Monthly Archives: November 2014


Wallys auction house peter shakeshaftA recent auction at Wally’s in New York highlighted the new attention being paid to California’s highly prized clutch of superstar Cabernet Sauvignons. The sale consisted of the cream of the global fine wine trade with top wines from Champagne, Burgundy, Italy, Bordeaux, Spain, Australia, Germany and even Hungary. Some rare spirits, bourbon and vintage malt whisky were also in demand. But it was the cult Californians that dominated the show with both Screaming Eagle and Harlan estate achieving huge premiums on their high estimates and breaking many records. Other Californian estates also sold for way more than their high estimates.

Wally’s senior auctioneer commented that Bill Harlan’s prescient observation about “California First Growths” had now been confirmed. The CEO of Wally’s had said beforehand that the sale could be a “bellwether” for Californian cult wines and the interest expressed at this auction would seem to bear that out. This would seem to offer further proof that the fine wine market is broadening and expanding. Vin-X will continue to monitor Screaming Eagle for suitable investment opportunities. For more information please click on the article below.



Peter Shakeshaft KrugIt sounds like a film that should star Audrey Hepburn but in fact refers to the end of vintage lunch at Krug’s legendary Clos de Mesnil vineyard attended recently by one of Decanter’s best writers. In a recent article she paints a wonderful picture of the attention to detail that Krug bring to the process of creating some of the best (and most expensive) and most sought after champagne in the world. Despite being owned by a luxury goods house their vision and patience epitomise how truly magnificent champagne should be made.

For instance they now use 198 different base wines (up from 150 in 2011) from 250 different vineyard plots whilst the chef de cave uses 5,000 tasting notes to suggest 3 potential blends which must be approved unanimously by the tasting committee ! In 2010 they discarded 30,000 litres of blended wine which was deemed to be not of sufficient quality for Krug, and this during the financial crisis. They have only owned Clos de Mesnil since 1971 and only made the first vintage in 1979 but still the precise timing of when to pick is crucial because the blending process starts in the vineyard. Finally a brilliant quote from a former Krug winemaker “Details don’t just count. They are everything”. For full article click below.



FPeter Shakeshaftollowing on from our recent blog of the 20th October about the merits of investing in 2008 Penfold’s Grange it would seem that we are not alone in our conviction that this is indeed one of the greatest wines ever to have emerged from the Antipodes. Recently it took the lion’s share of trade on Liv-ex with 9.4% and this is as a result not only of its price which rivals many First Growths but also the fact that it has been awarded 100 points by the Wine Advocate and the Wine Spectator.

Elsewhere although the First Growths continued to hold a steady 35% share of trade the trend for dominance by “off” vintages continued. This time the beneficiaries have been two of the more prominent Super Seconds. 2008 Cos d’Estournel was one of the top wines traded by value and volume, whilst Vin-X favourite Pontet-Canet’s 2008 was also traded heavily. The 2008 vintage claimed 20% of trade by value, more than double any other vintage and owes its resurgence to its new found attractive value after the biggest roller-coaster ride for a vintage in recent memory.

For more information please click on article below.

First Growths See Their Trade Value Boosted

Peter Shakeshaft, Vin-XAs the long, hot summer mellows in to an unseasonally mild autumn so it would seem that the fine wine market is also bucking recent trends. Recently the Liv-ex 50 has seen some sustained upwards movement as so-called “off” vintages of the First Growths have surged in price in recent weeks. Indeed the Liv-ex 50 has reversed the dip of the summer and is back at levels not seen since June whilst Bordeaux’s share of trade is moving back towards 80% proving that it still continues to dominate trade in the fine wine market. This is borne out by the continued dominance of the First Growths who since September have accounted for 25% of weekly trade by value. However last week that share was closer to 35%.

2 trends have emerged since 2012. The focus on “off” vintages and the desire for Mouton.The attraction of Mouton has been its solid scores coupled with comparatively low prices relative to its peers. In particular its 2002 and 2008 vintages which offer drinkers the chance to acquire a First Growth at a decent discount to the more sought after vintages. For more information please click on article below.