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  En Primeur 2012 Releases - 22nd April 2013
By Tom Gearing (Director of Cult Wines Ltd) -

We will post prices and status of En Primeur 2012 wines as they are released here. Any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team at our usual number +44 (0)20 8332 9386

For more information on En Primeur please visit our En Primeur Section and Register your interest in En Primeur 2012.

View our En Primeur Blogs for up to the minute info on releases, scores and more.


Wine 2012 En Primeur RPJ JS WS Price Per 12 Enquire Price vs 2011
Lynch Bages 87-89 93-94 91-94 £665 BUY -13.0%
Mouton Rothschild 95-97 94-95 93-96 £2950 BUY -33.3%
Valandraud 90-93 91-92 88-91 £850 BUY -46.2%
Lafite Rothschild 92-95 93-94 93-96 £3900 BUY -21.0%
Carruades 87-89 88-89 91-94 £1050 BUY -12.0%
Duhart Milon 87-89 90-91 91-94 £570 BUY -14.0%
L'Evangile 90-94 94-95 92-95 £945 BUY 0.0%
Angelus 94-96 93-94 £1900 BUY 30.0%
Bellevue Mondotte 94-97 91-92 92-95 £1060 BUY -8.5%
Pavie 94-96+ 94-95 £1900 BUY +58%
Troplong-Mondot 94-96 92-93 91-94 £575 BUY -6.7%
Gazin 93-95 90-93 £440 BUY -7.1%
Rauzan-Segla Rausan-Segla 93-95 92-93 89-92 £410 BUY -37.0%
Beau-Sejour-Becot 92-95 91-92 89-92 £340 BUY -14.0%
Chateau Margaux 92-94 93-94 93-96 £2800 BUY -33.0%
Le Dome 92-94 92-93 ~ £745 BUY -1.0%
Palmer 92-95 92-93 90-93 £1650 BUY -1%
Pape Clement Rouge 92-95 92-93 89-92 £530 BUY -13.0%
Vieux Chateau Mazerat 92-94 ~ ~ £635 BUY ~
Les Asteries 91-93 ~ £635 BUY ~
Haut Brion Rouge 93-95 95-96 93-96 £2650 BUY -33.3%
La Mission Haut Brion Rouge 91-94 93-94 92-95 £1620 BUY -30.6%
Pontet Canet 91-94 94-95 ~ £655 BUY -9.1%
Haut Bailly 91-93 93-94 90-93 £455 BUY -22.2%
La Mondotte 94-97 94-95 91-94 £1080 BUY -5.4%
Clos Fourtet 93-95 92-93 91-94 £480 BUY -10.0%
Calon Segur 90-92 92-93 ~ £415 BUY -3.0%
Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 92-94 94-95 91-94 £430 BUY -10.3%
Pichon Baron 90-93 92-93 91-94 £680 BUY -9.7%
Pichon Lalande 91-93 92-93 89-92 £615 BUY -20.0%
Leoville Barton 90-92 91-92 90-93 £470 BUY -2.2%
Grand Puy Lacoste 87-89 92-93 89-92 £335 BUY -15.6%
Beychevelle 89-91 90-91 89-92 £435 BUY -10.3%
Pavie Macquin 92-95 ~ 93-96 £365 BUY -12.1%
Montrose 92-94 93-94 90-93 £615 BUY -20.0%
Clinet 92-94+ 90-91 91-94 £475 BUY -12.0%
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 92-95 93-94 90-93 £325 BUY 0.0%
Updated 17th May 2013           

Read the full report and discuss here


  Register For 2012 Bordeaux En Primeur - 12th April 2013
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Last week we travelled the length and breadth of the Bordeaux winemaking region to taste the 2012 vintage, a vintage which has arrived with very little fanfare or excitement and to be honest with a bit of trepidation in anticipation of below-par quality. However, this low-key build up may have played very nicely into this en primeur campaign’s hands as whilst quality was mixed across the board, there were some very good wines produced in a style that isn’t directly comparable to any other vintage and will favour those who prefer more ‘classic’ feminine and perfumed early drinking Bordeaux (in contrast to the powerful, rich and opulent 09’s and classically perfect 10’s).

Due to the weather conditions in 2012 the Merlot grape has performed considerably better than Cabernet Sauvignon, and because of this the more merlot dominated wines of the right bank performed better than their left bank counterparts. This led to many left bank estates producing blends with their highest ever percentage of merlot, and those that are known for this such as Ch. Palmer really stood out from the crowd.

Inevitably with the tasting over the focus now switches to pricing with everyone in agreement that prices need to come down to generate interest in this vintage. Negociants described this as a ‘restaurant’ vintage and a ‘buy and sell’ vintage, but for this to happen there needs to be incentive for buyers. It seemed that both proprietors and merchants were on the same page, but whether they come down enough to spark genuine interest (a la 2008) is another matter.

If priced right then there could be some genuine buying opportunities this year and as historical data suggests sometimes off-vintages can be most advantageous for collectors.

We are expecting this campaign to be shorter and quicker than the previous few years, especially with Vin-Expo back in Bordeaux in early June. So with the first few releases scheduled for Monday and the cru classés to follow soon after, if you are interested in buying en primeur, would like to send us a wish or would like to register your interest please Contact Us to be kept up to date with offers.

Blogs from our En Primeur Bordeaux Tasting:

Day 1: Bordeaux en primeur 2012 ‘Right Bank Royalty’ Read Blog

Day 2: Bordeaux en primeur 2012 ‘Cabernet Country’ Read Blog

Day 3: Bordeaux en primeur 2012 ‘Magnifique Margaux’ Read Blog

Day 4: Bordeaux en primeur 2012 ‘Grape Britain Garagistes’ Read Blog

Please check the blog this week when we will publish a more in-depth review of Bordeaux En Primeur 2012.


  The Bordeaux En Primeur Conundrum - 27th March 2013
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

The Bordeaux En Primeur Conundrum

As the dust settles following the Bordeaux 2010 in-bottle scores and attention moves to the 2012 Bordeaux vintage due to be tasted by the wine trade over the coming weeks, the question and logic of buying Bordeaux en primeur (wine futures) comes into greater focus. A focus which was heightened last week amidst the first ‘non-primeur’ Chateau release by Latour who controversially left the en primeur system last year.

Traditionally buying en primeur, a century-old tradition in Bordeaux, helped winemakers generate an income to help finance their production costs. At the beginning of the last century, most of the power was held by the negociants who bottled and distributed the wines, but over the past 100 years the power has dramatically changed hands and now with most of the top Grand Crus under the ownership of large conglomerates or extremely wealthy individuals – the need for finance to help with production is not so great. So why does this system still exist and who exactly does it benefit?

Read the full report and discuss here


  2010 Bordeaux Wine Review (Download PDF) - 12th March 2013
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

2010 Bordeaux Wine Review

As the dust settles and the market re-calibrates following Parker’s in-bottle scores released late Friday afternoon, we take a reflective look on the impact of his words and what it means for this great vintage. As anticipated, there were a plethora of high scores – not quite the same amount in 2009 – but taking into consideration the total number including 98 and 99 point wines as well as Parker’s belief another 6-8 wines will score 100 in the future, there’s no doubt this will rank as one of the greatest vintages of Bordeaux.

Of the 100 point crowd, there were three new entrants to the elusive club as well as 5 wines that scored back-to-back perfect scores. The big surprise came in the form of small production, garage-iste right bank producers La Violette and Le Dome, and the huge up score received from Bordeaux’s oldest Chateau: Pape Clement, which improved by a massive 5 points from it’s in barrel score (93-95+).

As Parker suggested, the praise lavished on this vintage from critics all over, will mean prices across the board are unlikely to soften and in most cases will strengthen and increase over time. Importantly when compared to the 2011 and 2012 vintages there is no doubt that the market focus will be firmly directed at the 2009/2010 vintages which represent the pinnacle of Bordeaux winemaking.

The high scores also meant that a few wines earned the rarefied honour of receiving 200 pts from Parker and James Suckling; Cheval Blanc, Latour, Petrus, Le Pin and Pontet Canet. The latter, again being one of the standout wines of the vintage and at a price that doesn’t require a second mortgage.

There were of course a few disappointments, none more so than Pichon Baron – which seemed towards the end of last week to have already been awarded the perfect score by the market. But as ever, the tasting notes revealed much more than just their score and even those that didn’t achieve the magical 100 – have great potential.

For a full review of all the top Bordeaux 2010’s that matter to you, we have put together the following report available to read online or downloadable in a PDF – which covers 31 wines, including their official Parker score, tasting notes, current price spreads and our expert recommendations.

