Wednesday, 23 December 2009

2009 Bordeaux Vintage

There has been very positive comments regarding the 2009 harvest in Bordeaux. Now that the initial hype may have calmed slightly, there seems to be some concerns about the alcohol levels (relatively high). But these richer fuller wines are similar to 2005,2003 and 2000 which all had higher than normal alcohol levels and produced some of the best wines of the last 10 years.
I was fortunate to be able to pick some Merlot at Chateau de la Riviere in Fronsac.

Xavier Buffo, (the winemaker) and James Gregoire (the owner) were both very confident for this harvest. The pure ripe quality of the grapes bodes well for the wines, which will be produced.

I will be in Bordeaux in January for business meetings as well as tastings, so I should be able to get a clearer picture from various respected Chateaux owners and tasters.

The crazy week of 'Primeur Tastings' in April should be an interesting time. The exchange rate is still not favorable for UK or US wine buyers, but if the wines are top quality people will always want to buy them .The efforts and energies of many negociants have shifted to the exciting markets in the East. Will these relatively new markets of Russia, India, Singapore, China and Hong Kong be the new future for Bordeaux wines?

I am looking forward to 2010 to spend more time at the top quality wine estates in Bordeaux.

Here are some interesting observations from Stephane Derenoncourt, who is one of the top consultant winemakers in the Bordeaux area. (Click on Stephane's name to read the interview.)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Chateau Cheval Blanc

Recently I was fortunate enough to fly in a helicopter over Saint Emilion. We hovered over the village and then went to explore various Chateaux. This picture is the fabulous Premier Grand Cru Classe Chateau Cheval Blanc. It is an un assuming Chateau, but it produces some of the finest wines of the World. It is interesting the sight from the air, where we could see the earth and the patchwork of exploratory works in the replanted vineyard.
One of the best wines that I have ever tasted was the Chateau Cheval Blanc 1983. I enjoyed this wine at the Jockey Club in Newmarket, whilst celebrating my 30th birthday (10 years ago). I remember the wine. My wife organised a surprise birthday party so I was surrounded by friends and family and enjoying very fine wines. What a treat. And the memories of the wine and the fabulous evening are still vivid 10 years later.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an interesting character who has embraced social media and the internet in order to communicate about wine.
It is well worth having a look at his recent presentation at the Wine Future conference in Rioja. It is a 25 minute talk (without notes) but shows an insight to this modern style of wine communication. Click on the link here.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Bordeaux Wine Tourism

This is great news for Bordeaux wine tourism. A €55 million investment in wine tourism.
Serious investment in such a beautiful city that has been a Unesco World Heritage city for the last couple of years.
Every time I go to Bordeaux there seems to be an improvement. The recent opening of the 5 star Regent Grand Hotel right in the centre is very positive. Although they really must do something about the lighting. They are either using re usable (and dim) light bulbs or they are happy to have a brothel ambience.
The tram way seems to function very well after we all suffered a few years of near gridlock with the traffic in the centre, whilst the work was being done.
The Theatre always looks stunning, the wine bars, restaurants and wine shops are all vibrant and fun.
The strip of land on the old Quai de Chartrons(where the old merchant ships loaded the wine in barrels)has now been revitalised to having concerts and events and the wonderful water features along the waterfront and around the Bourse are fantastic.
A truly fantastic city, with an amazing history and a modern vtality.

Australian Wines...Andrew Jefford lecture.

Here are the words from a fascinating presentation by the UK journalist Andrew Jefford. The lecture took place two days ago in Australia.
The interesting points are the challenges facing the Australian wine industry........also the fact that the Australians refer to their grape growing and winemaking as an industry! No wonder people don't like 'industrial' wines.
There are many interesting and relevant points from Andrew's lecture.
The positives are undoubtedly the diversity of Australian wines and also the potential. Also the relative youthfulness of Australian wines within the global market place...they have come a long way in the last 30 years.
The negative aspects are the perceived homogenous styles and also 'Brand Australia', which has lead to big wine companies dealing with big European supermarkets....and destroying the price on promotions.
Also the over adjustment of acidity and tannins has made the wines seem bland and 'made' rather than natural.
And the key and most current point is that the Australian economy is relatively healthy at the moment (certainly in comparison to others), and the exchange rate means that Australian wine is 25% more expensive in the UK than 12 months ago.
I would be amazed if these price promotions continue in supermarkets. They are un sustainable and do more damage to Australian wines than good.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Rainbow in Minervois

