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New super-premium Jacob's Creek

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new super-premium range of Jacob's Creek - Shiraz/Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling - has been unveiled by Orlando Wyndham, Pernod Ricard's Australian wine division.

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The Interview:Raymond Blanc, Chef/proprietor, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Published:  23 July, 2008

When was your introduction to great wine?
I was 17. I had no real cash, working part time here and there, and was earning about 50 a month. But I was walking past a restaurant in my little town of Besanon and it was about 12 o'clock. At this time something happens in a Frenchman's stomach. I smelled aromas coming out of this restaurant, Le Pocker d'As, which is still there today. I could smell this complexity of flavours and so I had to go in. I asked the sommelier what the chef was cooking. He said roasted veal kidneys in a Rhne wine reduction, and so I ordered a half-bottle of Cte Rtie from Guigal. It was the first time I'd paid so much money for a wine!

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Hospital cases

Published:  23 July, 2008

The significance of the 145th Hospices de Beaune auction on Saturday and Sunday 19-20 November was wider than that of its historic role as a predictor of the price trend for the most recent vintage. As in Bordeaux, so in Burgundy, 2005 is being hailed as an exceptionally high-quality vintage, while this year the auction was being conducted by Christie's and opened to private buyers for the first time. The auction prices - which have been an accurate predictor of the general trend in 12 of the past 13 years - were therefore anticipated even more keenly than usual.

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Ctes du Rhne quiz night

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers took the runners-up spot in the annual Ctes du Rhne quiz night in London last week. Each team member demonstrated an unlikely (and unhealthy) amount of knowledge on subjects as diverse as Giant Haystacks, Pocahontas and tiddlywinks.

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Out with the old

Published:  23 July, 2008

It has been quite a year for Scotch whisky. The category has been bogged down with issues such as tax stamps and legal definitions - both drawing attention away from the more important aspect of what's in the bottle, not on it. But a quick look around the category highlights many examples of creative thinking, and new takes on a classic product.

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Sweet little MStery

Published:  23 July, 2008

In his book A Wine Journey Along the Russian River, Steve Heimoff refers to a comparative tasting of Alexander Valley and Napa Valley Cabernets, to which members of the Court of Master Sommeliers - among the royalty of the wine-tasting world' - were invited. Everyone in the wine trade knows about MWs, but what is this other mysterious organisation, which allows successful exam candidates to put the letters MS after their names but doesn't even have any offices to call its own?

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FESTIVE FIZZ

Published:  23 July, 2008

Selfridges will be stocking the Champagne Taittinger Cool-Air tube this Christmas. The tube, which has been created specially for Taittinger's Brut Rserve NV Cuve, keeps chilled bottles cool for up to four hours. The Cool-Air tube was developed by packaging company Robinson and is made of recycled cardboard. The Taittinger pack retails for 33.50.

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Les Grands Chais de France buys LaCheteau

Published:  23 July, 2008

Les Grands Chais de France has further strengthened its presence in the Loire with the purchase of the LaCheteau vineyards and ngociant business in Anjou for an undisclosed sum.

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Barring partners

Published:  23 July, 2008

An increasing number of Champagne companies no longer want to be merely one of a number of bottles behind the bar and are choosing instead to sponsor a whole bar or at least affiliate their brand with a particular organisation. But why are they doing this, and what does each party get out of it?

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The Interview: Helen Everitt-Matthias, Co-owner, Le Champignon Sauvage

Published:  23 July, 2008

Your recent redesign of the restaurant should help the push for three stars.
I don't know about that. Why, because we have more space, should Michelin prefer it? Some people say you need more flunkeys in the dining room or lavish decoration to make them happy. Certainly buying next door has given us the room between tables that you don't often get these days. Or if you do have the land mass, then the tables are turned.

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Violence mars Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations

Published:  23 July, 2008

More than 30 people were injured when this year's Beaujolais Nouveau festivities in Grenoble turned sour.
The incident is believed to be unconnected to recent riots in Parisian suburbs, during which thousands of vehicles were set ablaze. The violence in Grenoble started on Friday, where between 2,000 and 3,000 students had been celebrating the launch of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau.

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KJ is the Masters

Published:  23 July, 2008

Kendall-Jackson has moved into sports sponsorship with a tie-up with golden oldies' tennis tournament The Masters. The company's Vintner's Reserve is an associate sponsor and the official wine of the tournament, which is to be held at London's Royal Albert Hall from 29 November to 4 December.

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Leading Thinkers Seminar

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many UK consumers are very open-minded about trying new wines, but getting them to choose yours over someone else's is a more difficult matter. And even when they do choose your brand, it will become just one of a dozen or so regular' wines that are purchased, often on special offer.

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Paragon takes Michel Picard

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paragon Vintners has announced an agreement to represent the wines of Burgundy producer Michel Picard.
Among the company's assets are Chteau de Chassagne Montrachet (the company HQ), Domaine Voarick in Mercurey, and Chteau de Daveney in Montagny. In total, it controls around 100 hectares of vines. This is the first time it has been represented in the UK.

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SITT lines up marketeer

Published:  23 July, 2008

After a successful launch last year, the Specialist Importers' Trade Tasting (SITT), a loose alliance of independent distributors, is set to return in 2006 with events in London and Manchester.

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Hospices prices short of expectations

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite a much-hyped (2005) vintage, and the presence for the first time of Christie's and telephone bidding, wines on offer at last week's 2005 Hospices de Beaune auction failed to reach the kind of stratospheric prices that many ngociants had anticipated.

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Christmas sparkling price war begins

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sainsbury's and Tesco have both joined in the sub-10 Champagne price war, as predicted in our news feature on discounting champagne (see pp.23-24). Sainsbury's has slashed the single-bottle price of Etienne Dumont by 10 a bottle to 9.99 (until 29 November), or to 9.49 if you buy six bottles or more; and in a parallel move, Tesco has cut Andr Carpentier from 19.99 to 9.99, also 9.49 if you buy six bottles or more.

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Goliath in the Cellar

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Europe's premium wine division, Cellar Door, has confirmed that it will add Rex Goliath, the California wine brand acquired last month by Constellation Brands, to its portfolio.

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Consumers keen to experiment

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK consumers appear quite open to experimenting with wines from non-traditional countries of origin and with wines using non-traditional varietals, according to a new piece of research conducted by Wine Intelligence.

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Argentina must beware the Malbec pigeonhole

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paul Hobbs, the consultant winemaker best known for developing Argentinian Malbec for the likes of Nicolas Catena, has warned that Argentina is in danger of concentrating too much of its effort on the Malbec grape variety.

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