Cult Wines Ltd and Killik & Co Fine Wine Tasting, Company Introduction and Networking Event:

Posted by WineInvestment.org on July 22, 2013
Events, Uncategorized / No Comments

The Evening: Guests will get to enjoy a fun and interactive introduction to fine wines comparing New World vs. Old World, accompanied by canapés produced by the award winning Bingham Restaurant, in the beautifully presented Garden Rooms which are adjacent to the River Thames. Guests will also be introduced to the services of both Cult Wines Ltd and Killik & Co, two Richmond based businesses. The evening will end with a small Cult Wines Portfolio tasting where you will be introduced to an exclusive range of fabulous Roussillon wines.






‘Indian Wine Market and Industry’ by Dimple Athavia:

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 24, 2013
Uncategorized, Wine Market News / No Comments

The Indian Wine Market is in its early stages of growth. The country has been stated as a potential emerging wine market for domestic wine production as well as imported wines. However, Wines in India are highly price sensitive products and hence affect the consumer’s purchasing behaviour.

Wine consumption in India can be divided among the different socio- economic classes, such as upper class, upper middle class and middle class. Due to various reasons, less than 1% of the population of upper/middle classes are possible imported wine consumers. Foreigners in India and Indians who have travelled in wine consuming countries abroad form a significant group of wine consumers. Labels with the words Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundies are recognized by wine drinkers as regions in France which produce higher quality, expensive wines. However, due to the lack of availability and knowledge about these wines, consumers are unaware of the Chateaux names or their Growth Classifications viz. 1st, 2nd growths in Bordeaux. In cheaper markets; Spanish, Italian, Australian, Argentinean, Chilean and South African wines seem to have found their place. These International wines are priced half or twice as much as the domestic wines. Indians have a sweet tooth and prefer slightly sweet to lusciously sweet wines as they go well with the spicy and aromatic Indian food. Men seem more fascinated by red wines while women are comfortable with whites and roses.

The biggest consumption of wine (up to 80%) is confined to the major cities, of which the largest are Mumbai (39%), Delhi (23%), Bangalore (9%) and the foreign tourist dominated market of Goa (9%). Majority of affordable quality wines are found in restaurants and cafes in the cities and some rare wine shops. Recently, wines have been allowed to be sold as beverages in selective supermarkets. The supermarkets such as Westside Gourmet, Reliance, Big bazaar, Dolce Vita and many more try to have a respectable mix of domestic and imported wines. Majority of the imported wines found in Restaurants or wine shops tend to be big international companies such as Gallo, Yellow Tail, Oxford Landing, Wolf Bass, Moet & Chandon, Frexienet and many more. Importers struggle to find a market for smaller wineries producing quality wines and a range of grape varieties. The concept of online shopping for wines has not quite been accepted yet, however, online wine companies such as Winekart.com and Brindco seem to be doing well in getting more and more customers interested.

Advertising Wines via use of Television, mass media, street billboard or newspapers is inadmissible. Creating awareness requires various creative strategies which need to be lucratively targeted towards the upper/middle classes. Financial as well as marketing support is required from the International Wine companies, who would be interested in a durable position in the Indian Wine Market, for educating the consumers as well as the agent/distributors and funding promotional activities.

The Wine producing regions in India are the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Maharashtra produces more than 90% of all the wine made in India. The major grape growing regions in Maharashtra are Nashik, Sangli, Pune and Satara with a total of 64 wineries in the state. Karnataka is home to the leading domestic brand Grover Vineyards. Most of the domestic wine is consumed in India; however, small quantities are imported to UK, France, USA, Canada, Singapore and a few other Asian Markets.



Producing wine in India can be very expensive. Not only is the agricultural land pricey, the wine making machinery and equipment has to be imported from Europe and the import duties on these machineries are very steep. French and American barrels have to be imported since there is no wine industry specific cooperage. Sometimes basic wine making chemicals and micro organisms (yeast, malo bacteria) strains also need to be bought from foreign lands. All this makes domestic wines to be highly priced once they reach the market and hence has an acute contest with the cheaper imported labels.

Duties/ Taxes and Market Sector for Imported Wines

There are 27 states and 7 Union territories in India and states such as Gujarat allow no sale of alcohol at all; while Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh allow no sale of imported liquor to protect their domestic market. Only States such as Punjab, Haryana, New Delhi, Maharashtra, Goa, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala are allowed sales of imported wines in Retail Sector.