I would love to think that the crock of gold was at my house!!!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Chateau Troplong Mondot

This is one of the slightly more bizarre named Chateau in Bordeaux. The property is in the tiny hamlet of Mondot just to the south east of the village of Saint Emilion. The vineyards belonged to the Abbe Raymond de Seze in the 17th Century and the size of the vineyard area (33 hectares) has not greatly changed in the last 300 years. Raymond Troplong,owned the Chateau from 1850 and his nephew and succesor at the Chateau Edouard Troplong added the name Troplong to the estate before he sold it.
The Valette family bought the estate in 1936. Alexandre Valette was a Parisian wine merchant who already owned Chateau La France in Fronsac and he later bought Chateau Pavie very close by in Saint Emilion.
The most notable point is that the vineyards are the highest vines of the Saint Emilion area (over 100 metres above sea level)...there is a large water tower next to the Chateau(hidden by the trees in the pic) which is a bit of a landmark. Also the size of the property is significant when many of the Right Bank Chateaux are less than 10 hectares.
The Chateau is currently operated by the delightful Christine Valette and her husband Xavier Pariente.
I wanted to visit the Chateau as the wines have recently been elevated from Grand Cru Classe to Premier Grand Cru Classe status in the controversial 2006 re classification of the Saint Emilion AOC system. Also the prices for Troplong Mondot wines have leapt upwards recently on the back of some extremely high Parker notes.
The impressive barrel store.

I was met by the elegant Stephanie Libreau who gave me a guided tour of the estate. The harvest was in full swing and the gypsies seemed to be all over the place. I noticed some of these grapes ready to be sorted. You can see the slight damage and inconsistency of ripening in these tubs in the picture below. These are actually grapes from a block of vines that was effected by a hailstorm during the early summer. The estate was very lucky as only 20% of the grapes were effected. Essentially a cold funnel of air rose up from the river Dordogne and dropped some large hail stones mainly on the neigbouring property. Hail is a nightmare for a vigneron, but it can be very isolated.
Some slightly iffy grapes.
The resultant wine from these grapes will not go in to the main Chateau wine, but their second label which is called Mondot. The normal production is 60-90,000 bottles of the 1st wine and 10-30,000 bottles of the 2nd wine.
The 33 hectares are planted mainly with Merlot (90%) with Cabernet Franc (5%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%).
After a tour of the vines and the winery I tasted the following:

Chateau Troplong Mondot 2007, Premier Grand Cru Classe Saint Emilion
Excellent dark concentration of deep spicy autumn fruits. A note of dark chocolate and mocha intensity. Very tight and ripe tannins with an elegant finish. A good wine for the 2007 vintage.

Mondot 2004
This was a slightly hollow and aggressive style. The Cabernet character and harshness did not seem to be nearly as harmonious as the main wine. It was robust drinking!

I was then invited to lunch with Christine Valette and Xavier Pariente. It was a great fun harvest lunch with the many gypsy families who pick the grapes. It was a fun and informal lunch and we opened a couple of interesting wines:

Chateau Troplong Mondot 2001, Grand Cru Classe Saint Emilion
Again a very concentrated rich style. Not showing massive ageing at the rim. Power packed and silky smooth tannin/fruit balance.

Chateau Troplong Mondot 1995, Grand Cru Classe Saint Emilion
Showing major development in colour and very mature meaty secondary fruit aromas. Less powerful than the 2007 or 2001 in alcohol and punch. Tannins smooth but not in the same league as the other two.