Please be aware, that we are currently experiencing high demand for 2010 wines – but we do have availability in the following wines: Pape Clement Rouge, Angelus, Lafite, Montrose, Pavie, Vieux Chateau Certan, Le Dome and if there is anything specific you require or would like to source, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Click Here To Download The 2010 Review (PDF)


  Top Scoring Bordeaux 2010 Could Be In Line For 60% Price Increase - 29th November 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Saint Emilion

Ahead of the publication of Robert Parker’s in-bottle scores for the 2010 vintage in the upcoming issue (205) of ‘The Wine Advocate’, due to be mailed out at the end of February, we look at the runners and the riders that are in line to replicate some of the astonishing price appreciation we witnessed when the equally good 2009s were scored in March of this year.

Below are our top 4 recommendations:

Chateau Pontet Canet 2010 [96-100 pts] @ £1,275 per case (12)

Chateau Pichon Baron 2010 [97-99+ pts] @ £1,500 per case (12)

Chateau Saint Pierre 2010 [95-97+ pts] @ £600 per case (12)

Chateau Montrose 2010 [96-99+ pts] @ £1,400 per case (12)

If you would like to order any of the above, or require further investment notes please contact us by phone or email 

Read the full report and discuss here


  The Wine Investment Association – Official Statement
By Cult Wines Ltd -

The Wine Investment Association – Official Statement

Cult Wines Ltd would like to recognise the WIA and applaud the founding members for their efforts in launching the introduction of regulation into the fine wine market.

Cult Wines were initially invited to participate as founding members but felt however that there were two key areas that would need to be addressed before we could consider membership;

  • The issue of cold calling is currently approved by the WIA and whilst the members may adhere to certain guidelines we firmly believe that this practise should be not be acceptable under any circumstances.

  • We would prefer to see this type of regulation managed by a completely independent body supported by the members rather than a form of self-regulation.

We look forward to the future development of the association during the consultation period.

Cult Wines Ltd Principals


  The New Classification of Saint Emilion - 7th September 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Saint Emilion

The New Classification of Saint Emilion:

Angelus and Pavie now Premier Grands Crus Classés A

The classified wines of Saint Emilion are the only ones in the world which submit to a 10 year classification, where the Chateaux can be revised up and down depending on quality. This classification system was first established in 1955.

Following legal disputes over the 2006 classification, brought by chateaux which had lost their status, a renewed classification had been deferred. The system was then brought into disrepute when promoted chateaux were allowed to keep their new status, whilst demoted chateaux in fact remained classified.

Read the full report and discuss here


  'Apprentice' Candidate Creating Waves In Wine World - 19th July 2012
By Cult Wines Ltd -

Forbes, the leading source for business and financial information, recently wrote an article on our very own Tom Gearing, Director of Cult Wines Ltd.

This interesting read talks about Tom's venture into Fine Wine, his time on BBC's 'The Apprentice' and his success he has found in the Wine Industry.

Christopher Warren-Gash, the author of the article, plots a brief history on Tom's background and how he started out in the industry, it also discusses Tom's future plans and where things are going for him and the company.

To read the full article and discuss please click over to Forbes Online


  Low Capital Investment Recommendation: Lascombes 2005 - 6th July 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Château Lascombes 2005 (12x75cl)
@ £650 per case RPJ: 95 pts

Although officially classed as a Second Growth, Lascombes is not generally considered part of the ‘Super Second’ club, alongside wines such as Cos, Ducru and Leoville Las Cases.

However, it is considered by many as one of the best value left bank Châteaux, similar to the likes of Grand Puy Lacoste. In recent years, the quality in the wines produced has improved greatly, receiving significantly higher critic scores since 2000 than previously:

Average RPJ score
2000 – Present: 92.6    1982 – 2000: 82.6

Read the full report and discuss here


  Super Tuscan: Investment Recommendation – Tignanello 2007 - 28th June 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Super-Tuscan: Tignanello 2007 (6x75cl) by Antinori
*Only 60 cases available

Tignanello is the flagship wine of Piero Antinori who helped revolutionise the Italian wine scene and in particular the wine making region of Tuscany. In the 1970’s he was a pionerring winemaker who introduced Cabernet Sauvignon into his wines, moving away from the classic Chianti blends. Tignanello was first produced in 1971 and along with fellow Tuscan blockbuster Tenuta Sassicaia, were the first wines to start this trend becoming known as the ‘Super Tuscans’.

Full article includes: Overview, Investment Overview, Tasting Notes, Price Trend and Investment Expectations.

Read the full article and discuss here


  Bordeaux 2011 Releases Update 07/05 - 14/05 Updated - 14th May 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Four of the best wines of the 2011 vintage have been released in the last week, and at prices which suggest the Chateau have thought carefully about pricing the 2011’s at reasonable levels.

For this year’s campaign we will only be recommending wines that we feel meet our investment grade criteria:

1) Pontet Canet 2011 @ £725 per 125 cases available

2) Lynch Bages 2011 @ £725 per 12
15 cases available

3) Ch. Margaux 2011 @ £3,750 per 12
5 cases available

4) Pavillon Rouge du Margaux 2011 @ £875 per 12
5 cases available

5) Château La Mission Haut Brion 2011 @ £2,150 per 12
4 cases available

6) Chateau Haut Brion 2011 @ £3,750 per 12
5 cases available

7) Chateau Clinet 2011 @ £525 per 12
20 cases available

8) Chateau Calon Segur @ £415 per 12
15 cases available

Read the full details scores and discuss here


  Bordeaux 2011 - Day Four: Thursday 5th April - 4th April 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

With three quarters of our Bordeaux trip complete, we gave ourselves a well-deserved lie-in before our first tasting of the day at Mouton. Miserable weather greeted us once again as the skies remained overcast and grey with the threat of rain. The last leg of our week consisted of us completing the major left bank Chateaux, rounding off with a select number of right bank properties before heading home to reflect, review and prepare for the anticipated early releases...

Read the full article and discuss here


  Bordeaux 2011 - Day Three: Wednesday 4th April - 4th April 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Following two days on the right bank and South Gironde, today was our first day on the left bank and we started at the two most revered Pauillacs, modern and sleek Chateau Latour and traditional, classic Chateau Lafite Rothschild. We then planned our lunch around the UGC at Lagrange where we had the opportunity to taste a range of Pauillac, St Estephe and St Julien wines. Finishing the day off with visits to Ducru Beaucaillou (loving ducru…more on that later), Lynch Bages combined with a cheeky beer in Bages square ending with the two Margaux powerhouses...

Read the full article and discuss here


  Bordeaux 2011 - Day Two: Tuesday 3rd April - 3rd April 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

It was an early start for us today and having spoken for weeks about the great French weather that would grace us, it was a more London-esque grey overcast sky that greeted us. We weren’t going to let that dampen our moods however, as we were on our way to Sauternes and Barsac for the morning – a region which had been highlighted by many as the star of the show for 2011. Following our foray to the sweet white region we had an afternoon with the reds and whites of Pessac-Leognan, ending with a planned ‘swing by’ the UGC’s in Saint Emilion and Pomerol...

Read the full article and discuss here


  Bordeaux 2011 - Day One: Monday 2nd April - 2nd April 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

An early start for the team on board the 7am flight from Gatwick, saw us touch down in mid morning sun and mild heat. Not quite the aggressive temperatures of last year that flirted with the 30 degree mark for the entirety of the trip, but nothing to complain about! With a relatively easy start on our first day it was into our people carrier, a quick survey of our accommodation, unpack and straight out. Sunglasses on and we were on our way with a few Sat Nav teething problems to our first destination of the week – the Angelus En Primeur tasting...

Read the full article and discuss here


  Bordeaux 2011 – En Primeur week 2nd-6th April - 29th March 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

After what has been both a positive and hectic start to the year, we already find ourselves at the end of March. Next Monday we are making our annual trip across the channel to Bordeaux for the En Primeur 2011 tastings. Having seen such widespread acclaim cast over both the 2009 and 2010 vintages, early murmurs surrounding the 2011 offering suggest a more difficult year for the winemakers.

Please find attached a copy of our schedule for the week, as you can see there will be no rest for the wicked. We have arranged private tastings at 24 Chateaux as well as 5 UGC visits. It all looks set to be another fantastic trip and a big thank you in advance to Tom Turner, who having done such a sterling job last year will once again be designated driver for the week.

Read the full article and discuss here


  2011 Bordeaux Vintage Report by Professor Denis Dubourdieu - 19th March 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

With our annual trip to Bordeaux for the 2011 En Primeur tastings around the corner we will be switching our focus onto this year’s wines over the next few weeks. The selling season is expected to start a lot sooner than the previous two vintages, with rumours of the first release of first growths due in mid to late April. This will be welcome news for negociants, merchants and collectors alike that were frustrated with the long and drawn out en primeur seasons of 2009 and 2010.

We are pleased to present to our clients for download the 2011 vintage report by Professor Denis Dubourdieu.

