By Charlie The Wine - Wine: What Are You Paying For? “The Taste Of Tax”
Have you ever wondered how much Tax and Duty there is on a bottle of Wine, and how that affects what you get for your money?
If you’ve ever bought a very cheap bottle of Wine, you might have actually spent a little more on Tax and Duty than on the wine itself.
Our handy Infographic gives you a taste of the larger picture.
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 11:54
Indian Wine Academy | Subhash Arora.
The Argentine delegation of 12 wine producers last week had at least a couple of international wine celebrities who went fairly unnoticed due to poor PR. While Ortega Gil-Fournier Spanish family owns O’Fournier wineries in Argentina, Spain and Chile, it was the owner of Dominio del Plata in Mendoza, Susana Balbo with whom Subhash Arora tasted seven of her wines at Hotel Taj Palace a day earlier on April 15, courtesy the Wine Park currently in the process of identifying the labels for import.
In a country known for men controlling the winemaking, the Argentine woman winemaker Susana Balbo has not done badly as an international wine celebrity – she was declared at the No.30 slot in the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Wine’ list compiled by the Drinks Business in December 2013 and reported in delWine. Recognized internationally for her incredible passion and success in winemaking, Susana has been making wine since she earned her enology degree in 1981. She has experience in different countries including Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa, and Spain – perhaps India may be on her list next! She spends one month in a different country during a harvest every year.
Not many people know that Balbo was in India earlier too with a wine marketing mission at the now defunct IFE India wine show, a few years ago when I had met her cursorily and tasted her wines. She had then gone back with a big smile, leaving cases of her wine with a dubious importer who became her agent and took home all her stocks for complimentary trade tastings. Unfortunately, nothing came out of it and she was back to square one. Quite upset initially (‘he refused to even answer my emails,’ she says), Balbo was philosophical as she narrated the incident, saying, ‘every country has people like that and one needs to take the chances and learn from these failures.’ Read full article Lee mas
April 18th, 2013
With the official launch of Argovino, we celebrate our first 95-point wine, Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. It’s a deep, unctuous wine with an array of flavors created by a rare combination of old, ungrafted vines and three years of barrel age. At roughly $20, it’s also an amazing bargain.
Weinert is widely distributed in Argentina but is a bit of a sleeper in the American market. Hubert Weber has been the winemaker there since 1997, and we spoke to him about the history of the winery and the style of his wines. Read full article Lee mas
World wine producers are crying in their cups. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), world wine production fell 6 per cent in 2012, to a 37-year low. And smaller grape crops in Argentina, as well as France and Spain, are to blame.
This is bad news for Argentina, where consumers’ love affair with Malbec – at home and abroad – has put the country on the world wine map. Full article
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The Raw Story By Agence France-Presse
Argentina has built up a world-class wine industry, luring a flood of wine tourists, but boosting the quality quotient is still keeping its winemakers hard at work.
The century-old industry, with its heart in the Mendoza area in the southwest, has increased volume by leaps and bounds in the past two decades, with Argentina’s malbec-based reds drawing raves worldwide.
“In the broad scheme of everything going on with wine around the world, we have a long way to go,” said Martin Castro, who runs a vineyard in the Valle de Uco area in Mendoza, a parched and sunny province abutting the soaring Andes that grows its grapes with a huge irrigation network fed by mountain water. Read full article Lee mas
February 18th 2013
Source: The Joseph Report | Robert Joseph.
A column that originally appeared in Meininger’s Wine Business International
It’s always interesting to watch a metamorphosis – especially when it has commercial implications. Not so long ago, before the advent of video recorders and catch-up tv, we all tuned in to watch television programmes at the same times, communicated by letter and fax and got our information from printed books and newspapers. And the wine industry did most of its communication through targeting hospitality, samples and press releases at a group of people known as wine writers.
The members of the industry – a huge majority, I fear – who still believe in that strategy, should take note of a keynote speech given by Andrew Jefford, one of the world’s most highly-regarded, thoughtful and poetic wine writers, to the fifth European Wine Bloggers Conference – EWBC – in Izmir, Turkey, last November. Read full article Lee mas
January 12th, 2013
The Living Room Wine Bar, Cafe & Lounge.
Generally considered a blending grape throughout the world, Malbec has found fame, fortune, and familiarity, becoming Argentina’s signature red grape. Why is it so popular? It’s affordable and consistent, giving you a lot of wine for the money.