Overall it was a fascinating visit and enhanced by Madame Valette's hospitailty to invite me to lunch!
The more recent wines were excellent. They certainly have the 'stamp' of their consultant winemaker Michel Rolland. Powerful, full on wines with quite high alcohols but very smooth tannins. Certainly a Chateau to follow.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Bordeaux 2009

It looks like the Bordeaux grape harvest for the 2009 vintage could be rather special. This follows a good 2008 harvest and an exceptional 2005.
This information from the CIVB gives general background detail for the 2009 weather pattern and the sunshine, temperature and rainfall. The only anomaly seems to be the lack of rain compared to previous years.
I know that there is a high level of optimism in Bordeaux at the moment where the harvest is in full flow. I will be back in St.Emilion this Wednesday and Thursday.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Would you like to stay in this Chateau?
Yes, this is the fairy tale Chateau de la Riviere in the Bordeaux region. They have a few exquisite guest rooms available. It is a truly amazing experience. They also have some of the most incredible cellars for storing their top quality wines.

We are running wine tours in the Bordeaux area, with a clear focus on fun, learning and experiencing top quality wines. We taste at Chateaux such as Lynch Bages, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, La Gaffeliere and Cheval Blanc. We eat at some of the best and coolest restaurants in the Bordeaux region. And we normally find time to stay in a 5 star hotel for a night.
For more information and prices please email directly:

Friday, 4 September 2009

French Wine Exports dip by 25%

Some recent statistics here have caused dramatic headlines. For sure the French export market is difficult on the back of extreme pressures from exchange rates and the credit squeeze let alone the bad and slow payment situation.
However statistics are open to abuse. Champagne sales may have fallen by over 40% in the first half of 2009, but the Languedoc Roussillon area has definitely increased sales. We, at Bella Wines, have increased sales by c 25% so far this year. Lets see what the important Christmas period generates..
If anyone is looking for the greatest value and most dynamic wines of the World then it is worth seeking out wines from the South of France.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Millau Bridge...le Viaduc de Millau

I have often driven rapidly over the Millau Bridge, either excitedly heading back to Sue and the boys (its only 90 minutes from home) or charging north towards a ferry and England.
In July I traveled with the boys for a UK 'holiday'. We stopped at Millau to have ice cream and check out the bridge.

Designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster and conceived by French engineer Michel Virlogeux.
Cost: 400 million euros.
Where:Links the A75 Clermont Ferrand to Beziers motorway above the river Tarn valley in the South of France very close to the fantastic cheese village of Roquefort.
Record?: Highest bridge in the World at 343 metres above the valley floor.
The construction:

14th December 2001....first stone laid by JC Gayssot, Minister of Transport.
28th May 2004....the two parts of the deck from either side are joined together.
14th December 2004...Inauguration by Presdient Chirac.
16th December 2004...First traffic
Interestingly there are only 7 steel pylons that connect the bridge to the valley floor.
The bridge is 2460 metres long.
There are 36000 tons of metal framework, 205,000 tons of concrete.

It is a stunning construction and well worth stopping off to have an ice cream and browse around the visitor centre.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Minervois hills

This is a wild view from our house. The little building tucked in the garrigue is the Chapel of Sainte Leocadie. The pine trees, small scrubby oaks, thyme, rosemary, olives and sage all add the character and heart of this stunning wild corner of the Minervois.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009 wine is good for you

This is a good a relevant article from Decanter magazine.
I have previously written about the healthy values of a couple of glasses of red wine. It seems that there is more as a preventative medication as well as a simple anti oxidant.
I would love to see wine prescribed by doctors. I know that French hospitals certainly serve wine at meal times.

Friday, 10 July 2009

English Poiltics

I was recently chatting with a good friend who has links with the House of Commons. We discussed the possibility of him standing as an MP.......however as we discussed the situation further, it was evident that whatever his passion or his beliefs or his wholehearted enthusiasm to change or reform, at this time UK politics has very few friends and very little credibility.

These are interesting statistics below:
Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 600 employees and has the following employee statistics?

29 have been accused of spouse abuse.
7 have been arrested for fraud.
9 have been accused of writing bad cheques.
17 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses.
3 have done time for assault.
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit.
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges.
8 have been arrested for shoplifting.
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits.
84 have been arrested for drink driving in the last year.

Which organization is this?
It's the 635 members of the House of Commons, the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us inline.

What a bunch we have running our country - it says it all. And just to top all that they have the best 'corporate' pension scheme in the country.

It is staggering that 84 MP's have been arrested for drink driving in the last year.

Are these role models?

