 Cyrano (100% Syrah) are available now.
The full range of Routas wines is available from the Circus Caf Wine Shop in Edinburgh or online at www.circuscafedirect.co.uk

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David Waddington, Manager, Bistrotheque

Published:  23 July, 2008

What was it like growing up on a small farm in Yorkshire?
I was around livestock all the time, putting straw in their beds, but I was never cut out to be a farmer. The brutality is difficult to understand when you're a child, and farming is a tricky business now. A lot of estates have yet to recover after foot and mouth, and it really decimated the area round my folks. The landscape went from being filled with cattle, to fields containing long grass and not much else. It lingers longer in smaller communities because things tend to move more slowly.

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