Leoville Barton vertical

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-26

We were guided through this fascinating tasting by Anthony Barton’s grandson, who had kindly offered to guide us through the vintages and offered insights into his family history.

The origin of the Barton family’s involvement in wine stems from the peculiarities of the English taxation system in the 1700s. The family business had been selling sheepskins from Ireland where they had previously settled from England.  But Irish products were subject to high import duties at the time. In contrast Aquitaine enjoyed a favorable trading status with England and so the business was relocated to this favorable tax jurisdiction.

However, pressure was exerted by local interests who were perhaps not keen to be party to a European tax carousel, and so the Bartons developed wine interests, first as a merchant, and in the early 19th century as a producer through the acquisitions of Langoa Barton and then part of the Leoville estate that became Leoville Barton.

We tried the vintages in three flights, beginning with 2006 and 2000, two powerful and structured vintages that demonstrate excellent potential; followed by 2007 and 1999 as examples of overlooked vintages that are well priced and offering great current drinking pleasure. We rounded up the evening with two high profile vintages, 1989 and 1990, illustrative of great, maturing vintages on their plateau of drinkability.


Future promise

2006 – Pronounced pepper and graphite nose, , elegant fruit but still on its reserve.  Full of future promise.

2000 – A classic pencil-shaving nose, and displaying effortless balance. Delicately poised, a fine of finesse, yet still quite elemental. Greatness around the corner.

Early drinking crowd-pleasers

2007 – Lush, velvety nose, spiced warm palate, lovely food wine.

1999 – Fresh mint nose, expressive palate of angelica, puerh tea, licorice. Lip smacking and massively satisfying.

Mature classics

1989 – Super-structured and painfully intense licorice. Huge length of flavor. Impressive but not entirely integrated. An adolescent - needing several more years to fully resolve.

1990 – Incredible nose of anis and macerated cherries. Lifted black cherry and hedgerow fruits, with a weight and svelte palate that reflected greatness.


A quick straw poll revealed the 1990 (perhaps unsurprisingly) as the favourite wine of the evening, narrowly trailed by 2000, with 1999 and 2006 tying for bronze.

A big thank you again to Damien for joining us, to our friends from Asset Wines who organised this event with us, and to Aurelien and Morgane for welcoming us at Pall Mall Fine Wine!

Wine appreciation and management tool for the WSJ

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-24

LONDON (June 24, 2014)

Wine Owners is now powering a newly-launched wine management and appreciation tool for The Wall Street Journal, WSJ Wine Portfolio.

The tool now allows users to discover wines, track individual prices over time, compare wines to indexes and other assets, and build an online portfolio to manage a cellar and track its value. With data provided by Wine Owners, the portfolio tool is available on The Wall Street Journal’s newly launched WSJ. Vintage which features columns, news and top picks by The Wall Street Journal’s award-winning columnists in Europe and the U.S., along with “one-minute wine” videos and an archive of articles on how to enjoy wine.

Key features of WSJ Wine Portfolio include:

• Discover – Readers can browse from the Wine Owners’ database of 160,000 wines to discover current market value, price history, producer profiles, and comparisons.

• Manage – Readers can organise and track the value of their fine wine collections.

• Analyse – Readers can value their wines and research wine prices over time. Those can be charted against other wines, indexes, and other asset classes.

Nick Martin, founder of Wine Owners, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with such respected global media brand as The Wall Street Journal. The platform will help readers manage their portfolios more proactively, and provide unparalleled visibility of their wine collections.”

“We see this as a natural extension to the rich wine coverage delivered by our award-winning columnists Will Lyons and Lettie Teague,” added Thorold Barker, Editor, Europe Middle East and Africa, The Wall Street Journal. “It allows our readers to engage with wine both for pleasure and as an investment.”


INFOGRAPHIC - The 9 Commandments To Wine Collecting

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-13

The 9 commandments to wine collecting

Best buys from the greatest ever vintages

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-12

It’s so tempting to want to own a piece of a great vintage like 2009 and 2010. Those lucky enough to preempt 100 point rescores by Robert Parker when the 2009s were first tasted in bottle will have done quite to very well. A ‘perfect’ wine thus pronounced acts as a powerful price support or growth driver.

Setting aside Lady Luck and assuming that not every buyer of these new vintages at first release as futures will have wanted to buy from the uppermost branches of the classed growth tree, is there any other viable buying strategy?

How about wines that naturally outperform in great vintages, but are priced to a level where the cost differential between the great and lesser vintages is really narrow, whilst the qualitative difference between those years is enormous.

Take Capbern Gasqueton, whose 2010 vintage could be had for £140 retail per 12x75cl on release. 2011-2013 are all hovering around £110-120, whilst the 2009 and 2008 have both continued to gain.

These are not big increases, but in the context of generally falling 2010 prices the upward trend is significant.