Are these people we should respect?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Gritty Scotsman

Love him or hate him, it is inspiring to see a UK tennis player wanting to win at last. For so long the gentleman players have been under performing or not fulfilling their potential. However Andy Murray seems to have the determination, single mindedness and raw passion (as well as a lot of talent!) to succeed......and he is Scottish.....which is even better.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Is Summer starting?

At last Summer may be around the corner. It has been damp, wet and miserable in the South of France recently. In fact it has been far better weather in the UK over the last two months. The vignerons have sufficient they are worried about rot and oidium(are farmers ever happy?). Whilst we have had ghastly damp heavy skies, we have been more fortunate than many parts of Bordeaux who seemed to have had severe of the nightmares for any grape grower. One saving grace for this part of the Languedoc is that we have fresh cleansing winds that can soon change the clouds and freshen up the whole atmosphere. Let's hope.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Two Glasses of Wine

  When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the
  mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine...
  A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began,
  wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  
 He then  asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
  The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The
  pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
  He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was. The professor next picked up  a
  box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
  He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous'yes.' The professor then
  produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
  filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
  'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I  want you to recognise that this jar represents your life.
  The golf balls are the important things; your  family, your children, your health, your friends, and your
  favourite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything
  else; the small stuff.
   If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
   The same goes for life if you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff.
   Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical
   check-ups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house
   and fix the disposal.
   Take care of the golf balls first; the Things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
   One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented. The professor smiled.'I'm
   glad you asked. It just goes to show
 you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a
   couple of glasses of wine with a friend.'               

Monday, 20 April 2009

Drinking alcohol makes you fat!

This headline could also be....'Light exercise makes you feel more healthy'.

It is definitely the 'silly season' just before a budget. The UK government desperately needs to raise taxes to fund their inefficiencies. Alcohol is an immediate easy tax.

According to a recent article in the Telegraph these are the worrying statistics:

Large glass (250ml) of average strength red wine = 214 calories = one bag of Cheesy Wotsits.

A bottle of average strength red wine = 644 calories = 14 jaffa cakes or McDonald's Cheeseburger and medium fries.

Large glass of medium dry white wine = 190 calories = two and a half digestive biscuits.

Bottle of medium dry white wine = 570 calories = chicken with cashew nuts and egg fried rice.

One pint of premium lager = 330 calories = one four ounce fillet steak

One pint of cider = 200 calories = one KFC chicken drumstick

Large Bailey's (100ml) = 320 calories = one Snickers bar

One shot (25ml) of vodka or gin = 55 calories = one 25ml serving of single cream

(in may cases I would rather drink the alcohol!!!)

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Logan Weemala Shiraz Viognier 2006 on you tube!

Kate and Chris are some fun people in the leafy suburbs of Manchester at Reserve Wines. They are always trying something different and they have a friendly and easy attitude towards their customers. The shop is really well stocked with interesting wines, that you would not always see in supermarkets or on the high street. Essentially Kate and Chris are passionate about their business and this is reflected having just been selected as Independent Wine Merchant of the Year in the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2008.......which is a just reward for their hard work.
I was in the shop recently to taste and review one of the excellent Logan Wines. If you want to see a charming video click here!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

St.Emilion classification in disarray...again!

The 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines has stood the test of time apart from a couple of minor adjustments (Chateau Mouton Rothschild was elevated to 1st Growth in the early 1970's). However this classification was mainly for the 'Left Bank' of Bordeaux.
On the other hand the St.Emilion classification was introduced in 1954 in order to promote the top Chateaux and show off a hierarchy of quality. The classification is reviewed every 10 years and controversially Chateaux are promoted or demoted. This obviously gives the classification more fluidity, whilst keeping the Chateau owners 'on their toes' to maintain or establish their quality.
Unfortunately it has now all gone pear shaped!
The most recent classification in 2006 was disputed by the demoted Chateaux and they took legal action. The court cases have been back and forth and unfortunately at every turn the reputation of St.Emilion becomes slightly more tarnished. The latest news from St.Emilion is that the 2006 classification will not the lawyers have won!!!
This leaves the current labelling for Chateaux which were demoted or promoted in limbo! It also means that if the next classification takes place in 2016 we could be in for some fun.
Read more in Decanter.

