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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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Farr back full time at Bibendum

Published:  23 July, 2008

Simon Farr, one of the founders of London-based distributor Bibendum, is returning to work for the company full time after five years as non-executive deputy chairman.
Farr, who co-founded the company with Chris Collins in 1982, will take up the role of head of wine strategy, as well as taking responsibility for the host of joint ventures Bibendum has set up in recent years - such as the Argento Wine Company, Boisset and Lion Nathan. He was buying director at Bibendum until he stepped down in 2000.
His decision to return to a full-time role at Bibendum comes just weeks after high-profile joint managing director Dan Jago unexpectedly left the company. Bibendum also recently hired a new chief operating officer, Jeremy Young, recruited from DHL.
Last week Bibendum featured in the Sunday Times' 'Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For' list for the third time.

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Rhne becomes leading AOC in UK

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ctes du Rhne has become the top-selling French AOC in the UK off-trade for the first time. Generic body Inter Rhne made the announcement while laying out its UK strategy for 2006, which will include sponsorship of Twenty20 cricket.
The latest AC Nielsen figures (MAT to 7 January) show that sales by volume increased by 10.6%, from 1,405,873 nine-litre cases to 1,554,936. Bordeaux fell by nearly 17% over the same period, down to 1,514,882 cases, and France overall saw a slump in sales of nearly 5%. Sales figures by value were absent, but Inter Rhne export manager Franois Drounau confirmed that the 10.6% increase applied to both.

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Winter Hill's new look

Published:  23 July, 2008

Winter Hill, the brand produced by Languedoc co-operative Foncalieu and represented in the UK by PLB, has a new look.
The brand's oval logo has been updated and the Rserve (RRP 4.99) and Grande Rserve wines (5.99) have a split label. The latter also has a weightier, embossed bottle.
'The new designs still convey a sense of tradition, yet also give the brand a contemporary feel,' said PLB's Panela Dunn.
Foncalieu has 2,200 member growers and exports 80% of its production.

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Shiraz-Viognier blends come full circle

Published:  23 July, 2008

The recent trend for co-fermenting red Shiraz grapes with white Viognier has come full circle - from France to Australia and back again - with the launch of Guy Anderson Wines' new brand from the south of France.
Le Freak, part of the Thierry and Guy stable of wines, utilises Syrah from a 20-year-old vineyard near Carcassone and co-ferments it with a small portion of Viognier from a
nearby vineyard.

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McGuigan sticks to the wicket

Published:  23 July, 2008

McGuigan Simeon, the major Australian wine producer, is giving away 100 tickets to the England v Pakistan one-day cricket series in an in-store promotion running from June on McGuigan Gold wines (5.99) in Tesco and Sainsbury's. There will also be radio interviews with live tastings.

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Salons des Vines du Monde

Published:  23 July, 2008

Salons des Vines du Monde is described as 'a two-day extravaganza for the best of international (non-French) wines', which takes place at the Palais des Congrs in Paris from 8-9 October.
France is the third largest importer of wines in the world and the show is aimed at sommeliers, restaurateurs, retail chains and specialists.
For more information contact International Fairs on +33 1 53 36 70 32, or email: international.fairs@wannadoo.fr

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Zinfandel seminar at tasting

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Institute of California is holding a seminar on Zinfandel, the grape variety the sunshine state hails as its own.
The seminar takes place at 9.30am on Thursday, 23 March at the conference centre in the Royal Horticultural Halls, Greycoat Street, London.
At the seminar six vineyard designate Zinfandels will be available to taste to highlight the affect of different terroirs. Camille Seghesio from Seghesio Family Vineyards and Donn Reisen of Ridge will talk through the variety's history and discuss its importance to California's wine industry.
Places are limited so if you wish to attend please email: info@calwine.co.uk.