Capbern Gasqueton 2010

I’ve selected 4 wines in total that fit that category. They are all from the 2010 vintage, among the greatest vintages that Bordeaux has ever experienced. At this level, unlike 2009, the wines have a tremendous structure allied to a definition and depth of fruit that is nigh-on perfection.

However great 2010 undeniably is, so many wines were too highly priced at release, so prices have fallen, in many cases by a lot.

Not so the ‘best buy’ wines that outperformed in the £100-200 price (in bond) bracket per 12x75cl. These have risen. What’s more, the chances that they will continue to appreciate over the course of a decade are very high, judging by the performance of superb back vintages such as 2005 as well as more recent ones such as 2009.

Capbern Gasqueton 2010

Capbern Gasqueton 2

Lalande Borie 2010

Lalande Borie

La Chenade 2010

La chenade

Picque Caillou 2010

picque caillou

I’m not suggesting these are going to make anyone vast sums of money. I am proposing however that they are very good bets for buying young; storing in a good home cellar to avoid the dilutive effects of years of storage at £10/ annum; and drinking in 5-10 year’s time when a bottle of wine acquired for £12-20 will be hard to pick up for less than £25-35.

First traded on the exchange

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-10

We launched the Exchange a year ago this month, and we thought it would be interesting to have a look back at the very first that went through the platform, and see how it has performed and traded over the last 12 months.


The first trade we put through was a case of 2001 Leoville Poyferre, which was picked up at £570 by a private buyer, from a private seller. The current market level is £575, which with Bordeaux’s relatively undramatic market performance this last year is perhaps unsurprising, though the most recent offers on the Exchange have been slightly north of that figure at £625.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 19.23.04

No great fortunes were made on that first case over the last 12 months, then, but trading wine is at least as much about pleasure as profit, and the case was requested for home delivery…

WO 150 - June Analysis

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-10

Wine Owners runs a number of fine wine Indices, with the goal of benchmarking to a representative basket of the world’s greatest, most representative and most traded wines.

Since Wine Owners opened its doors to fully integrated portfolio management and trading last June, the WO 150 index, with its heavy weighting towards Bordeaux, had fallen -2.06%, and since its August 17th 2013 12 month high, -4%. What’s pulled it down is predominantly a slew of classed growths.


The Wine Owners 150 comprises 150 Investment Grade Wines across the top 40 performers of the last 10+ years. The goal of the WO 150 is to provide a stable and reliable index for comparison periods over extended periods of time.

Chateau Ausone Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2000 -10.00% £750.00
Chateau Pichon Baron Pauillac Deuxieme Cru Classe AOC 1996 -10.13% £79.45
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac Deuxieme Cru Classe AOC 2009 -10.20% £81.67
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2000 -10.38% £807.84
Chateau Yquem Sauternes Premier Cru Supérieur AOC 1996 -10.71% £116.67
Chateau Pichon Baron Pauillac Deuxieme Cru Classe AOC 2009 -10.91% £91.67
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru Classe AOC 2005 -11.91% £306.67
Chateau Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan Premier Cru Classe AOC 2001 -12.00% £208.33
Chateau Ausone Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe A AOC 2001 -15.97% £400.00

The best performing wines were not limited to Burgundy as the leaderboard shows.

Domaine Jean-Francois Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru AOC 2005 18.27% £2,147.73
Chateau l'Evangile Pomerol AOC 2009 10.77% £214.92
Chateau Le Pin Pomerol AOC 2009 9.78% £2,115.65
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee Conti Monopole Grand Cru AOC 2001 9.75% £7,494.54
Joseph Phelps Winery Insignia 1997 9.47% £174.51
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru AOC 2001 8.94% £881.13
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Monopole Grand Cru AOC 1999 8.29% £2,529.43
Chateau Leoville Poyferre Saint Julien Deuxieme Cru Classe AOC 2009 6.89% £120.83
Petrus Pomerol AOC 1998 6.25% £2,000.00
Chateau Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan Premier Cru Classe AOC 2000 5.88% £425.00
Domaine Jean-Francois Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru AOC 2006 5.51% £1,336.32
Chateau Palmer Margaux Troisieme Cru Classe AOC 2001 5.49% £107.50
Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Barolo Riserva DOCG 2002 4.36% £269.96
Dominus Estate Bordeaux Red Blend Napa Valley AVA 1999 4.35% £74.92

With the very strong run of the top echelon in Burgundy, and a pronounced flattening of its growth curve since March, will the modest drop of the last month prove to be just a breather as last August and November proved, or the precursor to something else? The market appears resilient and scarcity plays its part. But scarcity alone is no cast-iron guarantee of value preservation, as the dual vintages of Ausone 2000 and 2001 show. With the buzz building around Northern Italy, that’s the next index on our list to create.


by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-09

LB tasting

2011 Bordeaux – speed tasting at the UGC Vinexpo Asia.

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-06

The most noticeable aspect to many of the 2011s is the hole in the middle. Sappy, fresh flavours upon entry, bland characteristics and dry finishes with a tendency to fade away. Red Graves seems to have had a particularly poor time of it, whilst many St Emilion wines suffer from especially dry finishes. Margaux hit the heights for the vintage, as well as some of the depths.

