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Wine News

2017 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign was one to sit out, but Italy is gaining support

As the 2017 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign is about to be delivered it appears that most investors appear to have lost money. But Italy appears to be a country that is becoming more popular with LIV-ex investors.

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As the 2017 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign is about to be delivered it appears that most investors appear to have lost money. But Italy appears to be a country that is becoming more popular with LIV-ex investors.

The 2017 En Primeur campaign was a difficult one, with prices down 12% from the popular but expensive 2016 campaign. Volumes were also down by 60% on the 2016 numbers as Chateaux preferred to hold the wines rather than see the price drop. With such a large amount of unsold stock that will be dripped into the market over time, prices have softened. Of the 50 top labels sold in 2017, LIV-ex has announced that just 7 have risen, 3 have not changed and 40 have dropped in value.

Italy, meanwhile, looks like it is becoming the new darling of the wine trading world, with the volume of trading on Italian wines up 1,500% over the last 10 years. The rise has been part of a pattern of trading moving from Bordeaux to other French regions such as Burgundy and Champagne, but also Italy. The Italian wines that are the most traded include Barolo, Barbaresco and the Super Tuscans.

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Italy confiscates Prosecco Pringles

Pringles' Prosecco & Peppercorn flavoured snacks were confiscated in Italy this week.
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Pringles have had their Prosecco & Peppercorn flavoured snacks confiscated in Italy in a bid to protect the Prosecco brand. Prosecco is Italy's biggest wine export and the Italians, quite rightly, want to protect it.

Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto Region, where Prosecco is made, took to Facebook to praise the Italian ministry, the ICQRF, for seizing the snacks and preventing Pringles from “damaging the reputation of honest producers who promote quality and territory”. Pringles claim the snacks were made using flavourings that were derived from Prosecco DOC wines and therefore its naming and production are within EU naming rules.

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Wales to go ahead with Minimum Unit Pricing despite lack of success in Scotland

Welsh minimum pricing for alcohol appears to be going ahead despite evidence showing it makes no difference in Scotland.
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Minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Wales appears to be going ahead despite evidence showing it has made no difference in Scotland.

The Welsh Assembly is planning to introduce minimum pricing on the 2nd March 2020 although recent reports show that minimum pricing is not reducing consumption in Scotland. The minimum unit pricing will be the same as in Scotland at 50p per unit of alcohol which equates to about £4.50 for a 12% abv wine. In Wales 42% of wine is sold below this minimum price.

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Blaufränkisch and Blue of the Danube comes to London

A tasting in London focused on the quality eastern European grape variety Blaufränkisch is coming up on the 28th October.
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A tasting in London focused on the quality eastern European grape variety Blaufränkisch is to take place on the 28th October. Called Blue of the Danube, it is the largest UK tasting solely dedicated to Blaufränkisch. The tasting is open to trade and press during the day, with the public able to attend in the evening. Masterclasses on the variety and blending options are available.

The event will be at Merchant Taylors’ Hall, 30 Threadneedle Street, London from 11am to 4pm.
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Buried Champagne from the 1890s tasted for the first time, and the conclusion?

Champagne producer Pol Roger whose cellar collapsed in 1900, burying up to to 1.5 million bottles, has this week opened and tried two of the recently recovered bottles.
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Champagne producer Pol Roger whose cellar collapsed in 1900, burying up to to 1.5 million bottles has this week opened and tried two of the recently recovered bottles.

The exact vintages are unknown as wines are not normally labelled before disgorgement, however two wines were opened. Neither had any fizz left, with one of the wines described as containing aromas of spice and vanilla, comparing the wine to cognac. The other with “extraordinary freshness, citrus and exotic fruit”. Both were describes as pleasant to drink.

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Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero make new grounds with new wines

This week Spain’s Rioja has unveiled the first official single vineyard Rioja, while Ribera has created a white Ribera del Duero DO.
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Rioja is often a blend of multiple sub regions with Grenache and the quality Graciano grown in Rioja Baja, while Tempranillo is grown in Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. There are producers making a single vineyard wine, but this was not identifiable on the label. In 2017 Rioja changed its rules to allow the creation of a Viñedo Singular certification. These are wines that come from a single vineyard with differentiating characteristics versus other vineyards in the neighbourhood. The vines must also be 35 years old, and “treated with care following sustainable policies”, while the grapes must be hand-harvested. The first Rioja wine to gain a Viñedo Singular certification is Viñedos de Alfro’s Canterabuey, made from 100% Garnacha.

Meanwhile in one of Spain’s other great wine regions, Ribera, home to Ribera del Duero DO, has announced it will allow white wines under its DO. Up until now only red and rosé wines were allowed. The new white wines must contain 75% of the region’s main white grape Albillo Mayor with a large host of other white varieties allowed to be blended including Pirules, Malvaisa, Viura, Verdejo, Albariño, Hondarrabi Zuri, Palomino, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Treixadura and Viognier.

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