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Falernia for GWW

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chile's Via Falernia has appointed Great Western Wine as its sole UK distributor.
Based in the Elqui Valley, Falernia proclaims itself Chile's northernmost wine estate'. It produces a range of wines covering all the normal varietal bases, with RSPs of between 4.95 and 9.95.
Falernia won the award for Best Value Wine in Show for its 2004 Carmenre/Syrah at the 2006 Wines of Chile Awards, as well as a gold medal for its 2004 Syrah.

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Glenfiddich promotes conversation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Glenfiddich single malt whisky, distributed in the UK by First Drinks Brands, is investing more than 500,000 in 'Glenfiddich National Conversation Week - a new initiative highlighting the sociable side of the brand'.
The Glenfiddich National Conversation Week, running from 3-9 April, will 'communicate the social attributes of enjoying Glenfiddich with friends' using 'a concentrated week of activity including national advertising, direct marketing and consumer PR'.
'The activities all support the advertising message of
"Inspiring Great Conversation since 1887", to boost sales and awareness of brand,' said Nick Williamson, Glenfiddich brand manager.
Glenfiddich Conversation Week also looks to 'deseasonalise' sales of whisky by ensuring the trade has a reason to support malt whisky outside of the Christmas period.

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Glenrothes malt moves to Maxxium

Published:  23 July, 2008

Cutty Sark International has announced that from 1 April it is switching distribution and marketing of its single malt whisky, The Glenrothes from Gordon & MacPhail to Maxxium in the UK.
Maxxium UK managing director Huw Pennell said: 'We see great potential for The Glenrothes, particularly in the on-trade and within specialist whisky retailers.'
Cutty Sark claims The Glenrothes is one of the fastest growing single malt whisky brands in UK. Following success in the USA and Spain, The Glenrothes Select Reserve launched in the UK in 2005. Maxxium UK will manage the full range of products including The Glenrothes Select Reserve and The Glenrothes Vintages.

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Bottle Green forms JV project with Saatchi

Published:  23 July, 2008

Leeds-based distributor and brand owner Bottle Green is going into a partnership with strategy and creative consultancy Industry @ Saatchi to develop a new wine brand that can create a strong consumer following without having to rely on price'.
The joint venture will probably produce its first product later this year' according to Bottle Green managing director, Jerry Lockspeiser. I heard Vicky Moffat, managing director of Industry @ Saatchi talking about the opportunity to create a really exciting wine brand so I picked up the phone and called her. This partnership is all about mixing our wine knowledge with their branding and creative skills. It's early days yet but I'm confident we can come up with a really exciting brand that can really relate to consumers and excite them. We've already done some interesting stuff with our brands such as PKNT, but there's so much more we could do with wine.'

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The Interview: Benot Allauzen, Head sommelier, The Greenhouse

Published:  23 July, 2008

A total of 2,400 bins is a huge number for any wine list. How do you get to grips with such a large selection?
Well, it takes about two years to become familiar with a collection this size. I was at Morton's previously, which helped me, because a few wines are the same for both lists. But the good thing about The Greenhouse is that it has wines from the New World. I had to move from Morton's to remind myself of the differences between Central Otago and Nelson.

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Club MW: pass or pass?

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) sounds like a scary place. The sort of place that might be surrounded by barbed wire and big, black gates; a darkened building that you can't set foot in without a password and a secret handshake. Not everyone is frightened, however, and plenty of people have tried to climb the walls - more than 2,000 since the first members were admitted in 1953. But there are currently only 250 worldwide who have successfully struggled through the marathon examination, including a four-part theory paper, three-part practical paper and final dissertation, to make it to the other side.

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Portman says, no Beastie

Published:  23 July, 2008

A vodka-based drink which features grinning cartoon spider characters on its packaging has breached the drinks industry Code of Practice, as drawn up the Portman Group.
The products Wee Beastie' and Big Beastie', produced by Inver House Distillers, fell foul of the the Independent Complaints Panel due to concerns that the grinning spider character, which featured prominently on both products and on the website, was both cartoon-like and childlike. It was also concerned that the warning Strictly for over 18s ADULTS ONLY' was likely to have a particular appeal to under 18s.

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