My only complaint, after tasting 50 Malbecs for the opening of Chandler’s CHoP is that they were uniform, but lacked individuality. They seemed to all come from one big “Lake Malbec” just outside of Mendoza, Argentina. Sitting in a restaurant, facing unfamiliar labels, Malbec is a solid choice. It’s reliable and affordable, especially by the glass.Read full article.
The wines tasted were pretty consistent, here are five favorites in no particular order: Lee mas
25th January, 2013
by Rupert Millar | The Drink Business.
Speaking to the drinks business last week, Pepper said that the shift in Argentina was part of a wider New World winemaking evolution and changing consumer perceptions of what New World wines were capable of offering.
“It’s evolved quite dramatically in the past 10 years,” he said. “There are a lot of top properties in the New World that have been producing terroir wines for a long time, however, the longer a winery produces wine for, the better knowledge they gain of their soil etc.
“It feels like there’s a general shift back to more subtle styles.”
His view is in line with others in the Argentine and UK trades, with consultant Edgardo del Pópolo recently telling db that the days of “big” wine in Argentina were “over”. Read full article
Argentina – Beyond Malbec
By Claudia Ortiz, BeverageTradeNetwork.com
Roberto de la Mota
Winemaker Roberto de la Mota, 51, has been working full-time in Argentina’s wineries and vineyards since he was 19 years old. One of Argentina’s most respected and experienced winemakers – with a nearly century-old Argentine family, whose sole objective is to produce wine of unquestionable, superior quality wines. It is 1500km of viticultural areas stretching from the North to the South with different terroirs producing not only great and world renowned Malbec but also Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Merlot, Torrontes among other varieties. During the 2012 Argentina Wine Awards, the diversity, value and quality of Argentinean Wines were demonstrated. International Jurors awarded 3 of 19 trophies to Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 to Syrah. Chardonnay, Bonarda and Sauvignon Blanc received the highest awards. Read full article Lee mas
Malbec is originally from France where legend has it, it was originally sourced and planted by a Hungarian peasant. Malbec has also accrued the names; ‘Cot Noir’ in Cahors or ‘The black grape of Cahors’, Auxerrios in Alsace, whilst maintaining the name ‘Malbec’ only in Bordeaux. Malbec also has a huge variety of different synonyms dependent on the region grown in New Zealand, Australia and California, for instance; Pressac, Meritage, Pied Rouge or Jacobain.
There are a few arguments as to how Malbec acquired it’s name; firstly as Malbec literally translates as ‘Bad Mouth or Beak’, due to the ill-tasting result from original seasons of the Malbec grape in France, however French viticulturists maintain it stems from a Burgundy grape known as ‘Cot’ (Cot Noir). Another said origin is from a man named ‘Malbeck’ who first produced the grape in France. Lee mas
December 22, 2012
By Edward Deitch, TODAY contributor
As we head into the holidays, why not consider some wines that are both festive and unusual? One of the most exciting whites I’ve tasted this year comes from Argentina and demonstrates once again how it is possible to find extraordinary wines at very modest prices, in this case just $15.
The grape is Semillon. Known mainly as a variety that is blended with sauvignon blanc in Bordeaux and elsewhere, it is also bottled on its own. While sauvignon is lighter, more acidic and aromatic, Semillion tends to produces softer and richer wines.
Although Semillion is usually a supporting player among white wines, Ricardo Santos’s 2012 Semillon from Argentina’s large Mendoza region shows the heights the grape can achieve on its own. Only a tiny bit of Semillon is grown in Argentina, so this wine is a real treat.
Santos sources the grapes from the 70-year-old vineyard of his neighbor, Roberto Azaretto, and the quality of the fruit is stunning. The wine is full and generous with white peach, apricot and mandarin orange and herbal and vanilla notes. It’s a great choice for richer fish dishes and a range of chicken recipes. Imported by Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, Calif.
One of the year’s outstanding reds is also from a lesser-known variety, petite sirah from California, not to be confused with the much more widely planted syrah. The variety often produces big, rough-hewn wines but Stag Leap’s 2009 Napa Valley Petite Sirah is refined and elegant with delicious, concentrated blackberry fruit, a touch of black licorice as it opens up and smooth tannins. The oak influence is well integrated and subtle.
This is a lovely, seamless wine that will accompany most red meats perfectly. At $39 on Stag’s Leap’s website, it’s not for everyday drinking but will make your holiday gathering all the more memorable and could also be a gift that any wine lover would appreciate.
When it comes to sparkling wine, there is no shortage of good bubbly at a range of prices. While nothing quite matches the richness and elegance of Champagne, many sparkling wines can be outstanding in their own ways, including Spanish Cavas.
