THE BORDEAUX WINE SCAM - THE CLARET WEB - AN UPDATE
In our last issue we highlighted a number of companies selling cases of Bordeaux for investment at ridiculously high prices. The present position of the companies we mentioned are as follows:
Ashley Witter - Closed down by the DTI.
Unfortunately as soon as one company is closed down another two appear often with the same directors. Beware of HARLEY FINE WINES LTD. This features the return of Lynton Guest and Aurora Menon, Guest was the sole director of Ashley White and Menon its senior dealer. Ashley White was closed down in the public interest in January 2001. Other companies to be wary of are -VAZ AND ALEXANDER LTD selling Chateau Lafitte 96 for £4750 a case
BOINGTON AND FREDERICKS OF LONDON LTD again selling Chateau Lafitte but for £4300 this time BURBRIDGE KING GROUP selling Troplong Mondot for £4200 a case.
We have received a number of emails and calls from people who have been caught out in this scam. It is reported that Goldman Williams and City Vintners are turning over around £700,000 a month. Its high time the DTI pulled their finger out and closed down these outfits. Goldman is reported to be selling Petros 1995 for £13,000 a case a mere £7600 more than the market price.
If you have dealt with any of these companies call us now on 01539 729555. If you would like more
information please view Jim Budd's superb website www.investdrinks.org - its well worth a visit.
"Whisky prices are still stagnant - the market has not improved" Margaret Chibnald of Lombard Whisky Brokers told the Helpline this week. "I do not see any significant improvement this year", she said.
The only difference we have noticed is that brokers are now contacting us to see if we have any casks of 10-12 year old Highland Park, Ardbeg, Bowmore or Glenfarclas on our database. Prices are still very poor and no one seems to want 5-7 year old unless at knock down prices. Here are some indications of the prices on offer:
Highland Park 89 £3.30 per original litre of alcohol
Glenrothes 88 £3.75 per ola
Macallan 89 £3.30 perola
Bowmore 89 £4.20 perola
Speyside (Grandtully) £1.Soperola
My advice still remains to hold on to your casks. Don't sell unless you have to or you just want to cut your losses and get out. Prices for younger whiskies will improve with age. If you wait 3 or 4 years even the market may improve particularly for older whiskies as less and less are available.
A number of investors with Hamilton Spirit Management Co. purchased hogsheads of Grande Champagne Cognac for £4950. These casks are not stored in France but at Speyside Bonding Co. in Glasgow. It is not surprising that they are not easy to sell particularly since decline in demand and overproduction have affected cognac in much the same way as whisky.
Casks are difficult to sell for £500. Bristol Wine and Spirit Co. have bought a number of casks and we presume they are bottling under their own label. Cognac comes from just two departments just north of the Gironde estuary. The quality of the brandy depends almost entirely on the soil. At its best in the heart of the Charente it is as chalky as in Champagne. Hence Grande Champagne Cognac. New cognac is harsh and overstrong similar to new malt. It is aged in Limousin barrels from the forests of Limousin and Troncais to the north-east. Three years is the legal minimum and seven years is now the maximum age which the law allows a firm to claim on its label. All the casks we have seen are designated 1993 Grande Champagne Cognac.
Our bottling company has now bottled one hogshead for an investor. It is available from the Wheatsheaf Inn, 46 Kirkland, Kendal, or by mail order from MWBH Bottling Co. Ltd, 98 Stricklandgate, Kendal, Cumbria, at a special pre launch price of £24.99 plus £5.95 postage and packing for a 75cl. Carafe under the 'Guillaume Clibonne' label. It won't set the world alight but it is very drinkable and it will help one unfortunate investor recover some of his money.