Wine news May 2008

Edencroft and Sussex Wines revamp

Two of wine-pages sponsoring companies have been under the cosmetic surgeon’s knife during April. Chester-based Edencroft Fine Wines has unveiled a very snazzy new web site that does a lot more than just list the wines they have for sale, with lots of excellent background information written by owner Mark Brookshaw. Meanwhile, the Sussex Wine Company has moved into new premises, and their new store in Lewes (with a new telephone number new 01273 477 205) will not only feature a wide range of wines, but will host tasting events. x

Yquem sets a new record

x London based fine wine merchant Fine & Rare Wines Ltd has sold an exceptionally rare bottle of 1811 Chateau d’Yquem for the record price of £37,900 ($75,800U) to Cellarworks, a New York based consultancy specialising in architecturally designed fine wine cellars. The 1811 Chateau d’Yquem is recognised as being the best wine ever produced (and has a Robert Parker perfect score of 100).

The bottle, from a private European source reconditioned at Ch d’Yquem in 1996, trumps other ultra-rare wines recently sold to wealthy collectors by Fine & Rare, and marks a new record bottle price for the cpmpany, despite the effect on the top-end wine market caused by the current turmoil in world financial markets.

Sales Director Jamie Graham described the sale as further proof that the weak USdollar is not discouraging top transatlantic collectors.

Light wines take 2

Following last month’s news item on the wine industry’s moves to introduce lighter weight bottles, giant New Zealand producer Montana has announced savings in the use of glass on its Montana Brut Cuvée. A saving of 90g of glass per bottle, reducing its weight from 890g to 800g will save substantially on ‘food miles’ to ship the wine, and the bottles also contain up to 70% recycled glass. Montana has also achieved substantial savings in packaging material, by stopping using dividers in cases for its Classic wine range. This not only decreased the use of raw material packaging by about 20%, but the reduced weight also saves on transport costs. x

Your good health?

x the World Health Organisation is calling for higher tax on alcohol and more regulations on its sale.Health campaigners in the UK are supporting this plea to punish all drinkers for problems created by the minority who misuse alcohol. Reacting

angrily, Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said, “The health lobby admit they want everyone to pay for the sins of a few. This is wrong and consumers will see it as an unfair attack on the innocent rather than a practical step to solve the problem.” There is no doubt that alcohol misuse does cause problems in the UK, but as Beadles says, “That’s why we should all focus our efforts on educating and treating those who misuse alcohol. We should not punish millions of ordinary hard working families by increasing the financial burden they already face.”

More thinking pink

Champagne Gosset becomes the latest in a string of Champagne houses keen to cash in on the current fashion for rosé wines to unveil a pink version of their prestige cuvee: Celebris Rosé 2003 Extra Brut.

The 68 per cent Chardonnay and 32 per cent Pinot Noir Grand Cru has a low dosage – just 5 g/L – in line with the other two recent Celebris launches, the Blanc de Blancs and the Celebris Vintage 1998.

In the character of all Gosset Champagnes, there is no malolactic fermentation in the production process. Packaged in a cylindrical casket with a leatherette finish and sliding shutters held together by an engraved clasp, Celebris Rosé 2003 Extra Brut is expected to retail at around £120 per bottle.

The Champagne is distributed in the UK exclusively by McKinley Vintners (Tel: 020 7928 7300 or or visit


New Languedoc destination

x If you are one of the tens of thousands of british holidaymakers heading to the Languedoc this summer, there’s a new world class wine attraction at the go-ahead Mont Tauch cooperative, in the shape of their visitor centre and tasting rooms which open in July. Inside the centre, four large stone tables will each present a theme that is key to understanding Mont Tauch and what it makes is unique amongst coops; these will be diversity of vineyards & village life, soils & grape varieties, vinification and sustainable agriculture & environment. Visitors will be able to learn more about the Mont Tauch range of wines during pre-bookable tutored tastings, and ours of the winery and vineyards will also be available later in the year. The centre is in the village of Tuchan.