 The wine that proved to be my fine wine initiation was Prieuré Lichine 1986, a young wine in 1989 bought for £6.80 from Laytons. I was happy that their 2011 was so pretty, floral and aromatic: near-term drinking in a well constructed package that’s the epitome of what the vintage can offer. There was no shortage of elegant examples from the Margaux appellation including Rauzan-Ségla and Siran.

 St Julien flew the standard for homogeneity as it so often does. Léoville Poyferré was exceptional, St. Pierre svelte, integrated and very smart. Gloria, Lagrange, and the Bartons showing some complexity and all very pleasant. Beychevelle was forward, cheeky and easy-going.

Pauillac excelled in the vintage; the Pichons both lovely, with a delicious Lynch-Bages occupying the next rung down.

Finally, a special mention for La Conseillante, which stood out from the blandness and dry finishes of so may of the Libournais. A superb wine. Still too expensive at £680, so worth waiting for the secondary market to wreak its inevitable damage on a vintage, like 2012 and 2013, that nobody really wants or needs.

La conseillante

COMPETITION: Wine Owners is one year old!

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-05

We're very happy to celebrate our first birthday here at Wine Owners!

Celebrate it with us and get a chance to win a pair of Zalto Burgundy glasses! To enter the competition, send a tweet to @WineOwners1, and tell us what your favourite wine is with the hashtag #winecollector.


Please ensure you read the following Terms and Conditions really carefully before entering the competition.


The Wine Owners team.

 - - - - - - - -


1. The prize draw (the "Prize Draw") is open to people aged 18 or over who are resident in the United Kingdom.

2. Employees of Wine Owners Limited ("WO") or their family members, or anyone else connected with the Prize Draw may not enter the Prize Draw.

3. To enter the Prize Draw you must send a tweet with your favourite wine including the specified hashtag #winecollector and the company Twitter handle @WineOwners1.

4. Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted.

5. WO accepts no responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt by WO.

6. The closing date of the Prize Draw is 23:59 on 13 June 2013.  Entries received outside this time period will not be considered.

7. One winner will be chosen from a random draw of entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.  The draw will be performed by a random computer process.  The draw will take place on 16 June 2013.

8. The winner will receive a set of two Zalto Burgundy Glasses.

9. The winner will be notified by a tweet on 16 June 2013 and must provide a postal address to claim their prize. If a winner does not respond to WO within 14 days of being notified by WO, then the winner's prize will be forfeited and WO shall be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above (and that winner will have to respond to notification of their win within 14 days or else they will also forfeit their prize).  If a winner rejects their prize or the entry is invalid or in breach of these Terms and Conditions, the winner's prize will be forfeited and WO shall be entitled to select another winner.

10. The prize will be sent to the winner by WO by post.

11. The name and country of the winner can be obtained after 16 June 2013 by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the following address: Wine Owners Ltd – First floor, 2 Bleeding Heart Yard, London EC1N 8SJ.

12. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.

13. WO accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize.

14. WO reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Prize Draw with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of WO in all matters under its control is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.

15. WO shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.

16. The Prize Draw will be governed by English law and entrants to the Prize Draw submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

17. Promoter: Wine Owners Limited, First floor, 2 Bleeding Heart Yard, London EC1N 8SJ.

Redemption for collective investors?

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2014-06-03

Nobles Crus, once thought to have been the world's largest wine fund, has allowed certain shareholders in the collective investment vehicle to exit their positions, notwithstanding Luxembourg's financial watchdog order last year to suspend all redemptions and subscriptions.

Investor Protection Europe, a consumer protection organisation, cites this sweetheart deal as an example of lax regulation and called it 'a clear violation of the rights of minority shareholders'.

Notwithstanding, the arrangement may come as a relief to key players in fine wine producing regions such as Bordeaux, whose wholesale distributors had been concerned about the risk of such a large volume of fine wine hitting an already uncertain market. If other shareholders were to follow suit and take a partial reimbursement in settlement, the risks of a large volume of fine wine hitting the market could be partially mitigated.

Private investors choosing to put money into Collective wine funds should know that Wine Owners provides a rigorous solution for fund management, fund valuation and provides a comprehensive audit trail of price calculations to wine funds including those regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Wine Owners valuations reflect the realistic price that wines are likely to fetch in the global secondary fine wine market, and therefore the solution represents the single most credible analysis and oversight tool for those funds whose holdings are diversified across different fine wine regions of production.

For further information contact us on + 44 (0)207 278 4377.

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