Read the full article, download the report and discuss here
  Parker’s Record-Breaking 2009 ‘In-Bottle’ Scores Reaffirm Quality & Spark Trade - 5th March 2012
By Tom Turner - Cult Wines Ltd -

After much anticipation and speculation, crashed when brokers and collectors alike descended upon the site to review Robert Parker’s 2009 Bordeaux ‘in-bottle’ ratings. After Parker’s recent Twitter comment that the ’09 was “…the single greatest vintage I have ever tasted…” it was clear the ’09’s appeared to be living up to their EP hype, but nobody quite expected what was to ensue on the first evening of March – a record eighteen 100-pointers ignited a flurry of activity.

Flat white’s in-hand, the UK trade were hard at work into the twilight hours, with overnight trading on Liv-ex for nearly all of the perfect wines running rife. Those members of the exchange who sat out the overnight fire sale would have been stunned upon their return to the office this morning, to find some ’09’s trading at nearly double their price of 24-hours previous. The exchange’s largest movers are listed below:

Source: Liv-ex Blog (02/03/2012)

Upon Parker’s announcement, he commented “What was clear in the tastings from the bottle (and most of the wines except for the first growths and a few other wines were tasted two, three and sometimes even four different times) is the remarkable consistency of the vintage.” This is reflected in the scores, where the eighteen Châteaux attaining the coveted numbers (listed below) are split across both sides of the Gironde and a wide variety of appellations.

Read the full article and discuss here


Bordeaux Buzz surrounding Suckling’s 2009 in-bottle scores - 17th February 2012
By Aarash Ghatineh (Senior Portfolio Manager) - Cult Wines Ltd -

This week saw James Suckling release his official in-bottle scores for the much heralded Bordeaux 2009 vintage. The internationally acclaimed wine writer has described Bordeaux ’09 as the ‘best ever modern vintage’, awarding a staggering nine Chateaux with the maximum 100pts rating. All First Growth received the 100pts score, with the omission of Mouton Rothschild, which only scored 98pts.

The nine wines given the top accolade are: Ausone, Cos d’Estournel, Haut Brion, Lafite, Lafleur, Latour, Margaux, Montrose and Vieux Château Certan.

Suckling likened the 2009s to the excellent 1989 and historical 1982 vintage, with a further twenty-two Chateaux receiving 98pts. The global fine wine trade is now eagerly anticipating the release of Parker’s in-bottle scores and according to Liv-ex, the preeminent wine critic will publish his scores in the next issue of the Wine Advocate. Given Parker’s recent appraisal of the vintage as ‘one of the greatest vintages of (his) lifetime’, we accurately predict equally impressive, if not higher ratings, prompting investors, collectors and consumers alike to take serious note of this must have vintage. (if they haven’t already!)

Read the full article and discuss here



Fine Wine, recycled paper and the problem with customs in China - 9th February 2012
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Shenzhen has become a hot bed for fine wine smuggling

Despite China becoming one of the world’s biggest importers of wine, problems with the importation of fine wines, which have become the latest focus for the Chinese super-rich, continue to exist. Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region of China, has usurped New York and London in recent times to become the world’s largest fine wine hub as a result of the abolition of import duties. However, with a punitive import tax of 50% applied on fine wine in mainland China, importers and merchants in Hong Kong have looked to alternative methods in order to satisfy demand.

As the Far East has become the big focus of the wine world, stories of Premier Grand Cru Classés being smuggled into mainland China have been as common as consumers drinking Lafite with Coca-Cola and Petrus with Lemonade. It seems despite the many stories importers have favoured smuggling fine wine, predominantly through Shenzhen, which not only is immediately north of Hong Kong but is the third busiest container port in China (after Shanghai and Hong Kong). It has been suggested that the favoured option for smugglers is to conceal expensive wine within containers of recycled paper, something that isn’t liable to tax and which at a larger container port may easily pass through undetected.

Read the full article and discuss here


  Market Update: Liv-ex 100 posts gains in January - 2nd February 2012
By Tom Gearing (Director of Cult Wines Ltd) -

2011 will be remembered as ‘Annus horribilis’ for the wine market as the Liv-ex 100 (the industry leading benchmark) posted losses of 14.85% for the year following 6 months of sharp declines. The ‘market correction’ took many by surprise, due to the scale and pace at which it reduced market prices.

Investors, collectors and wine merchants looked reflectively at the market over the quiet Christmas period and many returned with a bullish outlook, renewed confidence and predictions of gains in 2012.

Click here to read the full report & discuss


Fine Wine Market Review 2011 and Outlook 2012 - 13th January 2012
By Thomas Gearing & Aarash Ghatineh - Cult Wines Ltd -

Tom Gearing (Director of Cult Wines) looks at the upcoming year for the fine wine market and analyses the factors likely to drive the market in 2012.

Aarash Ghatineh (Senior Portfolio Manager at Cult Wines) reviews 2011 and investigates the big stories, developing trends and key market changes of the year.

Both reports are available to download for free here

Fine Wine Market Review 2011 – Highlights

• Buying trends diversify: The emergence of Super Seconds
• First Growth retreat
• En Primeur 2010: expensive and drawn out
• Parker’s Magical 20
• Winners of 2011 and their outlook in 2012

Fine Wine Market Outlook 2012 - Highlights

• Best buying opportunity since 2009 or normalisation?
• Simply a case of History repeating?
• UPSIDE FACTORS: China, India and Net inflows
• DOWNSIDE: Eurozone problems and China?
• Fine Wine not immune to short term volatility – but still retains an edge over other assets
• For the fine wine market as a whole, our forecast is for 10-20% growth in 2012.

Click here to download the 2 full reports and discuss



Do you want a Cellar valuation or have wines for sale? - 26th December 2011
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Here at Cult Wines, we are always interested in taking on Fine and Rare wines. We are also happy to provide an independent valuation of your current holdings.

Cellar Valuation – if you are looking to gain an up to date market value for wines that you currently hold, we are more than happy to provide this service free of charge. Please fill out the form on the main article page, including all details listed and we will send a full valuation over by post and/or email.

Click here for more information, valuation spreadsheet and form


  Investment Recommendation: Château Cos d’Estournel 2009 - 20th December 2011
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

The Chateau is named after 19th Century owner Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, whose travels in the Orient influenced the design of the Chateau and cellars, earning him the nickname of the ‘maharajah of St Estèphe’.

During these years, the majority of Cos d’Estournel was exported to equally exotic locations with India being one of the main recipients. The ‘Indian elephant’ is still synonymous with Cos, a statue of which greets you on entrance to the 21st Century incarnation and is also symbolised within the Chateaux branding. Influences from the Orient can still be felt today even though the Chateau and cellars have undergone a major transformation.

Click Here to view the full report

  Parker Predicts Demand For The World’s Top Wines Will Become At Least 10x Greater - 23rd October 2011
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Robert Parker Jr the wine world’s pre-eminent critic has marked the 10 year anniversary of his hugely successful and popular website, by making 12 predictions about the future of the wine market.

Parker’s influence on the wine market has been quite incredible, since his dramatic career change in the late 1970’s which saw the former attorney commit full time to writing about wine. Ever since, Parker has become the most widely known wine critic and his 100 point scoring system set the framework for judging wines. In the last 30 years, wines which have received his ‘magical’ 100 points have often seen demand and their price sky rocket – whilst in more recent times his higher than expected en primeur scores of the 2008 Bordeaux vintage saw prices double overnight.

Given Parker’s Midas touch, his most recent comments will certainly be music to investor’s ears worldwide:

‘Competition for the world's greatest wines will increase exponentially: The most limited production wines will become even more expensive and more difficult to obtain. The burgeoning interest in fine wine in Asia, South America, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia will make things even worse. There will be bidding wars at auctions for the few cases of highly praised, limited production wines. No matter how high prices appear today for wines from the most hallowed vineyards, they represent only a fraction of what these wines will fetch in a decade. Americans may scream bloody murder when looking at the future prices for the 2003 first growth Bordeaux (an average of $4,000 a case), but if my instincts are correct, 10 years from now a great vintage of these first growths will cost over $10,000 a the minimum. It is simple: The quantity of these great wines is finite, and the demand for them will become at least 10 times greater.’

Given current financial market turmoil, the safe haven asset class of fine wine will be even more attractive given Parker’s prediction that demand for the top wines will continue to soar over the next 10 years. It also emphasises, that whilst we experience a softening of prices there is an excellent opportunity for investor’s to purchase keenly priced stock..
  A Blue Chip Investment - 22nd October 2011
By Tom Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Investors looking to diversify into wine should initially focus on the market’s ‘blue chip’ stocks, making them the basis of any investment portfolio, writes Thomas Gearing of Cult Wines.

Investable fine wine constitutes less than 1% of all fine wine that is produced, predominantly focused on the great wines of Bordeaux. ‘Investment grade' fine wine will mature over time and therefore improve with age. In regions such as Bordeaux, finite quantities are produced each year and once wines are released, the supply of the wine becomes ever scarcer. Unlike many other luxury goods, stemming demand by increasing supply is restricted by stringent regulations placed by the AOC (Appellations d'origine contrôlées - the winemaking regions regulatory body). These regulations are in place to preserve the traditional production of the region and ensure the quality of future vintages.