Tax structure and duties imposed on Wines play a major negative role in advancement of the Indian Wine Industry. Buying and selling of imported wines is a complex and expensive procedure. The Government of India (central government) charges import levy and the State government charges additional taxes. These State taxes vary for every state and hence the permits and paperwork, labelling laws, registration fees etc. Furthermore, these taxes/laws are subject to fluctuation regularly. This limits the sales of wines between different states, restricting the availability of miscellaneous labels.

Hospitality sector of 5star Hotels and sumptuous restaurants buy 60% of the imported Wines. These 4 and 5 star hotels have the advantage of buying imported wines without paying taxes on their duty free licence. Importing wine directly from the Wine producers/wineries is logistically obscure and thus, these Hotels source their wines from importers and distributors. This makes it impossible to find a diverse range of wines from smaller producers and from different parts of the world even in the best of the Hotels. Retail sector accounts sales of 35-40% of imported wines which include wine shops and supermarkets. The sales of imported wines in India are controlled by individual state laws and regulations.



Reducing basic import duty (150%) would be extremely beneficial for the imported wines market in India. There is a considerable market for cheaper wines from the world and this would also provide a big boost in wine education and appreciation within the consumers. Domestic wines struggle to find their place in the highly price sensitive Indian market and have to constantly compete with the International labels. Domestic producers also have to pay the state taxes and adhere to the erratic regulation and registration fees limiting their exposure to the various states and hence also competing against other domestic producers. Putatively speaking, domestic producers would agree that they would suffer badly from any reduction in import taxes. Reformation of state laws and taxes would be beneficial and hassle free for sales of domestic as well as imported wines.

The biggest challenges faced by the Indian Wine industry are the complex tax structure, state-run variable laws and regulations and prices of domestic wines leading to competition. Indian Winemaker Kailash Gurnani from York Winery in Nashik says “Lack of knowledge of wine to the Indian consumer, affordability of wine, overhead costs in the distribution and retail channel due to demand of high schemes, different alcohol norms in different states, lack of support from restaurant and retail owners to push wine; are the major obstacles faced by the Indian Wine Industry”. Solution to these issues will improve the wine availability and diversity which will in turn open a bigger market to the wine consumers and help increase their knowledge and interest in the Wine World.

About the author:

Dimple Athavia is from Mumbai, India. She is a traveling winemaker who studied Bsc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology  at the University of Brighton, Plumpton College UK.

She has completed wine making vintages in France, Cyprus, UK and New Zealand. As well as working in production and business areas for 3 wineries in India, namely: Viz. Sula, Grovers and Vallonne. She is about to begin studying Msc in International Retail Management at the University of Brighton, and has plans to work in the Wine Business in Singapore.


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‘Trade dispute continues between China and France’

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 17, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Uncategorized / No Comments

The trade dispute between France and China is still continuing, with the French minister for agriculture, Stephane Le Foll urging the country to be “totally transparent”, in response to the initiation of an anti-dumping probe into Chinese wine imports from the European Union.

The move was said to have been sparked by Brussels decision to impose taxes on the importation of solar panels and Chinese manufacturing components.

Le Foll spoke at the opening on Vinexpo 2013 on Sunday, and encouraged producers to react with openness as there would be “no risk” of finding any direct export subsidies from the French government, contrary to Chinese speculations.

Chinese wine producers have lodged complaints to the French ministry of commerce that European imports are hindering the development of their wine industry. In 2012, wine imports grew by 8.9% up to 430 million litres, of which 290 million litres came from the E.U.

Le Foll spoke out regarding the importance of the wine industry in France, French wine and spirits exports in 2012 were worth 11 billion euros, which makes it the second most important industry after aeronautics.

Le Foll also elaborated that wine “has an economic and commercial dimension”, but “it also has other values. It is culture, a way of life, a way of thinking about life”.

Alain Juppé, the mayor of Bordeaux, said that he was relying on Le Foll to effectively defend the wine industry during upcoming E.U-U.S free trade talks.


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Last few cases of ‘Domaine des Enfants’ left:

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 12, 2013
Retail Wines, Uncategorized / No Comments

We have recently discovered what we believe to be one of, if not the best wine producers from the  South West of France.

