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Hospices prices short of expectations

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite a much-hyped (2005) vintage, and the presence for the first time of Christie's and telephone bidding, wines on offer at last week's 2005 Hospices de Beaune auction failed to reach the kind of stratospheric prices that many ngociants had anticipated.

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Christmas sparkling price war begins

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sainsbury's and Tesco have both joined in the sub-10 Champagne price war, as predicted in our news feature on discounting champagne (see pp.23-24). Sainsbury's has slashed the single-bottle price of Etienne Dumont by 10 a bottle to 9.99 (until 29 November), or to 9.49 if you buy six bottles or more; and in a parallel move, Tesco has cut Andr Carpentier from 19.99 to 9.99, also 9.49 if you buy six bottles or more.

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Goliath in the Cellar

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Europe's premium wine division, Cellar Door, has confirmed that it will add Rex Goliath, the California wine brand acquired last month by Constellation Brands, to its portfolio.

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Consumers keen to experiment

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK consumers appear quite open to experimenting with wines from non-traditional countries of origin and with wines using non-traditional varietals, according to a new piece of research conducted by Wine Intelligence.

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Argentina must beware the Malbec pigeonhole

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paul Hobbs, the consultant winemaker best known for developing Argentinian Malbec for the likes of Nicolas Catena, has warned that Argentina is in danger of concentrating too much of its effort on the Malbec grape variety.

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Stella tops cool brand' list

Published:  23 July, 2008

Belgian beer Stella Artois has been voted as the coolest alcohol/drinks brand.

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Diageo ends Rare Malts as stocks dwindle

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo will stop releasing single malts under its Rare Malts brand next year, as the stocks from distilleries it closed in the 1980s start to run out.

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AXA's Seeley looks to distributors

Published:  23 July, 2008

Christian Seeley, head of AXA Millsimes, is placing the second wine from AXA's second-growth Bordeaux, Pichon Longueville Baron, with distributors around the world because the Bordeaux place, the traditional distribution route, is not very good at selling second wines'.

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First Barossa en primeur' a success

Published:  23 July, 2008

The first attempt to sell wines from Australia's Barossa Valley region to UK consumers en primeur' - before the wines is finally blended or bottled, as is common in Bordeaux and Burgundy - was judged a success by its organisers, DMT Wine Imports (part owned by Bordeaux Index).

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Unpredictable consumers

Published:  23 July, 2008

Consumption patterns are becoming more fragmented and therefore more difficult to predict as people's choice of drink becomes increasingly occasion-based.

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Roederer Awards

Published:  23 July, 2008

Louis Roederer is continuing its sponsorship of the International Wine Writers Awards - which it launched last year in response to Lanson's surprise decision to ends its own awards - and has decided to add a new category for 2006.

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Deseasonalise this!

Published:  23 July, 2008

Christmas is coming. Festive aisles have sprung up in shops and supermarkets nationwide, while the drinks industry
is rubbing its hands together in glee at the thought of all the bottles flying off the shelves to play their part in the celebrations. This is a vital time of year for every member of the alcohol family but none more so than the oft-neglected liqueur. Beer, wine and spirits stoically remain the drinks of common choice, but Christmas has traditionally given
the liqueurs and specialities category a chance to show off in style.

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Canadian club

Published:  23 July, 2008

Picture something quintessentially Canadian. For many people, that prompt either draws a complete blank or it connotes polar bears, the Inuit (formerly known as Eskimos) and perhaps ice hockey. But vineyards and barrel-lined cellars don't fit among those frosty symbols. Wine is not really a Canadian emblem. At least not in the public mind. Informed oenophiles and members of the drinks trade, however, recognise Canada as the world's largest source of, appropriately enough, Icewine.

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The Intertview: Giles Cook MW

Published:  23 July, 2008

What got you into wine?
The usual clich I say is that I did a history degree, so the only things I was qualified to do were eating and drinking; three hours of tutorials a week left a lot of time for other stuff. Me and a mate did the restaurant reviews for a newspaper, which was a bit of a farce really. We'd go along and ask for free food beforehand, so they knew we were coming. But my parents had always had an interest in wine, and my mum was PA to Ronald Avery for a couple of years when she started out, so she always says there's a link.

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Malvern hotel scoops top wine list award

Published:  23 July, 2008

Malvern hotel The Cottage in the Wood was chosen as this year's overall winner of the Cond Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger Wine List Award 2006.

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Can Women of Wine break through the glass ceiling?

Published:  23 July, 2008

Having made its name, and the front cover of Harpers, with the Full Monty wine trade striptease, the Women of Wine (WoW) organisation got down to more serious business last week, by debating sexism in the wine trade.

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MMD in Piedmont

Published:  23 July, 2008

MMD has taken on the UK agency for Pio Cesare, a family-run producer of Piedmont wines.
Pio Cesare is managed by fourth generation, Pio Boffa, who commented: With our 52 hectares of vineyards in Barolo and Barbaresco, we embrace both traditional and more modern winemaking and also produce a range of single-vineyard wines from Barolo and Barbaresco.' A full range of Pio Cesare wines is now available from MMD, including Gavi, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Barolo and Barbaresco.

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Burrows retires

Published:  23 July, 2008

Richard Burrows, the current joint director general of Pernod Ricard and fomer head of Irish Distillers, intends to retire in early 2006.
He will remain a member of the board as well as non-executive chairman of Irish Distillers. He will also be available to the group to carry out various projects.
After his retirement, the management of the group will be carried out by chairman and CEO Patrick Ricard, and director general Pierre Pringuet.

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Boyar denies sell-off rumours

Published:  23 July, 2008

Leading Bulgarian producer Boyar Estates has denied rumours that it is planning to sell its Blueridge and Shumen wineries.
The company, which has 60% of Bulgaria's UK sales, has closed its London office and has transferred distribution to Ehrmanns. But Boyar CEO Margarit Todorov denied the rumours, and told Harpers that production was continuing at the two sites.

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Unrest in the industry

Published:  23 July, 2008

The managing director of the UK office of wine industry head-hunting firm Mondo Search is claiming that the unprecedented level of consolidation over the past 12 months' is leading to growing unrest among employees'.

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