Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Fine Wine Investment

It has always been said that you should buy two cases of the best wines in the best vintages. This always gives you the option to sell one case and drink the other.
I have followed the fine wine market for a number of years and always been relatively confident that it is a diverse, interesting and potentially profitable investment choice.
This article in the Financial Times estimated that there is over £1.2 billion worth of wine in UK warehouses. I would think that this estimate is conservative.
Now I am in the fortunate position to be able to get the best prices (ie the first release prices) for most of the best Bordeaux wines, when the Primeur prices are released. This is similar to a new release of a share price or a company flotation on the stock market.
Sometimes it is good to get in early and secure the best price.
The other thing to bear in mind is that wine is finite. There is only a certain amount produced at each Chateau in each vintage. You can not duplicate or replicate the best wine in the World.
We will shortly be having tastings to assess the quality of the 2009 Bordeaux vintage and then the prices will be released from the Chateaux in May and June.
If you are interested in buying wines 'En Primeur' then please contact me directly. hamish@bellawines.co.uk

Friday, 8 January 2010

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2007

This is the new label for Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2007. Every year since 1946 the owner of the Chateau has selected an artist or sculptor to incorporate some of their work on to the label.
Some of the most famous and infamous artists have featured: Salvador Dali 1958, Henry Morre 1964, Joan Miro 1969, Pablo Piccasso 1973, Andy Warhol 1975 and even Prince Charles in 2004. The artists do not receive a formal payment. But they do receive a quantity of (cases) of two different vintages (obviously the current featured vintage as well as a drinking vintage).
The paintings for the label are a novel creation with some reference to wine, Mouton Rothschild or enjoyment. This obviously leaves the artists to be as whacky as they want. Some of the labels are particularly weird. You can see all the labels from 1945 until 2004 here.
I like the 1999 label by Raymond Savignac, the controversial naked lady from 1993 by Balthus and the great 1982 by John Huston.
Some years the Chateau dedicates the wine to certain people such as The Queen Mother (who stayed at Mouton in 1977).
It is a master stroke of marketing and innovation to use these fabulous artists.
There is talk that the 2008 label will be the first Chinese artist to be on a Mouton label. This could be a coup as the Asian market is becoming more powerful for Bordeaux sales.