Read the rest of the article at Professional Adviser
  Château d’Yquem – Liquid Gold - 4th October 2011
By Tom Turner (Senior Portfolio Manager) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Back in April of this year, we looked at one of Bordeaux’s most prestigious estates – Château d’Yquem. Following the lifting of a sulphites restriction on wines imported through Hong Kong around 12-months ago, the sweet white wines of Sauternes and Barsac became eligible for import into China and given the discernible demand for Bordeaux there, the promise held by a new offering could be huge. Whilst Yquem was present in the Far East previously, Hong Kong is the main import hub for fine wines in the region and the vast majority of China’s fine wines are sourced through Hong Kong based merchants.

Yquem's holding company LVMH – the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate and owners of St. Emilion producer Château Cheval Blanc – are masters of marketing luxury goods, with a particularly good track record in the Far East where Louis Vuitton has been the most popular luxury brand for several years.

Looking more specifically at the appeal of Yquem to the Asian market, it seems this wine has all the natural components for success.

Ice wine is extremely popular in China already; China itself is home to the largest ice wine estate in the world at Liaoning as well as being a top importer of ice wine from Canada....

Read the rest of the article here


Domaine Romanee Conti (DRC) – A Bordeaux Hedge - 21st September 2011
By Tom Turner (Senior Portfolio Manager) - Cult Wines Ltd -

In recent months, increased attention has been drawn to the top wines of Burgundy, which have seen prices soar, both on the London Exchange (Liv-ex) and in auctions worldwide.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is leading the trade in Burgundy, accounting for a quarter of all of the region’s trade on the London International Vintners Exchange and in terms of performance for the wider market, Burgundy has been leading the charge. It’s appeal – not least to Asian buyers, who appear to be contributing to the increase in demand – is obvious. DRC is the most iconic fine wine outside Bordeaux, and the only Burgundy producer that possesses similar brand strength to the big names of Bordeaux. It also benefits from a production that provides enough liquidity to gain real market momentum (less than 8,000 cases produced per year across the 8 grand crus), whilst not providing anywhere near the quantities required to satisfy demand. Its rarity is part of its mystique...

Read the rest of the article here


  Market-Making Robert Parker Jr. Reviews Vertical Lynch Bages (1981-2010) - 13th September 2011
By Thomas Gearing - Taken from the Autumn 2011 issue of the Wine Investment Newsletter

Robert Parker’s vertical re-score of Chateau Lynch Bages has further cemented its place as one of the most outstanding Chateau outside the First Growths.

Robert Parker has again shown himself to have a significant and sometime profound impact on the wine market. It has often been said the great wine critic can make or break a wine, but a positive re-scoring (as seen here) always sees fervent buying, hoarding and price increases by almost 10-20%.

Chateau Lynch Bages; owned by the Cazes family since 1939, has long been one of the most prevalent and prosperous of the Bordeaux region. After the earlier work of the enigmatic Jean-Michel Cazes to cement the wine’s stature, his son Jean-Charles has used his youthful exuberance since taking the reins in 2005 to produce some spectacular efforts in recent times.

The main vintages of note that were re-scored higher were as follows;

2003: re-scored at 95 from 89
2005: re-scored at 94+ from 91
1989: re-scored at 99+ from 95
2006:re-scored at 94 from 92
2000: re-scored at 97 from 95

While vintages such as 2007, 2001, 2002, 2004 were all scored down by a point. This predominantly positive re-score of the Chateau’s offerings will undoubtedly turn trading attention to Lynch Bages in the coming months, and make vintages such as the 2003 and 2005 look fantastic value for their quality.

To read more articles like this please subscribe to our Wine Investment Newsletter here.
  Comment: China To Launch First Wine Investment Fund - - 24th August 2011
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

The FT ran a story yesterday about the impending launch of the first fine wine investment fund in mainland China. The Dinghong fund is looking to raise $156million with a closing date for September/October.

Read the full article here

For an annual market cap of around $5billion, the injection of this sum of money will no doubt have reverberations through the market and I would expect to see strong trading throughout Q4. In fact, looking at previous market drivers such as the Lafite Sotheby’s auction which was held in Hong King last October and moved prices for the top vintages of Lafite by some 15-40% almost overnight, this news may well spark renewed buying and interest from domestic markets who will be looking to take advantage.

Whatever the case, the news is welcome at a time when doubts had started to creep into some market commentators’ minds with regards to the long-term viability of the fine wine market as an investment asset class. With a lock-in period of 5 years and current fears of over subscription, the fund shows the clear and obvious demand of the mainland Chinese market and should provide wine collectors/investors with confidence...

Read our full comment to the article here
  Thank You Cult Wines For The ‘Haut Brion’ From Your Prize Draw - 16th August 2011
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Congratulations to Mr. David Howarth who became the first winner of a bottle of Haut Brion 2006 from our prize draw.

We had a large number of entrants over the past few months and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out our survey. Following the success of the first competition we will be running more in the future, so keep checking the website for more information on how you can enter for your chance to win.

I’ll shall take this opportunity to thank your company in respect of the service given to market Investors like myself, with regards to research of the wines, tasting notes and points, market Values and helping to create a portfolio which is well balanced for the future markets.

This and of course the Portfolio Manager! I fortunately have Tom Turner as my Manager, I could go on about him and praise to the top? But NO , because there is nobody Perfect.

My last statement is to thank your company for the clarity created during a trade and the Ongoing operations .

Yours Faithfully

Dave Howarth
South Lakeland, Cumbria


  Register your interest in Bordeaux 2010 - 8th July 2011



Wine (2010 Vintage) RPJ Score Estimate £ Sale Price £ Availability
Armailhac 89-92 325-480 £370 SOLD OUT
Ausone 98-100 10,000-15,000 TBA ENQUIRE
Beychevelle 90-92 500-800 £675 SOLD OUT
Carruades de Lafite  91-94 2,000-4,000 £3,200 RESERVE
Cheval Blanc 96-98+ 7,000-10,000 TBA ENQUIRE
La Clarence du Haut Brion 90-93 900-1,300 TBA ENQUIRE
Clerc Milon 91-93 400-540 £550 SOLD OUT
Cos d'Estournel 95-97 1,500-2,500 £2,180 SOLD OUT
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 91-93 480-660 £535 SOLD OUT
Ducru Beaucaillou 96-98+ 1,500-2,400 TBA ENQUIRE
Duhart Milon Rothschild  94-96 750-1,300 £1,100 RESERVE
La Fleur Petrus  95-98+ 1,400-2,400 £POA SOLD OUT
Les Forts de Latour  92-95 1,500-2,400 £2,250 RESERVE
Grand Puy Lacoste 93-96 520-750 £650 SOLD OUT
Haut Brion  98-100 7,000-10,000 £7,500 RESERVE
Lafite Rothschild  98-100 9,500-13,500 £12,000 RESERVE
Latour 98-100 7,000-12,000 TBA ENQUIRE
Leoville Barton  91-93+ 720-950 £800 RESERVE
Leoville Las Cases 95-98 1,800-2,800 TBA ENQUIRE
Leoville Poyferre  95-98 700-1,200 £1,050 SOLD OUT
Lynch Bages  95-97 850-1,300 £1,250 RESERVE
Margaux 96-98 7,000-10,000 £POA SOLD OUT
La Mission Haut Brion  98-100 5,400-7,500 £6,700 RESERVE
Montrose  96-99+ 900-1,800 £1,500 RESERVE
Mouton Rothschild 97-100 7,000-10,000 TBA ENQUIRE
Palmer 95-97 2,000-3,000 TBA ENQUIRE
Pavie 95-98+ 2,000-2,800 TBA ENQUIRE
Pavillon Rouge du Ch. Margaux  90-92 900-1,600 £1,400 RESERVE
Le Petit Cheval 91-93 900-1,500 TBA ENQUIRE
Le Petit Mouton  90-93 900-1,500 £1,450 RESERVE
Petrus 98-100 22,000-30,000 TBA ENQUIRE
Pichon Baron 97-99+ 1,000-1,600 £1,475 SOLD OUT
Pichon Lalande 92-95+ 1,000-1,800 £1,575 SOLD OUT
Pontet Canet  96-100 850-1,300 £1,250 RESERVE
Rauzan Segla  92-94 650-900 £960 SOLD OUT
Troplong Mondot 96-98+ 800-1,500 TBA ENQUIRE
Vieux Ch. Certan 96-98 1,600-2,200 TBA ENQUIRE
Yquem 96-98 3,000-6,500 TBA ENQUIRE



Visitors to can now access our En Primeur section, which allows people to register their interest in the 2010 vintage as well as read a beginners guide to en primeur, our Bordeaux 2010 report, the critics scores and personal recommendations.

The next 8 weeks of the en primeur campaign are going to be the most action packed with all of the top chateaux expected to release their allocations and prices by the end of June. This whole process will have a massive impact on the investment potential of each and every wine as well as having a knock on effect on the prices of physical vintages and the 2009’s.