One worth trying is Mont-Ferrant’s Brut Rosé Cava, a deep pink wine made primarily from Garnacha (Grenache), Monastrell (Mourvèdre) and a little Pinot noir. Dry yet fruity with fine bubbles, it’s a bargain at a suggested price of $19 with cherry and cassis flavors and an herbal note on the finish. Light, lively and festive, it will pair well, as many sparkling wines do, with a variety of appetizers and other foods. Imported by Maritime Wine Trading Collective, San Francisco.
Want more suggestions? On Vint-ed, I review more noteworthy sparkling and other wines for your holiday enjoyment and beyond.
September 23, 2012
Source: Spitton by Andrew Barrow
A busy time in the wine trade. It seems the moment the kiddies returned to school the PR companies and retailers received a shot in the arm and jumped into ‘run-up-to-Christmas’ work mode. I lost count of the number of tastings, lunches, dinners, and so on that are happening.
The main event this week (that I attended at any rate) was the annual Wines of Argentina Tasting, held at Lord’s Cricket ground in London. Train delays, re-routings and so on resulted in a late arrival; just a brief half-hour to taste a few wines before decamping to the Naked Wines Argentinean Zero to Hero tasting I was also to attend.
This was one of the wines I sampled. I adore the label – if you want shelf-presence then this has it in droves. The Budeguer Tucumen Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Mendoza [Adegga / Snooth] is not yet available in the UK. Its retail price is just a tenner, great value for a nicely peppery, blackcurrant rich wine.
Tucumen Cabernet Sauvignon is the latest in the regular Sunday Wine Snapshots series highlighting photographs with a wine/drink related theme, whether bottles, glasses, vineyards or the back scenes of wineries.
Slate, by Christine Folch Sept. 10, 2012
A tale of two quintessential Argentine beverages: wine and yerba mate.
In 1964, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote the sonnet “To Wine,” which celebrated the wondrous qualities of the drink. “Wine,” the poem proclaimed,
flows red along the great length of generations
like the river of time and on the arduous road
bestows on us its music, its fire, and its lions.
Americans know what he was talking about—we’re crazy about Argentine wines. Malbec has become a standard feature of tasting menus and cocktail parties in the United States, as has, to a lesser degree, the white wine Torrontés. Both varietals appeal to our palates without doing too much damage to our wallets. Read Full Article
September 3, 2012
China Daily by Zhousiyu
Farmers harvesting grapes in a vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. Thecountry’s wine makers, the world’s fifth largest producer by volume,are eager to try their fortunes in the Chinese market, although itappears now there is no one capable enough of challenging theFrench wine makers’ position in China’s wine market. Provided by China Daily
South American country foments a big wine export drive to China
A beginning should be as good as it is simple. That’s whatAntonio Mompo, manager for Wines of Argentina in Asia, theSouth American country’s wine export organization, had in mindwhen he set out to promote Argentinian wine in China.
“Argentine wine has a simple and fresh taste, which is easy todrink and caters to the Chinese sweet palate,” Mompo said. Hebelieved this simple and pleasant mouthfeel can help the Chinesedevelop the habit of drinking wine.
Yet industry data seem to argue that the country has alreadybecome a confirmed wine drinker. A significant increase was seenin the country’s wine supply over the past seven years: It surgedfrom fewer than 400 million liters in 2004 to 1,400 million liters in2011, according to a report by Rabobank.
In 2011 alone, bottled wine imports into China jumped by 65percent from the previous year
France, among the foreign suppliers, continued to dominate China’s wine market in 2011,growing volumes to more than three-and-a-half times that of Australia, its nearest runner-up,according to the Rabobank report.to 241 million liters, the strongestgrowth since the global financial recession in 2007/8, according tothe report. Strong growth, huge potential and the ability to devoura large amount of premium wine make China one of the mostimportant export markets for wine suppliers across the world.
Although there seems to be no one capable of challenging France in the Chinese market in thenear future, competition among lesser rivals is still fierce. Being one of the newcomers,Argentine wine makers, currently the world’s fifth largest producer by volume, are eager to trytheir fortunes in this bewilderingly complicated market as well.
New World wine
Just like many things in the New World, wine was brought to Argentina by immigrants from Italyand Spain in the late 19th and early 20th century. But whereas many New World wine-makingcountries, including Chile, New Zealand and Australia, exported most of their wine, Argentinepeople drank most of theirs at home.