Monday, 16 March 2009


There are many parts of the viticultural year that have benefited from innovation and progress. Harvesting machines are the most obvious advancement from the traditional hand pickers.
These innovations take time to bed in and they also normally have critics from the older generation.
One area of grape growing that has not really had much advancement over the years is pruning. Apart from the introduction of electrical sheers rather than manual sheers...which has reduced the arthritic problems and tendinitis.
Every vine grows in a different way. The branches develop and shoot over in all directions. Therefore the pruning and more importantly the selection of the next years growth has always been done by a human. How can a machine make a judgement on a healthy shoot? How can a machine decide what looks good or bad to cut?
Well.....the Americans have come up with a new machine that will halve the labour costs and speed up the the link here. Will we be seeing the first robot pruners in the Minervois soon?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Wine attitudes in France

This was a fascinating article on the web
France is currently having an identity crisis for wine. Undoubtedly the anti alcohol lobby is becoming stronger, whilst at the same time wine is an important fabric of the heritage of France.
It is an interesting conundrum a traditional part of the French lifestyle and pastimes or become a prohibitionist state!
Unfortunately President Stircrazy is not a wine lover......perhaps he will be convinced by his potentially new BF over the pond who likes an occasional tipple and an occasional surreptious ciggie!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sitt 2009

No Sitt is not a typo!
It stands for Specialist Importers Trade Tastings.
This is a great opportunity for the UK wine trade buyers and journalists to taste a selection of quality wines.
There are usually about 40 different importers showing their various goodies.
We will be at Manchester this Monday 23rd (Bridgewater Hall) and London this Wednesday 25th (Vinopolis).
Bella Wines are at Table 12 where we will be showing some interesting new wines:

Logan climate Australians....stunning award winning Sauv. Blanc.
Mas Amiel......fantastic Roussillon wine estate...aged Maury as well as deep reds.
Ch. Jean Faure...St.Emilion Grand Cru
Ch. de la favourite Chateau in Bordeaux...stunning wines.
Domaine La Prade Mari......wild hairy winemaker making exquisite wines....80 yr old Carignan aimed to retail at £5.50!!!
Cave Les Trois Blasons.....always innovative classy producer from the sunny South of France.

Look forward to seeing you this week.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Weather and winter in Minervois

This winter seems to have dragged on too long! It is exciting and busy pre Christmas. It is fun when you have the chance to travel to a southern hemisphere country during the European winter.....but when the global economy is gloomy and the weather is bleak!
Time to plan optimistic ventures for the future......New wines to taste and discover. New prices to calculate (is this a good thing or not?). Tastings to plan. New customers to find. As I frequently get reminded ' people will always drink wine during a recession'. Lets see now.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Pruning Vines, Syrah.

This is a vineyard next to my office! It is owned by a chap called William Vidal. The vines are 25 years old. The top picture is 'pre haircut' whilst the bottom picture is a similar vine having been trimmed and pruned. This is a single guyot pruning system. There will be 5 eyes on the branch ready to develop foliage and fruit. There will also be an extra shoot for next years main stem. The vineyard is good quality and William is a good viticulturist and the grapes could qualify for Appellation Controlee Minervois. However these grapes will probably go in to one of the excellent Vin de Pays wines at Cave Les Trois Blasons.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

UK Wine Consumption to increase despite recession

This is an interesting report amongst all the doom and gloom being announced recently. Vinexpo have commissioned this report ahead of their big wine show in Bordeaux (June 21-25).
The interesting figures are the massive decline in French(-18%) wine consumption and the steady surge of Australian(+27%) wines in the UK.
These stats sometimes have to be treated the largest volume of wine is still controlled by the supermarket chains, and one big Australian promotion or one duff French harvest can obscure the figures. However it is encouraging to be optimistic that people will still regularly enjoy wine over the next few years! 1.62 billion bottles a year...Wow. A 12% rise in wine imports since 2003.
These stats also show that we have beaten Germany at something!!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Oz and James Drink to Britain BBC2 tonight

These guys are fun. I have known Oz Clarke for over 15 years in the wine trade. He is always very chirpy and his knowledge and taste are exceptional...although sometimes he comes across as a bit geeky. James May is always good value. Having meandered around France and hit California they are now championing all types of drinks from Britain. Should be entertaining.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Wine Sale (Part 1)

Two Wines at the best ever prices:

Deep Woods Ivory 2006 (Semillon Sauvignon Blanc).
Normally sold at £8.95. Sale Price = £5.95 per bottle. (Case price = £71.40)
SAVE £36 per case.
A delightful fresh white blend with light alcohol (11.5%) and excellent fresh lime characters. Great as an aperitif or with salads, light white meats.

