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                                                                  Issue 2 - May 2012

                                               the Bordeaux Fine Wines Magazine

Expense, it seems, has no limit to those who
have acquired a taste for wines. See Page 7

Also featured:-
Wine market set for a
strong year
Happily in the Red
Wine bottle sizes?
2009 Bordeaux Scoop!

       Fine Wines Ltd                                 
Bordeaux                     the Bordeaux Fine Wines Magazine

Welcome to the Spring edition of Bordeaux Fine
Wines’s magazine.
   As global wine buyers converge on Bordeaux for the
annual futures sale that opens this month, this year's
main organiser of the event, the Union of the Grands
Crus (UGC), expects to welcome about 5,000 wine
professionals to the southwestern French city.
   This unique system, called "en primeur", allows
buyers to stake a claim on coveted labels by paying 12
to 18 months in advance of their delivery. Last year, the
Chinese made their first foray into Bordeaux futures.
China is now Bordeaux's number one trading partner,
and a recently formed Chinese wine fund plans to spend
in excess of 100 million euros over the next five years.
   That is Bordeaux's dilemma. Prices have skyrocketed
over the last decade, alienating traditional customers in
America and Europe in favour of rapacious demand
from China's super-rich.
   Logically, the prices for the 2011 vintage should open
lower and that would allow Europeans and others to
come back to the market after being bypassed by Asians,
particularly the Chinese.
   This in itself presents a fantastic buying opportunity
for the investor depending on whether this vintage is
any good. Follow us and invest in wine today.
   Remember if you have any questions about your fine
wine portfolio, please do not hesitate to get in touch
with the Bordeaux Fine Wines team.

Nick Franklin

                   Fine Wines Ltd

 Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd       London Office:
 Telephone: 020 7127 5255      43-45 Portman Square,
 Email:     London, W1H 6HN, UK.             Hong Kong Office:
                               35/F Central Plaza,
                               18 Harbour Road,
                               Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Wine market set
for a strong year
Recent research has suggested that the wine market could grow by ten per cent
in 2012, with an abundance of opportunities for wine investors throughout the
year, according to The Fine Wine Market Outlook 2012.

                            he global survey of the            won’t live up to the quality that was
                            wine trade canvassed the           produced in 2009 and 2010.
                            opinions of 120 leading               The call for a drop in en primeur
                    merchants, auction houses,                 2011 price does not reflect a drop in
                    brokers and investment fund                demand. The market is expected to be
                    managers in the fine wine sector,          reinvigorated this year, as chateau get
                    and indicated great opportunities          realistic with their pricing structures.
                    for buyers. The report is compiled         However, there was a strong
                    by Wealthmonitor and online                contingent believing Bordeaux will
                    magazine Wine Yields. They                 lead the market gain this year.
                    detailed in a 40-page report the              Intelligent pricing will reinstate
                    opinions of major industry                 confidence in investors who feel they
                    participants in the global fine            have fallen out of touch with the
                    wine sector in Asia, Europe and            wine region. The succession of great
                    the Americas.                              21st century vintages has left many

                    The market is expected to be reinvigorated this year,
                    as chateau get realistic with their pricing structures
                       The report suggests some of the         investors feeling out-priced, which is
                    best buying opportunities wine             why 2011 is a crucial year for
                    collectors and investors have seen in      Bordeaux to lure back in the wealth
                    several years."                            of potential investors that are ready
                       The majority of respondents (60%)       to invest in what has been an
                    said they expected the fine wine           astounding start to the 21st century
                    market to increase, with most of           for winemakers in Bordeaux.
                    those expecting gains of ten per cent.        The new confidence expressed in
                       Managing director of Chateau            The Fine Wine Market Outlook 2012
                    Lafite recently advised that Bordeaux      is a reassuring sign that the chateau
                    had to be ‘less arrogant’ in its pricing   will get intelligent with their pricing
                    this year, saying that it is widely        this year.
                    recognized that the 2011 vintage