At a certain point in time, each person in Argentina imbibed the equivalent of 90 liters of wineevery year. The amount is around 30 liters nowadays. “When I was young, there were threekinds of drinks in the house: water, water with wine and wine – and the amount of wine wasdetermined by the age of the person,” Laura Catena, an author, cited an Argentina winemaker,a 90-year-old descendant of a wine-making family, as saying in her book Vino Argentino(Argentine Wine). The high level of domestic consumption helps explain why the worldremained unfamiliar with Argentinian wine until about three decades ago.
The turning point, brought about by a man named Nicolas Catena, Laura Catena’s father,came in the early 1980s. An economist by training, Nicolas Catena, determined to challengeEurope’s position, launched a revolution in the central area of western Argentina’s Mendozaregion, which now produces 70 percent of the nation’s wine.
After studying viniculture, Nicolas Catena found in Mendoza the cool climate that was typical ofthe world’s most famous wine regions by planting at higher elevations. Sheltered by the AndesMountains from Pacific rains, the coolness and low precipitation allow vines to ripen slowly andretain acidity, allowing resultant wines to develop heightened aromas and complex flavors.
Malbec, the most famous wine grape varietal, is another key factor in Argentina’s rise tobecoming a major winemaker in the world. The Malbec grape, one of five Bordeaux varietals(the others are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carberet Franc and Petit Verdot), used to be verypopular with French wineries. Unfortunately, the emergence of phylloxera in the late 19thcentury, a disease caused by an aphid-like insect, wiped out the grape completely in its Frenchhomeland.
To the East
At the same time, brought over by immigrants from the Old World continent, the Malbec grapeadapted successfully to Argentina’s soil and sunny climate and was widely planted. Combiningdark, ripe concentrated flavors with a rich and smooth texture, the Malbec grape soon becameone of the fastest growing wine exports, winning world recognition for its second home.
Naturally, winemakers in Argentina expect Malbec to charm the Chinese just as it did in othermarkets. “Compared with European wines, Argentine wines have softer tannins and cleaneraromas, making it taste less aggressive,” said the renowned Mariano Di Paola, head winemakerat Rutini Wines in Mendoza.
Despite not being one of the largest producers in volume among Argentine wineries, Rutini(owned by La Rural Vinedos y Bodegas SA) is currently the largest seller to China, with itssales far ahead of its nearest follower in recent years.
But the company’s success in China not only relies on its wine’s simple, inviting tastes but alsoon a number of marketing factors. “Rutini Wines is a well recognized brand among the Chinesecircle in Argentina and was mainly sold to East China’s Fujian province – where its memberscame from. The wine thrived based on that connection,” said Antonio Mompo from Wines ofArgentina.
In addition, the fact that the name “Rutini” is easy to pronounce and remember in the Chineselanguage helped the winery to establish its presence, enabling it to sell a lot of premium winesto the Chinese market, said Sol Asensio, Rutini Wines export manager for Asia and LatinAmerica.
To consolidate its position in China, Rutini Wines intends to continue promoting its image as ahigh-end wine producer in Argentina. “We are trying to become the Chateau Lafite forArgentine wines,” Asensio said.
Argentine winemakers are by no means shy of competing in quality with other foreign winesuppliers, including France. Unlike other countries, the climate in Argentina is very stable sothe vineyards do not have distinctively good years or bad years, said Gonzalo Carrasco,winemaker at Terrazas de los Andes winery. Moreover, warm or cold years give different fruitprofiles to the wines, he added.
“As a result, our wine’s quality has been improving each year and it is easy for our customersto form a certain expectation before opening a bottle of Argentine wine,” he said. “They seldomfeel disappointed.”
Terrazas de los Andes winery, owned by the French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy LouisVuitton SA, exports 80 percent of its wine every year, its top three markets being the UnitedStates, the United Kingdom and Brazil. China is now indisputably the most important market,Carrasco said. “And we are confident of our own styles (in wine).”
Another advantage for Argentine wine is its reasonable price, which will help Argentinewinemakers confirm their market position, many Chinese wine critics believe. “The Chinese willsoon realize this is a good wine at a good price,” said Tommy Lam, wine program director atShanghai Jiaotong University.
‘China, a continent’
Not all wineries in Argentina can draw on the connection among Chinese people like Rutinidoes to promote their images. One big challenge for the South American country’s winemakersis to find a reliable partner and establish distribution channels in China’s complicated market.
“We are constantly looking for new opportunities to develop the Trapiche brand in China,” saidRamiro Eduardo Barrios, area export manager at the Trapiche winery. Owned by Argentina’slargest wine producer Penaflor SA, Trapiche is the country’s largest exported premium brand.
Barrios also expressed concerns about the popularity of premium Argentine wine in China’s giftmarket. “The numbers are good but you just don’t know whether this will help promote thebrand,” he said.