Domaine des Enfants is located in Maury, a small village in the Agly Valley of the Roussillon region of France, and the creation of Swiss born Marcel Buhler and his wife Oregon born Carrie Sumner. Visit our blog to read more about Domaine des Enfants.

The wine is available in countries across the world, including Japan: the USA, Norway, Denmark and Germany, but until now has not been available in the UK. We are therefore very excited to be representing them in the UK. Unfortunately, as the estate is comprised of just 23 Ha, and due to their strong international presence, allocations are tight. However, we have secured an allocation of 10 cases of their mid-range white and 10 of their mid-range red.


Domaine des Enfants

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Chocolate & Wine Pairing with Cult Wines August 21st, 2013 7:00-8:30 pm Rococo Chocolates Motcomb St

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 10, 2013
Events, Uncategorized / No Comments

Cult Wines Ltd have joined forces with award winning Rococo Chocolates, http://www.rococochocolates.com/ for a fantastic evening of chocolate and wine.

This combination, that is sometimes a mystery will be explained by the wine experts from Cult Wines Ltd. Wine and chocolate matches will be compared and contrasted, providing a taste exploration.

Learn more about the production of two of the most celebrated man-made creations.

The evening will begin with savoury chocolate canapés and is sure to tempt your taste buds in new ways. Must be 18 or over to attend.

August 21st, 2013 7:00-8:30 pm  Rococo Chocolates Motcomb St

5 Motcomb Street ,

London, Belgravia,


Booking is essential. Please book online through Eventbrite follow this link:


Or contact Julie on 020 7245 0993 or events@rococochocolates.com




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‘The Wine Advocate Disputes Branded Case Claim’

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 10, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Uncategorized / No Comments

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, editor-in-chief of The Wine Advocate, has disputed recent allegations stating that Robert Parker is involved with the sale of branded wine cases.

Drinks Buisness.com reported earlier this week that négociant Bordeaux Vins Selection (BVS), was to release cases of wine awarded 100 Parker points, in a tailor made, Parker signed, wooden gift box.

This was contested by Perrotti-Brown, last week on The Wine Advocate bulletin board, where she stated that:

“Robert Parker did not give permission for his signature to be used on any such packaging, and after speaking with Bordeaux Vins Selection, they will no longer be using his signature at all.

“We spoke with BVS last night to confirm that Robert Parker’s signature was not to be used in their packaging, in the format of our logo or otherwise,” she said.

“Some of the claims in the media suggest that we are profiting from the marketing and packaging of wines. This is not true. We continue to maintain our strict policy of not profiting from the sale of wine.

“Endorsing wines for profit is in direct conflict with the policy we have maintained for more than 34 years. We have no plans to change this policy,” she added.

The Wine Advocate recently branched out into the sale of commercial licenses, which allows merchants like Bordeaux Vins Selection to use the 100 points scoring system as a marketing tool. However, the use of Parker’s signature is not permitted within the agreement.

“This deal is in no way exclusive to BVS – other merchants are free to put together their own selections of Robert Parker rated wines,” Perrotti-Brown clarified.

“Neither Parker nor the TWA team have had any part in the selection of wines. We are not endorsing or profiting from the packaging or sales of the BVS cases,” she added.

Source: www.thedrinksbusiness.com


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‘Irish Government To Replicate Elysee Palace Wine Auction’

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 10, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Uncategorized / No Comments

The Irish government has announced that they plan to auction off wine, just days after the Elysee Palace wine auction was held in Paris.

Irish news reports state that the Foreign Affairs minister Eamon Gilmore has decided to sell off wines worth over €30.

Just over 2,340 bottles in the government’s cellar have been valued at €77,767; the sale of which is hoped to generate €40,000 for the taxpayer.

Reports do not mention whether or not the wine will be sold back to suppliers or sold off at auction. However, some concerns have been raised regarding the fact that wines such as 22 bottles of Château Léoville Barton Second Growth Saint Julien 1997 had cost €75 per bottle, and today can be bought for the same or less.

Similarly, 33 bottles of Château Kirwan Third Growth Margaux 2000, were bought for €65 apiece, and now cost about the same or less.

On the other hand, the state collection includes 31 bottles of Château Lynch Bages Fifth Growth Pauillac 1998, purchased for €58.56 each, and now worth about double that price.

Philip Grant, press and media relations director for the Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed the report as ‘accurate’ to Decanter.com.