                                                                              Bordeaux - Issue 2: May 2012 | 3
Wine-based investments are becoming an alternative for Chinese investors

             any Chinese investors,        Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.             bottles of 750 milliliters per case) in
             faced with rising inflation      As China creates more                 2010, growing 34.4% with projections
             and a volatile stock          opportunities for investments into       of nearly 250 million cases by 2016,
market in a slowing economy, are           luxury products, many Chinese            according to the International Wine
increasingly in the red. Though some       consumers are buying.                    and Spirit Research's (IWSR) China
might indeed be experiencing losses           "The best-known brand among           Wine Market Report 2011. The
with financial products, which in the      Chinese, 2008 Lafite Rothschild, for     IWSR is a provider of data on
recent past included investments in        instance, has hit an astounding          wines and spirits.
antiques, diamonds, stocks and fine        increase of 194% (in price) during the      Hong Kong in particular has
art, what a growing number of              past three years. The huge investment    become the wine hub of China. The
investors and consumers in China           benefit has greatly surprised and        Hong Kong Wine Exchange was
are becoming more passionate               lured Chinese investors, though          launched in October as a trading
about is investing in

wine, in particular
reds such as
Bordeaux and
    In recent years, as
China pushes for
more consumer

spending and its
wealthy increasingly

                          in the
falling in love with status symbols,
hot alternatives to the stock and real
estate markets have been wine
investment funds and wine
exchanges, which reportedly offer a
buffer against the nation's rising         many don't quite understand the          platform to buy and sell globally
inflation. A growing market for wine,      wine culture.                            through the company's network
China surpassed Germany to become             Yu Li, personal banking manager       of wine storage partners. Taxes on
the top Bordeaux importer in volume        of China Merchants Bank, says the        wine in Hong Kong were eliminated
last year.                                 Chinese wine-based investment            in 2008.
    The wine-based investments             market is booming. At the fine wine         One of the major factors in the
essentially funnel money into              auctions of Sotheby's and Christie's     growing wine market is increasing
financing wineries and in return           in Hong Kong last year, more than        demand from China where
expose Chinese consumers to a              50% of the attendees were from the       consumers' tastes have grown
greater amount of wines.                   Chinese mainland. Mr Yu Li, also         more sophisticated.
    The nation's first wine investment     added that owners of the eight              "Chinese are apt to invest in wine
fund, called the Ding Hong Fund,           prestigious Bordeaux chateaus have       futures that are bought before wines
was launched in August. Vintex &           visited China recently.                  are bottled and released to the market.
Les Vignobles Grgoire, which will             "This was unimaginable five years     Chinese particularly like the wines
manage the fund's wine buying, said        ago. They come to China for nothing      that are considerably cheaper and
it plans to raise 1 billion yuan ($156     but to sell more wines," he says.        highly limited in quantities," Yu says.
million, 124 million euros) over a            The wine market in China reached         There are three categories of
five-year period and will invest in        125 million cases (12 normal sized       investors: those who invest for the | telephone: 020 7127 5255 |
purposes of trading, those who are           by customers,
adding to their wine collection and          because many
those who want asset allocation.             people love to
Most investors belong to the third           get acquainted
category and may also invest in gold         with the value of
or in real estate. Currently most            wine investment
buyers of wine-investment products           in this way,"
are high-end customers with a great          Yu Li says.
interest in wine. Yu Li says a return on        China
wine-based investment is currently           Merchants Bank
not that considerable, but points out        is planning to
that many customers are not in the           cooperate with
market just to make a buck. They are         wineries around the
wine lovers and collectors.                  world later this year.
   As the market for wines grows in             "Obviously the chateaus that
China, the nation's banks have               achieve Premier Cru (first growth)         government.
jumped on the bandwagon. As early            status in the Bordeaux (Wine Official)     Both fine
as 2008, major banks in China, such          Classification of 1855 are more            wine and
as the Industrial and Commercial             valuable," he says.                        Chinese liquor are
Bank of China, Bank of China and                Another consequence of the              exchanged on
China Merchants Bank, have created           growing wine market has been the           the market.
wine-based financial products.               growth of wine trading exchanges,             Li Wenfeng, president of the
   The products usually introduce            such as the Shanghai Wine Exchange,        Shanghai International Wine
customers to domestic wineries as            the first online exchange center in        Exchange, says the exchange has
investment targets. China Merchants          Asia that was established last July.       direct cooperation with wineries and
Bank, for example, introduced its               Every day, around 6 million yuan        liquor producers to guarantee quality,
                                                                                            authenticity and affordable prices.