If you are still unsure what you want to buy then please refer to this area of the website for the most relevant information and advice in putting together a wish list. By filling out the form to register your interest in Bordeaux 2010, you will be kept up to date with all the latest news and offerings.

The most innovative part of our en primeur coverage is the colour coded critic’s scoring chart we have put together which allows readers to easily compare and contrast the differing scores from the top wine critics – available to view here.

If you would like to speak to one of the team about the 2010 vintage then please call on +44 (0)20 8332 9386.

  Bordeaux 2010 Report - 18th April 2011
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

The Cult Wines team made the trip over to Bordeaux last week for the trade en primeur tastings which consisted of 3 and half days of ‘hard-work’ in beautiful sunshine! The Circle Rive Droite tasting held in London a few weeks ago had given us an insight for what was in store, but speaking on behalf of the whole team – the quality across the board surpassed our expectations.

Our team this year was diverse in experience and palates, from Philip who has had over 20 years experience tasting barrel samples from the Cote d’Or to California and Bordeaux to Jonathan, our newest member of the team – who was enjoying his first trip to Bordeaux and tasting of en primeur. Nonetheless, whilst we don’t profess to have the discerning palate of a Robert Parker Jr. or a James Suckling, we felt well positioned to report back our impressions of what is another outstanding vintage.

We will publish further information, scores and reviews over the next few weeks. If you are interested in being kept up to date with the en primeur campaign or would like to request allocations for specific wines, then please register your interest by getting in touch.
(There will be an En Primeur 2010 form to fill out in the coming weeks.)

Read The Full Report Here
  Chateau d’Yquem – 6 months on - 1st April 2011
By Thomas Gearing - Taken from the March 2011 issue of the Wine Investment Newsletter

Up until 6 months ago the sweet wines from the Sauternes and Barsac were banned from being imported to China because they contain more than 250 mg of sulphur per litre. Following the announcement that the wines from famous estates such as Chateau d’Yquem, Climens and Rieussec would officially be allowed into China many commentators predicted that these great wines would experience strong demand from the Asian market which would in turn lead to increasing prices. However, in the short time since this announcement there has been little to no movement in the price or demand for these great wines. This has somewhat gone against the natural conclusion that the wine would gain favour within the Chinese community because of its taste, marketability and prestige – so we are looking into the current state and future prospects of Chateau d’Yquem to better understand its position in the Asian market today.

If we look at the current trading prices of recent vintages of Chateau d’Yquem it’s clear that there has been little to no movement in price since September. Below is a cross section of notable Yquem vintages:

Recent speculation however has seen certain UK merchants talk of large orders being made from the Far East, with one well known merchant claiming to have sold 600 75cl bottles and 1,200 half bottles in one trade to a Chinese customer. Perhaps the demand from the Asian market has only started to take hold now after a 6 month delay, considering there would have been little or no presence of either marketing or physical bottles in the Asian market before September. The world record sale last May at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong which saw the ‘Liquid Gold Collection’ of 128 bottles and 40 magnums go under the hammer seems to refute this argument however. The lot sold for a staggering HK $8 million (US $1,032,336) – which clearly indicates strong knowledge and appreciation for the wine, as well as demand...

Read the rest of the article

If you have enjoyed reading this article, to see more please subscribe to our Wine Investment Newsletter

  Complete Your Entry To Win A Bottle Of A 96pt Bordeaux First Growth - 03th March 2011
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Over the next three months Cult Wines will be giving away a 75cl bottle of Château Haut Brion 2006 each month to those who fill out our short Wine Investment Survey.

The bottle, worth around £395, will be delivered to your home address in a presentation box after completion of the draw. But even if you don’t win the first time, you will still be entered into the following two monthly draws! Complete the survey today for 3 chances to win!

Chateau Haut Brion is the oldest and smallest of the first growths – and considered by many as the most unique due to the grandeur of its wine, illustrious history and unusual bottle shape.
We are giving you the chance to own a bottle of the fantastic 2006 vintage, which Robert Parker Jr. scored 96 pts – putting it in the very upper echelons of fine wine.

Robert Parker Jr. Tasting Notes:

'The 2006 Haut-Brion performed even better from bottle than it did from barrel. Sixty-four percent of the production went into this wine, and while it displays the vintage's powerful tannins and structure, it possesses superb concentration, and the minerality/scorched earth notes of a great Haut-Brion. Medium to full-bodied, with perhaps not quite the fleshiness of the 2005 or 2000, it is built more along the lines of the 1998 and 1996. It is a brilliant effort displaying sensational purity, texture, and length that should be exceptionally long-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.'
Score: 96 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (181), February 2009

This is a great opportunity for you to own one of the best wines in the world and all you have to do is complete our wine investment survey HERE
  Market Report January 2011 - 18th January 2011
By Thomas Gearing - Cult Wines Ltd -

Market Review 2010

The Fine Wine Market saw in the New Year in some style, with the benchmark index Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 having gained 40.5% in 2010. Whilst, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index rose by 57%, far outperforming other asset classes across the same period (S&P 500 index up 13% and Gold prices up 31%)..

Read full article here

Market Outlook 2011

With Chinese New Year fast approaching (3rd February-year of the rabbit), the focus for Q1 will be on older vintages that are ready to drink. China’s taste for Bordeaux-particularly wines from the Left Bank should be re-affirmed. Older First Growth vintages will be in high demand along with wines such as Lynch Bages, Duhart Milon and Cos d’Estournel..

Read full article here

Picks for 2011

Low Capital Investment Wines

The growing importance of Lynch Bages in the Far East was highlighted by the volumes sold in 2010. The volume case (12x75cl) sales for Lynch Bages 2009 and 2007 were 393 and 375 respectively. This compared to Lafite Rothschild 2006 selling 665 cases – the most sought after wine in volume terms. We will continue to see Lynch Bages trade keenly across Q1, with the physical vintages being picked up for next month’s Chinese New Year..

Read full article here

First Growth

The ratio between off prime and prime vintages – shows the price discrepancy between the top vintages of each chateau against the lesser vintages. In the displayed graphs we have looked at the physical vintages since 2000.

We have rated the 2000, 2003 and 2005 vintages as Prime. The 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007 vintages are Off Prime..

Read full article here

2010 En Primeur

Philip Gearing (Director) and Thomas Gearing (Director) were lucky to be out in Bordeaux during the harvest – and there is no doubt the conditions throughout 2010 will produce a fantastic vintage. The grapes were smaller than usual – however decent rainfall in late September and early October provided a last minute boost to the harvest. I would tentatively suggest that this vintage will be similar to 2003 – in terms of highly concentrated wines – but I feel the weather conditions were not as harsh this year as they were in the summer of 2003, so a vintage that falls between the 2003 and 2005 would be a fair assessment at this stage..

Read full article here

Response to IMF report

Click here to read the IMF Report

Having had the opportunity to look over the IMF’s report comparing the Fine Wine and Oil markets, I think that there are some merits to the assertion that there is a correlation between fine wine and oil, and an increasingly close correlation of both of these "asset classes" to emerging market GDP growth. However, I think their claim that there is a 90% correlation is far too strong. Indeed, there have been many comparisons drawn between the behaviour of Gold and Wine in the past, and if you base wine as a value of gold - then fine wine shows itself as a store of value (Liv-ex research). During the recent recession Gold and Wine have shown remarkably similar recession-proof traits..

Read full article here

  Chinese Artist Xu Lei’s Mouton Rothschild 2008 Label Revealed - 29th November 2010
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

The much anticipated label for the 2008 vintage of Mouton Rothschild has been revealed. As expected a Chinese artist produced the artwork – Xu Lei a well respected contemporary artist whose artwork is described as being ‘an irreplaceable model representing the establishment of new territories for Chinese art’.

An apt choice then by the Chateau, as China continues to establish itself as a new territory for Bordeaux fine wine.
It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the news, although the recent increase in value of the 2008 vintage from £4,500 to £8,000 per case seemed to result from this anticipated news. Bordeaux Wine Investments.

If you are interested in purchasing a case of Mouton Rothschild 2008 please speak with one of our advisors on
+44 (0)208 332 9386

  The 2009 Lafite Parcel Offer - Save Over £2,000 - 25th November 2010
By Thomas Gearing - Cult Wines Ltd -

Cult Wines Ltd is currently offering a fantastic 2009 Lafite estate parcel for a limited time

The parcel consists of the following:

1 case (12x75cl) Lafite Rothschild 2009 (98-100 pts)
1 case (12x75cl) Carruades de Lafite 2009 (92-94+ pts)
1 case (12x75cl) Duhart Milon Rothschild 2009 (94-96 pts)

The parcel costs a total price of £18,000 (a saving of over £2,000)

If you were to buy this same parcel at current headline UK prices it would cost you £15,500 (Lafite 09), £3,500 (Carruades 09) and £1,200 (Duhart 09) – a total cost of £20,200.

