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Fine wine news roundup: 30 November – 6 December


Sotheby to offer trio of ‘exceptional’ cellars

Sotheby’s next fine wine sale in London will feature a trio of ‘exceptional’ cellars, and is expected to bring in a total of £1.2 million.

The sale, taking place on 11 December, includes wines from the Vandermeulen family – a renowned Belgian wine bottler of the 1940s and 1950s – as well as those from flamboyant fashion designer Jean Patou, whose fashion house has been overseen by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix.

Highlights will include 1947 Cheval Blanc and Margaux, 1949 and 1952 Petrus, and 1955 La Mission Haut Brion, as well as an ex-cellar consignment from Chateau Talbot spanning the vintages 1926 to 2010.


Cristal launches first ‘biodynamic’ Champagne

Champagne Louis-Roederer has announced that the 2012 vintage of Cristal will be the first to be made entirely from biodynamically-farmed grapes.

However, while the wine has been made from 100% biodynamic plots, it can’t be fully certified as such as Roederer has yet to implement biodynamic measures across all of its holdings. Some 50% has been converted over the past decade, with the remaining 50% only certified organic.

Nonetheless, the Champagne house has celebrated the 2012 release as the “first-born from this new viticulture,” noting that the vintage was “one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne.”


Talbot 2018 to be released in commemorative bottle

Chateau Talbot’s 2018 vintage will be released in a special commemorative bottle to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cordier family’s ownership of the estate.

Set for delivery to customers in May next year, the screen-printed black bottle features the winery’s supporting pillars in a design reminiscent of roots and vines.

The property is also offering a wide range of ex-cellar wines at upcoming auctions. On 11 December, Sotheby’s fine wine sale in London will see 142 bottles, spanning vintages from 1926 to 2010, go under the hammer. Then on 12 December, online auctioneer Wineandco will start bidding on 300 ex-cellar bottles from select vintages between 1955 and 2009.


Burgundy exports smash €1 billion mark for the first time

Wine exports from Burgundy exceeded €1 billion for the first time at the end of September this year, as demand for wine from the region continues to grow.

In total, 88.1 million bottles worth €1 billion were exported globally between the period October 2018 to September 2019. Volumes and value rose in nearly every major market.

Hong Kong and Japan both saw good value growth, rising 12.9% and 11.7% compared to the same period from the previous year, while Switzerland saw the biggest value leap, rising from €39.8 million to €49.3 million.

As analysts note, exports have been helped along by good-sized harvests across the region which have helped to mitigate the impact of previous years’ smaller bounties.


Thousands of fake bottles of Penfolds seized in Cambodia

Officials have seized some 3,000 bottles of fake wine and hundreds of counterfeit wine labels in the Cambodian city of Poipet, according to local media reports.

A raid carried out on 27 November uncovered packaging and label materials for Penfolds Bin 2, Bin 8, Bin 707, Bin 128, Bin 407 and Bin 389 wines.

Due to its popularity in Asia, the Penfolds brand is frequently the target of counterfeiters, although parent company Treasury Wine Estates has enacted a number of measures in recent times to help reduce fakes.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the bootlegging operation.

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