"The potential of Chinese wine investment                                                      "The potential of Chinese wine
                                                                                            investment market is beyond
market is beyond imagination. And the                                                       imagination. And the Chinese
                                                                                            market will sooner or later
Chinese market will sooner or later become                                                  become the exchange center,
the exchange center, helping price fine wine                                                helping price fine wine around
                                                                                            the world," Li says.
around the world,"                                                                             "The appearance of
                                                                                            e-commerce platforms like these
wine futures in famed Chinese                to 7 million yuan changes hands. Gu        online exchange centers serves as a
winery Chateau Junding, owned by             Guang, founder of the exchange, says       good settlement for the problem of
China National Cereals, Oils and             current growth rates suggest that the      wine circulation. It at least shows that
Foodstuffs Corp, in 2009.                    exchange volume may reach in the           China is keeping up with Western
   Through wine futures, investors           tens of billions in yuan in three years.   paces," Yu says.
can purchase wines early while a                The Shanghai International Wine            The Chinese' zeal for wine has
vintage is still in a barrel and before it   Exchange, established Dec 18, 2011, is     greatly encouraged and benefited
is bottled.                                  the only high-end wine exchange            wine producers and retailers
   "The products are highly accepted         that is supported by the Shanghai          worldwide.

                                                                                             Bordeaux - Issue 2: May 2012 | 5
Show me your Ferra
and I'll show you m
wine cellar
Expense, it seems, has no limit to those who have acquired a taste for wines

      f a wine connoisseur can spend         Qiang, referring to a quality wine. He     wine they like. Anyway, they have to
      12,000 yuan ($1,900, 1,440             is the chief designer heading a 20-        be affluent enough to build a cellar
      euros) on a bottle of Lafite or        strong team at Sicao Wine Cellar in        and moreover, to fill it."
Latour, he or she probably has               Shenzhen, one of China's earliest              "The biggest collector I have
enough money to build a private              cellar design firms.                       worked for has more than 30,000
cellar to store the investment.                  Chen, who used to be an interior       bottles of vintage wines, which would
    As demand for fine wine, especially      designer in Shenzhen, first came to        probably amaze many wine sellers."
expensive vintage wine, soars in             Beijing in 2006 to design a cellar for a   He is now working on a huge project,
China, wine cellar design firms are          Spanish restaurant.                        a 6,000 to 9,000-square-meter cellar
becoming well-versed in interior and             "At first, we were actually learning   for a celebrity that will cost at least 40
wine storage design.                         from the European cellars and              million yuan.
    In recent years, wine has begun to       exploring our own ways to construct a          More than 960,000 people on the
denote wealth. High-end open                 local one in a different climate and a     mainland have personal wealth
houses and luxury new car releases           different situation."                      exceeding 10 million yuan; about
frequently revolve around wine                   Chen's company has grown rapidly       60,000 are billionaires. Beijing,
tasting parties.                             in Beijing since 2006. He says revenue     Guangzhou and Shanghai top the
    According to the International           has been growing at least 70% a year.      list of cities home to those with
Wine and Spirit Research's 2012                  "Only three people out of a            personal wealth of more than 10
China Wine Market Report, wine               hundred might know what wine               million yuan, with 170,000, 157,000
consumption in the country increased         storage cabinets were in 2007. But         and 132,000 millionaires in each city
33.4% year-on-year to 156 million            now, more than 30 would say they           respectively, according to the 2011
nine-liter cases (12 750-milliter            have heard about them."                    Hurun Wealth Report.
bottles a case) last year. China is the          Most of the cellar owners are              In line with the report, custom
world's fifth biggest wine consumer          business tycoons or celebrities who        wine cellars are mostly found in
after the United States, Italy, France       have a yearly income of at least 10        Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and
and Germany.                                 million yuan.                              Shenzhen. Cellar design firms first
    "A professional, private cellar is not       "We intend no offense, but our         appeared in coastal cities in
only a cradle of the Grand Cru babies,       customers naturally belong to the          Southeastern China, close to Hong
but is also a symbol of social status,       upper class. They travel frequently        Kong, in 2004 or 2005. They have
life quality and taste," says Chen           among countries and bring back the         been expanding their business to | telephone: 020 7127 5255 |