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‘Worrying Trade Show-Down Between Beijing And The E.U’

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 10, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Uncategorized / No Comments

Concerns over a potential trade show-down between Beijing and the E.U peaked last week.

Events were initiated by the European Commission imposing an anti-dumping duty on solar panels imported from the People’s Republic. Just days later, Beijing launched an anti-dumping investigation into European wine imports.

China is Bordeaux’s biggest export market, accounting for one in five bottles produced, and the lynchpin for up to 55,000 jobs in the wine industry.

Allan Sichel, president of the Bordeaux wine merchants’ federation the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux spoke out, stating that “they are taking this very seriously”, as “It could have enormous repercussions, for stock and for prices, with the possibility of significant drops, which would be catastrophic for the majority of winemakers”.

France has encouraged its E.U partners to stand up to Beijing over allegations of China selling solar panels below cost in a plight to confine the European market. The outcome regarding discussions between the 27 nations was not unanimous, with Germany campaigning for discussion in preference to confrontation.

None the less, the commission went onto announce the imposition of a tariff of 11.8% on Chinese solar panels, this figure will rise to 47.6 percent on August the 6th, unless there is a reconciliation.

Brussels have asserted that the Chinese panels are being sold at up to 88% sub the cost in the European market, thus jeopardising 25,000 jobs in the European industry as well as infringing international trade rules.

In a backlash, China declared the tariffs “unfair” and subsequently announced the investigation into wine imports.

European Commission figures stipulate that China bought 763 million euros worth of wine from Europe last year, with the majority being from France (546 million euros), 89 million from Spain, and 77 million from Italy. Clear evidence of the importance of the Chinese market for European producers.

Roger Waite, Commission spokesman stated that as a member of the World Trade Organization, China was eligible to initiate an investigation, however there was no valid basis for this.

The E.U does not subsidize exports of wine directly, it does however support producers through various programmes, which could potentially be viewed as impacting on the prices that they then can charge their wine for.

Stephance Le Foll, French agriculture minister, said that this did not justify China’s reaction, as the E.U producers do not benefit from any export subsidies.

This scenario has provoked debate and concern regarding China’s global trade tensions.

 Source: www.wine-searcher.com

Source: www.wine-searcher.com

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‘Bids run high for the presidential wine collection in Paris’

Posted by WineInvestment.org on June 03, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Uncategorized / No Comments

Generated revenue eclipsed expectations on first day of the Élysée Palace wine auction which took place last week. Two bottles of 1990 Pétrus sold for 5,500 and 5,800 euros, easily exceeding estimations of 2,200 and 2,500 euros.

The most dominant bidder was Fan Dongxing, a Shanghai importer of French wines, who bought half the Cognancs on offer, and ended the sale by buying one of the bottles of 1990 Pétrus on offer.

The sale was held at Drouot, France’s most famous auction house, with an audience comprised of buyers, and curious observers.

Most of the prestigious vintages were auctioned on Thursday evening, where prices went above the pre-sale high estimates by as much as four times. Namely, 1961 Château Angélus raised 1,100 euros, and was valued at 220 euros, 1936 Château Latour fetched 3,500 euros.

Online bids were made over the phone as well as in the room, a young Englishman bought a wine from Saint Emillion for this father’s birthday gift, which cost him 1,100 euros. Jean-Français Devène refrained from buying, stating that he: ‘wanted to buy something for my own consumption, but the prices were too expensive’. Initially the objective of the sale has been to enable ordinary wine lovers to purchase bottles, hence the size of the lots and absence of ‘premiums for provenance’. All bottles do however, carry a label inscribed “Palais de l’ Élysée”, as well as the date of the sale.

The proceeds of the auction will be spent on restocking the cellar with wines made by younger, unknown wine makers, with idea being to give smaller wine makers opportunity and exposure. The Élysée chief sommelier Virginie Routis, commented in reference to France’s economic crisis, “We can only serve [Grands Crus] at state dinners where there are often 300 guests, and we only have five or six bottles of the same wines”. Any remaining money will be returned to the governments funds.

Objections have been made, namely, Michel-Jack Chasseuil, a prominent wine collector, who suggested that: “Even if the wine goes for fantastic sums, it will be a derisory amount in terms of the national budget and when you think about what these wines represent in the eyes of the whole world”.


