Fine wine news roundup: 15-21 June


Bordeaux 2018 draws to a close

Just over two months after Angelus got the ball rolling on Bordeaux 2018, the campaign has come to an end. Final releases include:

  • Cheval Blanc 2018, released at €528 per bottle – up 22.2% on last year.
  • Conseillante 2018, released at €162 per bottle – up 35% on 2017.
  • Figeac 2018, released at €174 per bottle – up 45% on last year’s release price.
  • Chateau Le Pin 2018, released at €1,450 per bottle – up 20.8% on 2017.
  • Vieux Chateau Certan 2018, released at €210 per bottle – up 25% on last year.


Last bottles from Rene Engel’s cellar sold for £1.4m

The last bottles from the cellar of renowned Burgundy wine estate, Domaine Rene Engel, have been sold in Geneva for £1.4 million.

The sale featured more than 1,150 bottles, magnums, Jeroboams and Methuselahs of the domaine’s acclaimed wines. The top lot was 24 bottles of 2004 Grands Echezeaux, which sold for £40,100.

Other highlights included 17 bottles of Clos Vougeot spanning 1955 to 2001, which sold for £28,600, and a 16 magnum vertical of Echezeaux spanning 1976 to 2003, which sold for £26,700.

Michael Ganne, executive director of Baghera Wines, said: “This auction is quite an emotional moment for all wine-lovers, as it writes the last chapter of a domaine’s history that was initiated precisely one hundred years ago.

“Domaine Rene Engel and its trilogy of passionate winemakers worked one after the other to inscribe their wines in Bourgogne’s wine history. This sale embodies the transmission of the last bottles originating directly from one of the most prominent Cote de Nuits’ domaines, to passionate collectors who, I know, will know how to uncork and appreciate these great wines.”


New Zealand announces small but ‘superb’ vintage

New Zealand Winegrowers, the wine trade body for the country, says that the 2019 vintage is “small but stunning”.

The 413,000-tonne harvest is smaller than anticipated, but its quality is being lauded as “exceptional from top of the North to bottom of the South Island”.

While the high quality harvest is good news for New Zealand’s ever-growing export industry, the vintage represents the third “smaller-than-expected” harvest in a row.

“Smaller vintages in 2017 and 2018 meant wineries had to work to manage product shortages, and many of our members hoped for a larger harvest this year,” said New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan. “Another smaller-than-expected vintage will mean more supply and demand tension overall.”


Krug unveils two new cuvees for 2019

Krug winemaker Jerome Jacoillot presented a duo of new cuvees at a press tasting event in London this week. The Champagnes comprise a blanc and a rose, each referred to as ‘editions’ and given a number to signify their character.

The Krug Grande Cuvee 167eme edition has been composed around the 2011 harvest, and comprises 191 wines from 13 different years, dating back to 1995. Its final composition is 47% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 17% Meunier. It’s available now for £140.

The Krug Rose 23eme edition was also composed around the harvest of 2011, and has been blended with 60 different reserve wines from nine other years, including a traditionally macerated red from a “very special plot” in Ay. Its final composition is 45% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir and 26% Meunier. It’s available now for £250.


Barossa winery microchips bottles to prevent counterfeiting

Barossa Valley’s Seppeltsfield winery has launched a range of wines packaged in bottles fitted with microchips. In what’s being hailed as an “Australian first”, the chips contain rolling code technology and are designed to tackle counterfeiting.

The technology allows drinkers to scan their bottles with their smartphones to determine their authenticity. This will also reveal whether the bottle has been previously opened or tampered with.

Warren Randall, executive chairman of Seppeltsfield Barossa, said: “Whilst we are expanding our luxury wine collection globally, it is very important we are at the forefront of innovation, so we are taking a proactive approach and investing in technology to ensure wine authenticity.”

The technology will initially be fitted to the winery’s ‘Grounds’ range of wines, including the 2017 The Westing and The Northing Barossa Shiraz.

CW Homepage an investment like no other

Join our wine newsletter

Wine investment insights delivered straight into your inbox