   Beijing, and Sichuan and Shanxi
      Wine is best stored at a constant
   temperature (12 °C to 15 °C) and
   humidity (about 65%), low lighting,
   free from vibration and optimum
      "An air conditioner to control the
   temperature and humidity is the soul
   of a cellar," says Li Chunhui, general
   manager at Wine Town's Beijing office,
   stressing the importance of the
   cooling system.
      Chen says cellars in China are
   usually equipped with better
   functioning cooling systems than
   those in Europe.
      "Chinese moneybags always want
   extremely good equipment, even
   when they aren't quite familiar with it.
   For example, one will first buy all
   professional equipment and clothing
   before learning how to ski, even better
   equipped than professional athletes,"
   he says.
                                              "The biggest collector I have worked for
      The cost of a basic cellar ranges       has more than 30,000 bottles of vintage
   from 15,000 to 30,000 yuan. A 20-
   square-meter cellar, which can store at    wines, which would probably amaze
   least 500 bottles of wine, costs about
   400,000 yuan. (Continued overleaf )
                                              many wine sellers."
                                                                    Bordeaux - Issue 2: May 2012 | 7
                                                                                                                               Photo by Kim Reinick
    Only 10 % to 20 % of the total cost    companies in China. It plans to              Apart from the storage function,
goes toward the design and planning,       establish another office in Shanxi        private cellars give much added value
20 % is for cooling and 60% is for         province this year. "Cottages in          to homeowners. The rich are usually
fittings, such as wine racks and           Shanxi are usually very big and cellars   only too eager to impress their friends
decorations, says Chen Liang, general      of hundreds square meters are very        and guests with a large collection of
manager of Shenzhen Raching, one of        common there, perhaps due to the          fine wines in their cellars.
the top three wine storage solution        relatively low housing price and the         "There is a gradual recognition
providers in China.                        many wealthy people there,"               among wealthy wine lovers. It is
    Raching's success is another piece     Li says.                                  sometimes even regarded as the
of evidence of the soaring demand in          The potential of the Chinese wine      code to enter the upper class."
the wine storage market. For each of       storage market is unknown, because           Li believes a private cellar
the past three years, Raching's
revenue has grown 100%. Its revenue
last year topped 200 million yuan.
    Cellar design firms are the typical
partner with architecture design
studios and real estate companies.
    "Real estate companies are sparing
no effort to make high-end properties
more competitive. A property with a
fine wine cellar is becoming more
appealing for homebuyers," Chen
Liang says.
    Designers sometimes struggle
when they are told to put fashion          "The optimum wood for the wine rack should be oak, for
before function. Some customers
request a wine rack made of rare           it is not likely to become deformed in the environment of
Hainan scented rosewood or                 low temperature and high humidity."
sandalwood, pushing the total cost
to more than 10 million yuan for a         China is far from the land of vintage     shouldn't just be a privilege for
20-square-meter cellar.                    wine. Unlike people in France who         wealthy people. As knowledge