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Philippe Magrez Wine Dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges

Posted by WineInvestment.org on May 31, 2013
Events, Uncategorized / No Comments
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Last night we were proud to host our first wine event held in the Amaryllis Room, at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges. We were honoured to be joined by Philippe Magrez, of the Magrez family estate, who was there to show case selected wines from his family’s estate. As well as being charming and funny, Philippe displayed an incisive knowledge of the wines and estates, which provided a fascinating element to the evening. The Magrez family own four Grand Crus Classés in the most prestigious Bordeaux appellations, namely; Château Pape Clément (Graves Grand Crus Classés), Château Fombrauge (Saint Emilion Grand Crus Classés), Château La Tour Carnet Médoc Grand Crus Classés) and Clos Haut-Peyraguey (Sauternes Premier Grand Cru Classé). Each estate has a lengthy and illustrious heritage, which Philippe conveyed to the audience in an animated and enlightening way.

This event was an unashamedly opulent affair. Even the most seasoned bon vivant would agree that the range of wines and seven course taster menu were exquisite:


The potential apex of the night was the tasting the Château Pape Clément Blanc 2009 which was awarded a faultless 100 points by Parker, and was accompanied by pressed smoked pork belly with crispy bantam, egg, celeriac, apple and fresh truffle. This velvety textured wine is truly lavish, displaying notes of exotic fruits, Cointreau, and marzipan, harmonised perfectly with the complexity of the food. The 2009 was served next to the Château Pape Clément Blanc 2010, awarded 95 points by Parker, and quite different in style, this vintage is more poised whilst still being bountiful in aromatics of lemon grass, golden kiwis and jasmine. This provided a seriously unforgettable taste comparison exercise, and illustrates the genius production whereby such different styles are achieved, beautifully epitomising the uniqueness of the vintage.

We were also honoured to taste The Magrez Fombrauge 2000, which is on the verge of extinction as there are only 24 bottles left at the estate! This wine has everlasting length and warrants a substantial lexicon of descriptor terms in order to convey the complexity of the flavours and aromas; everything from blueberries and chocolate right through to flinty mineral notes.

The Château Pape Clément 2010 was another dazzling wine, again donned with 100 perfect Parker points, and tasted after the 2008, which received 95 points, quite literally from the sublime to the ridiculously sublime. Both wines were served with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s Beef wellington with smoked pomme puree.

The 2010 is described by Parker as portraying, ‘sublime elegance, the power, the medium to full-bodied texture, the silky tannins, the subtle notes of smoke, lead pencil shavings, black currants, charcoal, camphor, blueberry and cassis fruit are all remarkable. It is a rich, full-throttle wine, but the elegance and the great terroir of Pape Clement come through in abundance’. The 2008 was a later harvest, hence the wine is riper, bursting wine blueberries and black cherries. The wellington worked wonderfully with both, a French English fusion executed to perfection. In fact, this was the overall theme of the night and our vision when we decided to organise the event, so far we have received excellent feedback from the 22 guests comprised of clients and industry professionals.

This is the first of many more events to come, where we plan to combine the greats of gastronomy and oenology, creating an unforgettable experience.

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Some quotes from people who attended the event:

Mr. Nicholas Padfield : ‘Thank you very much for inviting me to such a splendid occasion. The food, venue and wines were out of this world and I do not know enough superlatives to do them all justice’.

Mr.Pierre-Eric Sabatier: ‘I would like to thank you for the outstanding event that you put together yesterday. I can insure you that both Philippe Magrez and I were very impressed. The event was perfectly organized, the place and the food were fantastic and the people that you invited were perfectly in line with the target’.

Mr. Antoni Daszewski: ‘I enjoyed the evening immensely, the lovely food and excellent wines and what a wonderful venue, highly civilised and delightful’.

Mr.Chris Rigby: ‘Many thanks for a splendid evening last night. Aside from the fantastic food & the wines, it was great to meet a few fellow investors & have a few words with Philippe’.

Mr.Roy Sandler: ‘Many thanks for a most memorable evening last night. It was a real treat to enjoy such fine wines and superb food whilst surrounded by cordial company’.

Mr.Richard Britten-Long: ‘Dinner last night in Claridge’s was memorable to say the least and I thoroughly enjoyed the company and wines. Superb!’.

Mr.Rob Pinchbeck: ‘Thank you very much for a wonderful evening yesterday: the wine, the foodand the company – all were excellent – most enjoyable’. 

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