There are only a limited number of these parcels on offer and they are expected to sell out very quickly.
If you are interested in this offer please speak with one of our investment advisors today on +44 (0)208 332 9386


  Latest Offers November 2010 - 10th November 2010
By Thomas Gearing - Cult Wines Ltd -

This is our current list of offers, click here for our complete write up.

Ch. Margaux 2009 @
£8,500 per case (12x75cl)

Ch. Lafite Rothschild 2008 @
£13,000 per case (12x75cl)

Carruades de Lafite 2009 @
£3,200 per case (12x75cl)

Forts de Latour 2009 @
£1,675 per case (12x75cl)

Pavillon Rouge du Margaux 2009 @
£1,250 per case (12x75cl)

Bahans Haut Brion 2006 @
£865 per case (12x75cl)

Pontet Canet 2009 @
£1,185 per case (12x75cl)

Read full article here

  Lafite - The New Petrus? - 3rd November 2010
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Last week proved to be a quite historic week for the first growth Bordeaux Estate. On Tuesday they announced that the bottles for the 2008 vintage would adorn the Chinese symbol for the number ‘8’ to celebrate the Chateau’s plans to develop a vineyard in mainland china.

They claimed the symbol (shown above) 'offer(ed) a perfect representation of the slopes of the vineyard and commemorates the launch of our Chinese wine project’. Those of us, who are little more savvy, will realise that this decision may well have been driven by huge importance of the number 8 in Chinese culture and the fact it represents prosperity, wealth and fortune. The number 8 is viewed as such an auspicious number that even being assigned a number with several eights is considered very lucky...

Read full article here


  Investing In Wine - 15th October 2010
By Thomas Gearing (Director) - Cult Wines Ltd -

The following analysis looks at the back vintage market of the First Growth’s and Petrus. At a time when a lot of attention is on En Primeur and the Second Wines, we take a closer look at what offers good investment potential in the physical market...

The Chinese market continues to buy physical stock over en primeur and with Chinese new year approaching (February), it’s a great time to stock up on the wines they love. Recent Hong Kong auctions held by Sotheby’s continued to make records. All lots have been sold in their last 9 auctions – spanning the past 18 months. Signs that there isn’t a better time to invest in some physical stocks...

The Full Article looks at: Petrus, Lafite Rothschild, Haut Brion, Margaux. Latour, Mouton Rothschild and other Bordeaux Wine Investments.

Read full article here


Cult Wines Ltd In Working Partnership With The Bingham Restaurant
- 6th October 2010

Cult Wines Ltd are pleased to announce a working partnership with the One Michelin starred restaurant
The Bingham in Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey.

As part of the partnership clients of both Cult Wines Ltd and guests of The Bingham will be able to benefit from exclusive tasting evenings, events and special offers. The Bingham restaurant are currently running a monthly wine evening organised by the discerning wine palate of Deputy General Manager Jean-Michel Thomas. Having spent a good part of his career as Head Sommelier at Petrus in London and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, there will no doubt be some special evenings on the cards over the next year.

Click Here To Read The Bingham Event Newsletter

Click Here To Visit The Bingham Website
  Bordeaux Fine Wine Investment – A Micro Economy? - 13th September 2010
By Oliver Charles Gearing -

Following on from 'THE WALL STREET JOURNAL' and their latest article on Bordeaux investment, Cult Wines Ltd & have been advisers to Kimberly Peterson on the latest 2009 En Primeur (Link To Article).

Philip Gearing was featured as saying "...the 2009 Lafite costs 860 EUR a bottle". It was interesting that a spokesperson for Lafite Rothschild refused to comment, and yet the article marvelled at the fact that the 2008 vintage was released at only 185 EUR a bottle showing a sharp incline in the face of recession.

Many people who get involved in the wine market for investment will be told very often that their risk level is very low when dealing with the Bordeaux market. This statement in itself is bland and slightly misleading. Although a huge amount of money is made from the Bordeaux market, it is always made by the top 1% of the market. If you want to really play as safe as possible then you are looking at around 0.5% of the market, with wines such as Lafite Rothschild and Petrus. In essence the investment in wines such as these is so impressive because of demand outstripping supply, and of course the fact that these wines are necessity at most major banquets and premier restaurants and cellars around the world. 10,000 cases each year over a twenty year period rapidly diminish and most are kept locked away by ardent collectors...

Read full article here

  Wine Funds and Private Investment,
and Top Tips to avoid getting stung by Companies offering Wine Investment 
- 13th August 2010
By Oliver Gearing & Thomas Gearing (Directors) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Having read an article from Decanter entitled 'Wine Funds Vs DIY', I wanted to offer a retort to give an account of the investment market. I am one of the owners of and the company Cult Wines in London.

The reason for this is because having read the details on the fund options I believe that there should be more awareness of how high those numbers charged to the client are. 5% upfront and 20% on exit is incredibly high, and as the fund are FSA regulated the 28% CGT means the client would severely hamper their profit making.

Rebecca Gibb from Decanter wrote back in response to this issue and said, "Your business sounds very interesting and I shall bear you in mind for future reference...your email is just what Decanter editor Guy Woodward is looking for...I think he would be delighted to receive it and likely publish it."

Over the last year we (Cult Wines) have put most of our clients into wines like Lafite 2008, Mouton 2008 and smaller wines like Carruades. Lafite 2008 made nearly 500% over the last 12 months, growth started at 1500 and moved to 9000 GBP. We as a private client merchant charged 15% on top of 1500 release price, which included our storage and selling through our Liv-ex account for free upon exit. We take a standard 15% profit on every sale, no more thereafter. The fund would have cut this extremely strong profit to pieces, and yet this type of wine investment is seen as safer and stronger purely because of the FSA credentials playing off against bad experiences in the market.

There are of course merchants like Bordeaux Index, Farrs and Berrys, all of which we work with. These would sell you the wine at market level (usually) and charge 10% when you sell the wine upon exit. This sale at 10% is not on Liv-ex, but is a price taken as wholesale based upon what that company would normally pay their supplier. This means this would work out at around 20%.

Since this article was published we have been in contact with the contributing editor John Stimpfig from Decanter who has been introduced to us on the basis of future input for that particular section. Guy Woodward has stressed that the article here may be too directly stressing our efforts as a company against the competition, but the essence of the argument is felt to be important and will be discussed further with Decanter. I am very pleased with their agreeable response and attitude towards a collaborative effort.

You can find Decanter at

Unfortunately when there is an asset class which performs as well as Fine Wine, there will always be people out there looking to take advantage of the situation. Over the last 18 months there have been a number of high profile cases where the authorities have had to step in and close down so-called Bordeaux wine investment companies in the interest of the public.

It seems like every week we are contacted by people who have fallen foul of these companies, and have unwittingly handed over money for wine that is worth half what they have paid for it. At the moment there seems to be a new wine company opening every other week. So for this reason we have decided to write this article which details our top tips to avoid getting your fingers burnt.

1. Price
There are many ways in which you can check you are not over-paying for your wine. It is extremely important when you are buying fine wine for investment purposes that you don’t over pay, as this will eat in to your future profits. Investment grade wines have a market spread and it is important to know what this is. Now more than ever, information on fine wine prices is readily available.

Websites such as and provide the most up-to-date market pricing, and you will be able to determine the market spread from these sources.

Market spreads for investment grade wines tend to be 10-15%. Paying a price for a wine that falls in this spread is deemed as acceptable. So if you are being quoted more than 15% above the lowest market price – ask why this is so. In recent times, we have heard from people who have paid 50-100% over the market price of the wine – it does happen, so make sure it isn’t you.

Remember every pound you spend over the market price, is another lost pound.

2. Due Diligence
As with any investment or business dealings you partake with a company that is new to you, you should always carry out due diligence. Although the fine wine market is unregulated, there are certain criteria you can check to ensure the company you are dealing with are legitimate. Firstly I would check on companies house to make sure they have been around for as long as they say they have been. Although you shouldn’t rule out a company that has only been around for less than 18 months (everyone has to start somewhere!), you should take care to ensure the company has the right experience within their management team.

If you are purchasing en primeur, take extra effort to ensure you’re comfortable buying with said company. Those that have been around less than 2 years – would not have even experienced taking delivery of en primeur purchases before.

Trade references can help determine whether the company/merchant you’re dealing with have a sound footing in the market.

3. Storage
Most wine merchants and companies will offer to provide storage and insurance for your purchases. The cost of this can range from as little as £7.50 per case p/a up to £20 (See Article). Make sure you’re not overcharged for these services. The storage offered by most investment companies will be in a reserve account under the umbrella of the wine company. You should receive your own customer code, account details and rotation numbers – make sure you receive these.

You can of course set up your own storage account and keep control of your own wines. This may be preferential for those who are experienced and looking to build a large portfolio of wines over a 5-10 year period. Whatever you do, make sure you have the right documentation and you’re comfortable with the set-up.

*En Primeur purchases will not be delivered physically to the UK until two years following their release.