    "The most expensive does not           can buy high-quality wine at any          and awareness of wine storage
mean the best," says Xie Jiaxin, sales     time, Chinese need good conditions        spreads, more wine enthusiasts
manager of Wine Town Cellar Design.        for wine storage to safeguard and         can construct them.
"The optimum wood for the wine             improve the quality of their Premier         The most unforgettable project he
rack should be oak, for it is not likely   Cru treasures, Li says.                   has worked on was a 10-square-
to become deformed in the                     "Wines are never dead things. They     meter cellar, which cost about 100,000
environment of low temperature and         are like sleeping beauties, and they      yuan, for a retired worker in his old
high humidity."                            grow in bottles as time goes by. You      apartment.
    Wine Town, based in Shanghai, is       have to provide them with the right          "It was a small one, but delicate
one of the top custom wine design          shelter."                                 and full of joy," he says. | telephone: 020 7127 5255 |
Wine bottle sizes?
Whereas it isn't really necessary            As well as the traditional (in many    terminology, and consequently some
to have any knowledge of wine             cases, legally required) 750ml bottle ,   Jéroboams (four bottles) may be
bottles in order to appreciate wine,      the useful half-bottle (containing        found. The Bordeaux terminology
the bottles are vitally important.        375ml of wine, a common format for        seems quite restricted to that region
   A glass bottle, sealed with a cork     sweet wines, such as chateau              alone. Large format bottles are
or other device, is undoubtedly           d’Yquem), and the perhaps familiar        popular with Bordeaux collectors,
preferable for the storage and            magnum (containing 1.5 litres, as         particularly the eight-bottle
transport of wine than the                with the Pichon-Lalande), there are       Impériale. This is because the small
alternatives, which once included         a number of even grander 'large           amount of air in the bottle (between
wooden barrels, amphorae or even          format' bottles. Many of these are        the cork and the wine) and the large
animal skins. Glass is inert, and         named after biblical kings (I've never    amount of wine results in a smaller
together with the cork seal (putting      found out why that is). Most              air to wine ratio, and this would seem
aside the problem of cork taint just      confusingly, however, the same name       to favour slow development of the
for one moment) it provides an            may be used to refer to different size    wine when compared with smaller
excellent environment for the long        bottles in different regions of France.   formats. The same cannot be said of
aging that some wines demand. The         The table shows the large format          large format bottles of Champagne,
colouring of the glass also aids, in a    bottlings commonly referred to.           as these are really only for show, and
small way, in the protection of the          Other regions of France, Europe,       in general, other than the commonly
wine from potentially damaging light,     and the New World also bottle some        encountered magnums, they are filled
although of course there's no             wine in large formats, particularly       using wine poured from single 750ml
substitute for storing your wine in a     magnums. For larger bottlings,            bottles prior to sale.
cool, dark cellar.                        most tend to follow the Burgundy