Another concern for the winemakers about China’s market, Barrios added, is its slackregulation. This has led to numerous fake and counterfeited premium wines, causing quite astir in the international winemaking industry. French wines suffered the most. The situationcame to a head this year as Chateau Lafite was pressed to launch a campaign to fight fakeproducts in the country.
“All in all, China is definitely a core market for Trapiche and we envision big growth rates overthe next few years for Trapiche and Argentina as well,” Barrios said.
A reliable and capable Chinese partner becomes all the more important against thisbackground. Catena Zapata, the winery owned by Nicolas Catena’s family, is a case in point. “We wasted a few years, but we finally found a good partner,” said Jorge Crotta, exportmanager at the winery.
Catena Zapata is now in an exclusive partnership with a Chinese company Beijing BETCGroup, which owns two high-end restaurants featuring Argentine food, one located in Beijingand the other in Shanghai.
Since the partnership was formed in 2011, sales of Catena Zapata’s wine have increasedsteadily, Crotta said. “We are working closely in China to avoid infringements of our wine,” headded.
People with experience in the industry, however, do not encourage winemakers to concentrateon China’s big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. “Competition in first-tier citiessuch as Beijing and Shanghai is very fierce. There is only limited space for a newcomer suchas Argentine wine,” said Antonio Mompo from Wines of Argentina.
With nine years of industry experience in China’s market, Mompo was convinced that the realbusiness potential for the wine industry lies in China’s emerging second- and third-tier cities,where increasing disposable income enabled the residents to try some affordable foreign wine.
“Rutini’s success is very telling – just one province in China is enough to push up its sales,”Mompo said. “China is a continent in terms of business strategies. It is very complicated and allits submarkets are very important,” he added.
Submarkets, in the meantime, may also have lower thresholds. It does not require a big brandpromotion to enter these markets, which means there are opportunities for small wineries.Krontiras is a small winery in Mendoza and this year it managed to send a container of premiumwine to an importer in Northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
“This is our first container to China. We hope this could lead to something and we are veryoptimistic,” said Thanassis Vafiadis, manager at the winery.
Who are the wine drinkers in China today? According to the report by Rabobank, a largeproportion of them are aged between 20 and 39 who earn more than 4,000 yuan ($630) amonth in a skilled profession.
To most Chinese, wine has a positive connection with the Western lifestyle and is not yetconsidered as luxurious as whisky or brandy, or as ordinary as beer, according to the report.This would provide a wine supplier with a strong market position when competing with makers ofother liquors, the report said.
“Grape wines are more likely to attract either younger, better educated, wealthier and/or femaledrinkers than baijiu (China’s traditional spirit) or beer…with the potential to form a strong anddynamic consumer base in years to come,” the report said.
In the meantime, the report also pointed out that the number of people drinking wine is stillrelatively small and limited in geographical scope. And it may still take some time beforeChinese wine afficionados start exploring imported wines in big numbers.
“It will still take some time before the Chinese get familiar with the wine culture so, rather thanbeing led by the brand, they could choose wine based on personal judgment and preference,”agreed Mompo with Wines of Argentina.
Yet Mompo said he also noticed an emerging younger generation who have developed agenuine fondness for the wine culture and are catching up very fast. This younger generationhas formed its own wine circles through the Internet where they can share information andknowledge, Mompo said.
So far this generation is still at a relatively early stage of its life and does not have enoughpurchasing power but, when the time comes, “China will change the world’s wine industry,”Mompo added.
Sheltered by the Andes Mountains and fed by its melt water, wineriesin the Mendoza area – the winemaking area in the center of West Argentina that produces 70 percent of the beverage in the SouthAmerican country – command a breathtaking view of leafy green vineyards growing against a background of snow-capped mountains. Photos Provided to China Daily
A horse-riding gaucho between vineyards in Mendoza, the winemaking area in the center of West Argentina that produces the majority of wine products in the country. Strong growth, huge potential and the ability to devour a large amount of premium wine are making China one of the most important export markets for wine suppliers across the world.
(China Daily 09/03/2012 page13)
Argentina´s Wines Revisited by Miguel
by Miguel Javier Ayup at Sunday, July 29, 2012
A signature wine By Ricardo Santos from somewhere in Uco Valley, Mendoza. Sweet and delicate even preserving the ABC of a Cab with black cherries, nice undertones of roasted red bell pepper, and a subtle spice like black & green peppercorns. Very soft oaky stuff. An 88 point CS that should improve something next 3-4 years as it grows older. Good value all in all. www.ricardosantos.com/ Read all