4. Meetings
In recent times, investment scam companies have been known for setting up virtual addresses in more celebrated locations than they are actually in. Some companies have even outsourced to Spain whilst having an address in Central London.

I would advise any investor looking to get involved in this market to try and meet the people you are dealing with. Especially if you see Fine Wine as a potentially sizeable part of your portfolio plans, it is a great way to get a feel for the people you are dealing with and the way they work. Meeting face-to-face will sometimes tell you everything you need to know. And of course if you turn up and their offices are simply a mailbox – then the alarm bells should be ringing.

Don’t be fooled by glitzy names and addresses!

5. Management Fees
When considering investing in fine wine you need to understand the different brokerage fee/management fees you will need to pay over the duration of your investment. There are currently a number of different ways you can invest in wine, and it is very important you choose the right way for you.

If you would like to go down the traditional route of choosing the wine yourself and purchasing from a merchant – the only charge you need to factor in will be the brokerage fee at exit, which is normally 10-15% of the sale value. If however when you come to sell you require a cash sale immediately, in general you would receive 80% of the sale value (i.e. 20% brokerage fee).

When you buy from an investment company you will tend to pay a management fee up front on the purchase value of your wine. This can vary quite considerably unfortunately, so you need to make sure once again you are getting value for money and that it isn’t eating into your profits too much. Some companies will charge 3-5% per annum, not inclusive of storage. Others will charge 15% up front on the unit value. A few companies are also known for charging a fee upfront and on exit, something in the region of 10% at both ends.

Whichever you choose – it is important to remember the following:
  • When buying wine for investment you’re expecting the stock to gain in value. With this the case it is more profitable to pay 15% of the purchase value (e.g. 15% of £3,000 = £450) than paying an exit fee of 10-20% in 5 years when the wine is worth £10,000 (e.g. 10% of £10,000 = £1,000)

In summary – make sure you understand the fees and charges you can expect to pay over the term of your investment. Choose an investment strategy that will retain the most profit for you. If the company is not charging any fees ask why? Companies need to make profit, so find out where they’re making it.

6. Buy the Right wine
This is probably the most important and crucial factor. If you don’t buy the right wine in the first place, you don’t stand a chance of making a return on your investment no matter how good the service, charges or price are.

There is no definitive answer as to which wines to buy, but if you keep to a certain guideline you can make sure you are not mis-sold an investment wine. In general, investing in first growth Bordeaux (Lafite, Latour, Mouton, Margaux and Haut Brion) from the best vintages is the most secure way to make a return of 15-20% per annum. By investing in wines with a RPJ score of 94pts+, you can assure there will be a strong secondary market for your wine.

Below is a table (courtesy of which ranks the best performing investment wines:

Rank Wine Average* Rank Wine Average*
1 Carruades de Lafite 133.3% 11 Kirwan 22.0%
2 Ausone 70.7% 12 Cantenac Brown 19.2%
3 Latour 59.7% 13 Leoville Poyferre 19.2%
4 Lafite Rothschild 54.9% 14 Pavillon Rouge 18.9%
5 Forts de Latour 49.0% 15 Mouton Rothschild 17.9%
6 Margaux 43.4% 16 Haut Brion 17.7%
7 Leoville Barton 38.6% 17 Malescot St Exupery 17.1%
8 Duhart Milon 32.9% 18 Beychevelle 17.0%
9 Fleur Petrus 29.9% 19 Clos Fourtet 15.5%
10 Lynch Bages 23.7% 20 Clerc Milon 15.4%

*Average percentage price move, vintages 2000-2007. To account for distorting effects of one outstanding (or awful) vintage on each chateaux’s average, we excluded the best and worst performing years. (info taken from London International Vintner’s Exchange:Liv-ex)

This is by no means a definitive list of wines that will make returns, but what is important is to understand the analysis and reasons behind purchasing any given wine. Your merchant or broker should provide you with detailed analysis and evidence that the wine you are buying has good potential for growth.

If you would like to discuss an investment opportunity in the Fine Wine market, please don’t hesitate to call on
+44 (0)20 8332 9386 and speak with one of our investment team.


  New working partnership with the innovative Merchants of Vino  - 16th July 2010
By Thomas Gearing (C.O.O) - Cult Wines Ltd - & Cult Wines Ltd are proud to announce a working partnership with Merchants of Vino

As ROBERT LOUIS STEPHENSON so rightly said “Wine is Bottled poetry”

Our philosophy is that wine should be enjoyed. Learning about wine and discovering new tastes should be fun. At Merchants of Vino, we have discovered wines from vineyards never discovered or known about in the UK until now and met the people and their families who have devoted their lives to perfecting the wines. Many of these wines are from small producers who produce small yields and hand harvest, thus ensuring the highest quality wine is produced through love and care. Finding some of these wines have been a great pleasure, stumbling across treasures that are exclusive to us such as the Kolonist’s wines from the Ukraine, where the Odessa Black wine is imported from, a real favourite with all of our clients.

We are passionate about our wines and believe the way to get maximum pleasure from each wine is to understand how each wine can complement the meals that you create, which wines match with which foods and why.
For this reason, whenever you purchase wine from us, you will always receive full tasting notes and suggestions for each wine on food pairing and menu ideas.

In addition to importing delicious wines, we also

• Run Corporate hospitality events
• Conference / team building activities
• Host wine tasting parties
• Wine tasting workshops
• Wine tasting evenings

These events range from private wine tasting parties and hosted wine tasting games, to fundraising events and corporate hospitality.

Wine is a perfect way to bring people together... If you are looking for that inspiration to get customers through your door we can arrange a portfolio of activities that you could offer on selected evenings / days at very attractive ticket prices encouraging customers to stay and make a dinner reservation for those of you who run restaurants or to encourage customers to stay and peruse your goods / services if you are a retailer.

Click here for further information

  INVESTMENT WINE SALE - 22nd June 2010
By Oliver Gearing (C.E.O) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Investment wines on offer - 5% cheaper than market price.

Lafite Rothschild 2001
Lafite Rothschild 1998
Lafite Rothschild 2000
Lafite Rothschild 2006
Lafite Rothschild 2008
Mouton Rothschild 1982
Mouton Rothschild 2002
Mouton Rothschild 2008
Cheval Blanc 2006
Latour 2006
Bollinger 1999
Ducru 2005
Cote Rotie 2003
Pavie 2008

Send an email to with your name and contact number to discuss this offer further.
  Latest Offers May - June 2010 - 21st May 2010
By Thomas Gearing (C.O.O) - Cult Wines Ltd -

This is our current list of offers, click here for our complete write up.

Lafite Rothschild 2008 @ £7,400 per case (12x75cl)

Current Market Spread: £7,500 - £8,256

Mouton Rothschild 2008 @ £3,650 per case (12x75cl)
Current Market Spread: £3,700 - £4,100

Margaux 1996 @ £5,500 per case (12x75cl)
Current Market Spread: £5,500 - £5,800

Leoville Las Cases @ £2,450 per case (12x75cl)
Current Market Spread: £2,500 - £2,900

Lafite Rothschild 2000 – Half Bottles @ £708.33 per btl (37.5cl) NON-OWC
Current Market Spread: £710 - £827 (per btl)

Lafite Rothschild 2006 @ £POA (12x75cl)
Current Market Spread: £6,400 - £6,950

With the 2009 En Primeur campaign expected to be the most expensive of recent times, interest continues to grow for the well-received 2008’s. Parker scored all the first growths at 95+, with Lafite Rothschild scoring a potential maximum (98-100pts)...

Read full article here


Cult Wines Reviews - Bordeaux En Primeur 2009 - 27th April 2010

Click here or on the banner above to enquire about 2009 en primeur now


Cult Wines & consists of Oliver Gearing, Philip Gearing (WSET), Thomas Gearing and Aarash Ghatineh. We have many associates including a Master of Wine (only 220 in the world), and trade experts such as Andrew Taylor (retail advisor) and Mark Shuringa - Ditton Wine Traders (En Primeur partner & advisor). We are also trading members of Liv-ex.

We would say that there is a profit to be had from most of the wines we reviewed. The hype for 09 is enormous, the demand impossible, the Asian hub have requested everything available, and we heard from the experts in Bordeaux that the following wines were strong favourites. For those that want to know the three best investments in brief, you will want Lafite Rothschild 2009, Mouton Rothschild 2009 & Latour 2009.

A joint venture based in London now enables wine investors to reserve Lafite Rothschild 2009, Mouton Rothschild 2009 & Latour 2009 in advance.

Christian Moueix
, who manages some of the most sort after wineries on the Bordeaux right-bank, believes that mother nature smiled on France – with every major region enjoying a beautiful growing season. ‘I have never seen anything like it in my career, a career spanning back to 1971’.

Most importantly, considering current demand for Lafite and Mouton, reports emanating from Baron de Rothschild are good with winemaker Philippe Dhalluin declaring he has rarely seen fruit as perfect as this year. Scores should be high by RPJ, and the price should rise very quickly, doubling for the very best stock within months very similar to 2005.