      Bottle                 Bordeaux Wine               Burgundy & Champagne
    equivalent                Bottle Sizes                    Bottle Sizes

     Two (1.5L)                  Magnum                           Magnum

    Three (2.25L)              Marie-Jeanne                           -

     Four (3.0L)              Double magnum                       Jéroboam

      Six(4.5L)                  Jéroboam                        Réhoboam

     Eight (6.0L)                Impériale                       Methusaleh

    Twelve (9.0L)                    -                           Salmanazar

   Sixteen (12.0L)                   -                            Balthazar

   Twenty (15.0L)                    -                        Nebuchadnezzar

Above: table of wine bottle sizes commonly referred to

                                                                                         Bordeaux - Issue 2: May 2012 | 9
                                    Robert Parker Gives 19 Wines 100 Pts

           ritic Robert Parker has       vintage and referred back to his first
           released his in-bottle        note after the en primeur tastings
           scores for Bordeaux 2009,     when he called it “unquestionably
describing it as “not a myth but         the greatest Bordeaux vintage I have
mythical”.                               ever tasted”.
   He stated that the most striking         This view has only been
aspect of the vintage is its             intensified by his latest tasting.
consistency across producers,            He concluded: “In short, 2009 is
particularly cru bourgeois and           the greatest vintage I have tasted in
petits vins.                             Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is
   Originally on release a list of 16    a modern-day version, but greatly
perfect wines according to Robert        improved.
Parker were provided. Now that the          “It is more consistent (many
official list is out, we have more       châteaux that were making mediocre
record breaking news for you. Make       wine in 1982 are now making
that 19 One Hundred Point Wines          brilliant wine) and of course, the                        Above: Robert Parker
according to Robert Parker! Our list     yields are lower, the selection process   the 2009s are, they are remarkably
has been updated.                        is stricter, and there are any other      pure, well-delineated and
   In total, 19 wines garnered a         number of factors, from investments       surprisingly fresh and vibrant
perfect 100 points, including a white,   in the wineries to impeccable, radical    – a paradox, but a wonderful one
and 11 received 99 or 99+.               viticulture, that have resulted in        at that.”
   This is important because it is the   extraordinary raw materials.”                Parker’s Magical 20 tasting
views of Robert Parker that often set       “Just like in 1990 or 1982, the low    in Hong Kong last year renewed
demand and price for the best            acidity, the very ripe fruit, the high    interest in the vintage, as have
Bordeaux wines. Wines from Pauillac,     glycerin levels from the elevated         various reviews and scores released
St. Julien, Graves/Pessac Leognan, St.   alcohols, and the stunning                prior to Parker.
Estèphe. Pomerol and St. Emilion         concentration and fruit from low             There is every reason to believe
reached triple digit status.             yields will give most of these wines      that news in the following weeks
   (The 19 100-pointers are: Latour,     incredible appeal in their youth, but     will centre on price hikes for 09
Léoville Poyferré, La Mission Haut-
Brion, La Mondotte, Montrose, Pavie,     “In short, 2009 is the greatest vintage I have
Pétrus, Le Pin, Pontet-Canet, Haut-
Brion, Pape Clement Blanc,               tasted in Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is a
Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Beauséjour           modern-day version, but greatly improved.”
(Duffau Lagarrosse), Bellevue
Mondotte, Clinet, Clos Fourtet, Cos      at the same time will guarantee that      Bordeaux, particularly from châteaux
d’Estournel, Ducru Beaucaillou and       the top wines last for 30 or more         such as Cos d’Estournel, Smith-
l’Evangile.) Other high-scorers were     years, as the best 1982s have             Haut-Lafitte, Montrose, La
Margaux (99), Lafite (99+), Cheval       certainly done.                           Mondotte and Clos Fourtet, which
Blanc (99) and Mouton (99).                 “I do want to reiterate that for as    are not normally the most talked
   Parker has always lauded the          big, rich, and as high in alcohol as      about names on the market and | telephone: 020 7127 5255 |
They are rich, sexy,
opulent and in the best
examples, offer decadent
drinking experiences.
Congratulations to
those 100 point scoring
Bordeaux Chateau!!
more with more room to appreciate
quickly as a result.
   However, it is our view that
consumers and investors alike will
be fighting to buy not only the top
scoring wines, but the numerous
2009 Bordeaux wines. Based on
activity within the market place,
2009 Bordeaux will quickly become
the most expensive vintage in            As we have reported, 2009                        decadent drinking experiences.
Bordeaux history!                      Bordeaux are a wonderful style of                  Congratulations to those 100
   Don’t kill us. We’re just the       wine. They are rich, sexy, opulent                 point scoring Bordeaux
messenger.                             and in the best examples, offer                    Chateau!!

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                                                                                       Bordeaux - Issue 2: May
                                                                                    Bordeaux - Issue 1: January 2012 | 11
     Bordeaux     Fine Wines Ltd

The Bordeaux Fine Wines Premier Client club is a dedicated
service that is only available to a selection of our most valued
clients. It offers a unique package of benefits to ensure that
you fully capitalise on holding a portfolio of fine wines with
Bordeaux Fine Wines.
As a premier client, you will have access to the following benefits:

   A Dedicated Portfolio Analyst
   Build Loyalty Points
   Free Lifetime Insurance on Wine
   Free Lifetime Storage on Wine
   Free Transfer on Wine
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   First Refusal on High Scoring Wines
   First Refusal on En Primeur Options

If you want to find out more about how to become a Premier
Client member, please don't hesitate to call us on 0207 127 5255
or email

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