Deep Woods Ebony 2005 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot)
Normally sold at £8.95. Sale Price = £5.95 per bottle. (Case price = £71.40)
SAVE £36 per case.
A hearty rich blend of top quality grapes from Margaret River. This red has a great balance between intense spicy fruit and evident firm tannins. A wine to enjoy with grilled meats or deeper roasts.

We can arrange delivery anywhere in the UK. Costs will be advised when order confirmed.
Email to reserve your stock.
12 bottles minimum order.

Billy & Poppy on beach

Quality and pedigree on the right(Billy), and his mad French blonde bitch friend (Poppy). They are both great fun in their own way. We have had Billy since he was a puppy (13 years ago) and Poppy we picked up as a waif and stray from some friends near Pezenas. Having dogs is fun but also a responsibility . It does mean that Sue or I walk at least one hour every day.
This picture was taken on a beach near Agde on Boxing Day....there was nobody time to appreciate Mediterranean beaches!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Chateau de Cassan

One of the major differences between Bordeaux and the Languedoc are the smaller Chateaux!!! This may have something to do with the prosperity and the general wealth that oozes out of Bordeaux .....but this fantastic Abbaye/Chateau is situated just outside Roujan near Beziers. It dates from the 4th Century and has many links to the Bishops of Beziers as a religious centre.
It is called Chateau de Cassan and is available for weddings/parties launches etc etc.
We went to a fabulous Christmas market and gazed at the amazing architecture and wandered in the once splendid gardens.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Chateau Latour For Sale?

This is an interesting rumour that started last week in The Times.
Apparently Monsieur Pinault the multi millionaire owner of Ch. Latour in Pauillac has been hit hard by the credit crunch. Therefore he is trying to get rid of some of his assets pronto.
He also owns Christies auction house as well as the luxury goods brands Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Stella McCartney.
Monsieur Pinault bought Chateau Latour in 1993 for €83 million. He is now looking for €150-200 million......but in a realistic market surely this First Growth Chateau and part of France's heritage would fetch nearer €500 million.
The Chateau has 78 hectares in total. But the fruit for the 'Grand Vin' comes from some of the best vineyards in the World...the 47 hectares surrounding the Chateau known as L'Enclos.

Bernard Magrez, who already owns Chateau Pape Clement along with a host of other very smart Bordeaux properties is rumoured to be interested.

It will be very interesting to see if any more Bordeaux Chateaux become available on the market due to the current global financial situation.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Rose Tasting, London Feb 6th 2009

This wine tasting should be a fantastic opportunity to try a really classy selection of Rose wines from the South of France.

The Rose wine category has increased enormously over the last few years. Rose is a good half way house for choosing wines that are versatile and easy. We will be showing all sorts of styles at this tasting. There will be organic, biodynamic, lutte raissonne and all shades of pink available!

This is a trade tasting aimed at wine buyers and journalists. Click on the invite below to enlarge. Let me know directly if you can make it along.


Just a note to wish all customers and friends of Bella Wines a very Happy New Year.
This year will undoubtedly be challenging for business, however there will also be many positive opportunities for successful business ventures.
Although the UK and most of the World are having an economic slow down we still need to eat and drink!! Maybe we should drink less but drink better quality. Maybe we should look for better value wines from lesser known areas.
Bella Wines are very well placed to offer great value wines from emerging areas such as the South of France as well as cool climate areas such as Orange, New South Wales in Australia.
We firmly believe that you can have great fun with wine at all price levels. We want more people to be aware of the exciting wines that we have available. Therefore we have major plans to develop the business during 2009.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope to see more of our friends, family and customers during 2009.