Click here to read our wine reviews.

Click here to see photos of our recent trip.


1996 – Best back vintage to invest in? - 19th February 2010
By Thomas Gearing (C.O.O) - Cult Wines Ltd -

In recent times, En Primeur has stolen the limelight when it comes to Bordeaux fine wine investment, because of the phenomenal gains that the 2008 first growths have made since their release. But when it comes to buying physical stock, which year is the best to invest in?

Analysing the methodology of buying fine wine for investment, it seems to point the investor in the direction of one particular vintage:

1) Wines that are high scoring across the board (most importantly 95+pts RPJ score)
2) Have shown a solid track record for growth.
3) Have widespread appeal (First growth – Lafite, Mouton, Latour)
4) Approaching the drinking age
5) Supply decreasing

Read full article here


  Wine Investment Performance Since 2000  - 23rd November 2009
By Thomas Gearing (C.O.O) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Details taken from the Guardians article: How Alternative Investments Have Performed Since 2000

Up until a few years ago the Fine Wine market was a virtual unknown to most investors except those collectors who used wines’ increasing value to fund further purchases. In the last 10 years those who had previously put their money into stocks, bonds, gold and oil have turned to wine. In the period of ‘31 December 1999 and 31 October 2009 there was a 138% return’ on the Fine Wine Investables index and this has lead journalists to label Fine Wine as ‘the best investment of the decade’...

Read full article here

  Wine Investment Boost  - 26th October 2009
By Thomas Gearing (C.O.O) - Cult Wines Ltd -

Recent investor news has been dominated by the fine wine market, with the Liv-ex 100 up by 4.6% in August alone and portfolios’ increasing by around 10-13% since the beginning of the year it is no surprise that investors are moving their money into this resurgent market.

When compared to the FTSE’s real return of -3.5%, the large gains that can be made currently in the Fine Wine market have made it very attractive to those looking to diversify their portfolios...

Read full article here

  Wine Investment Beats Recession  - 29th July 2009
By William Cohen -

A combination of a superb futures season for 2009 has meant that the fine wine investment is mentioned everywhere from TV to your free newspapers left on empty tube seats. Is this the reality of the market? In a word, Yes!

In April of this year we had the option to buy 2008 futures of Bordeaux. Producers put their heads together and cleverly put prices down by 30% to begin with, meaning that like an auction excitement grew quickly and buying increased dramatically...

Read full article here

  Wine Investment?  - 25th March 2009
By William Cohen -

The latest market reports released in February 2009 shows that the market has increased in buying power by 128% while the prices have lowered for the very best Bordeaux wines. Given that fine wine is a medium to long term investment, it seems that now is the best time for any investor to become involved in this market.

From the BBC at Christmas, to the Financial Times in recent weeks, our market has been praised for being an investor’s refuge. The simple yet confident structure creates new stronger portfolios every day and makes other known investments look extremely weak in comparison…

Read full article here

  Choices In The Market  - 19th December 2008
By William Cohen -

The month of November shows stability in the fine wine market, since the large drop in prices in September and October. Compared to last year, trade has increased by 56% with US and European becoming more active buyers as sterling weakens. Although fine wine prices continue to slide, buyers remain outnumbered by sellers. Wine has been purchased wines at advantageous prices, in some cases the lowest seen since early 2007.

The economic downturn has been reflected in the value of the Fine Wine Index shows a 20% below its all-time peak had reached last summer. Unfortunately investors have seen the value of their stocks sink to an 18-month low following the stock market and bank crisis. Although until October wine had remained untouched by the economic crisis. Some classy vintages have lost as much as 25% of their value in one month alone

Read full article here

  Lafite's Mystique Lures Wine Bidders to Spend $1.82 Million  - 19th December 2008
By William Cohen -

Due to the economic meltdown, many bidders thought financial jitters would mean softer prices. However a top-quality, single- owner collection, mostly consisted of first-growth Bordeaux reds and Burgund Domaine de la Romanee Conti, all were purchased on release. Most were in original wooden cases and perfectly stored, which command a premium.

One of the eye-opening auction trends of the past two years has been the rise of the Lafite brand, especially in Asia. Prices of older vintages are double the price of those in Bordeaux first. Nobody saw this coming when a particular demographic attacks a specific type of wine, i.e. Lafite''

Read full article here
  Credit crunch squeezes wines - 1st December 2008
By James Barter-May -

Due to the credit crunch property and stock market prices have fallen considerably. Also this week the international art market appeared to crumble and now sales of wine, are finally feeling the full effect of the credit crunch, with the biggest fall in prices for seven years, down 12.4 per cent in October, according to the Wine index. Although for some time wine sales was supposed to be a safe haven for investors.

Every modern vintage came under pressure last month, but the most expensive Bordeaux first growths from 2005 have seen the biggest fall, with prices collapsing 25 per cent from the peak of the market in August.
The relative large price drop is a mirrored pattern during the recession of the early 1990s. After the Asian crises of 1997 and 1998, wine prices corrected by 25 to 30 per cent...

Read full article here
  Now is the time to buy cheap Bordeaux 2005 - 30th November 2008
By Oliver Charles Gearing -

The prices on Bordeaux 2005s are being reduced around the world. The buyers are trading down in response to the financial crisis. However merchants are advising owners to hold onto their stock as prices are not going to fall any further.

As suggested by a merchant, there has definitely been a pause with the 2005 first growths. In September and October months "we saw bottle sales far more than case sales". A chairman of a retailer commented that "Prices have not yet had time to adjust to the market conditions, and we anticipate prices will go down"...

Read full article here

  Sommeliers look at their best options - 29th November 2008
By Oliver Charles Gearing -

As the number of wine funds grows, who better to advise on purchases than those who know wine best. Below are the comments made by some of the well known and leading sommeliers.

Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Luchets, 1996 - A mineral-driven, with an oak background is delicious, pure and so clean. "This winemaker doesn't get enough respect".

Château de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 1999 - It’s not as alcohol-driven as a California cabernet; it’s more balanced, but still remains powerful and rich. A one that is worth keeping an eye on.

Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006. Produced in Oregon seen as a top-tier wine in three or four year’s time. A sommelier describes this wine as a "pedigree of the winemaker"...

Read full article here
  The romantic wine industry provides strong returns  - 28th November 2008
By James Barter-May -

As the world stock market meltdowns, investment of fine wines such as "99 Haut-Brion" and "2000 Mouton-Rothschild" could not be at a better time. The vintages are housed in climate-controlled warehouses. As the day goes by, the wines get tastier and pricier. An investment in fines wines listed, has proven to quadruple over an eight year period...

Read full article here

Wine Investment

Interest in Wine Investment has seen a significant growth over the past few years, investing in wines has proven to be both popular and profitable. We know that small wine investments can make way for huge profits in later years, once the wine matures and is ready for resale, and we are more than happy to share our Wine Investment knowledge and expertise to help you maximise your returns. For further details on Wine Investing please get in contact we will be happy to help.

Bordeaux Wine Prices

Recently Bordeaux Wine Prices have been attracting interest from people all over the world, and is fast becoming the most popular type of wine investment. This French Wine has many classifications and is considered one of the most expensive and exquisite wine available today, for regularly updated information on Bordeaux Wine Prices search our wine price database.

Fine Wine

Information on Fine Wine investment opportunities can sometimes be difficult to digest, we pride ourselves on helping you to decipher this information, and to understand Wine as an Investment. Simply use our online wine searcher to search our Fine Wine database by names, origins, grapes used, rating and pricing, along with many other interesting factors.

Fine Wine Investments

If you enjoy great wines, Fine Wine Investments is something you should look into, buying young wines and allowing them to mature for years will reduce the amount you may later have to spend for this wonderful wine, that is precisely why Fine Wine Investments are great as they fetch a good reselling profit in the long term. Wine investing provides a good long term return and is a great liquid asset.

Alternative Investments

If you are looking for an Alternative Investments strategy, consider investing in wine as it is both a luxury commodity and very Collectible amongst certain individuals, visit our wine price database to search and compare wines, we also offer for free a no obligation expert practical advice to help maximise your Alternative Investments portfolio.

Invest in Wines

As with any investment Investing in Wines can be risky as prices are subject to rise at different rates in even the best vintages, the demand for good wines is constantly increasing and so are their prices, if you are seriously considering Investing in Wines here is some essential reading.

Bordeaux Wine Investments is an ideal reference for people looking for Bordeaux Wine Investments, Our excessive list of wine information and database of prices of wine as an investment, enough to keep the connoisseur busy for hours. We also can help you expand your portfolio, or start your first Bordeaux Wine Investment.

Wine Searcher

Enthusiasts and Wine Searchers alike are invited to join our wine investment forum, to learn more about the world's best wines, their prices and wine investment opportunities, we are confident that we can provide you with all the necessary Wine Searcher information you could possibly need to successfully invest in wines. Dog Kennels Kent.

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