The Vaults

The Finfacts' Wine Page

We checked out the Spanish Rioja Monte Real Reserva 1989 which retails for £10.99 but we were not overimpressed. Our previous selection of another Rioja, Campo Viejo is much superior and at a few pounds less. A 1975 Monte Real for £15.95, is also currently available. However, it is well past its best.

Our selection is the Australian Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 at £7.99. If you are looking for a good wine with a kick, this is the one. It has a volume level of 14%.

The subject of wine investment and the dizzying price spiral attracts a lot of attention. In London, the two main auction houses, Christie's which sold £22m( all values in sterling) worth of wine and Sotheby's sales of £16m, in the last season, were both boosted by Far Eastern interest. A case of 1982 Mouton-Rothschild which was sold in 1990/91 for £750, was selling for £4,200, in the last season. The rise in Margaux for the same period, was from £540 to £2,900 and Château Latour increased from £700 to £2,900.

The 30 leading châteaux of Bordeaux account for more than 70% of the wine that is put up for auction. To make serious money, one has to buy young and if the year is a good one, then there is money to be made. Apart from Château Pétrus selling at almost £14,000 per case for the great 1982 vintage, Château Cheval Blanc is in increasing demand and has increased from £620 per case in 1990/91 to £3,900 this season. Another star is Le Pin which is produced at a 500 case a year vineyard in the Pomeral area of Bordeaux. Six magnums(12 bottles) of 1982 were sold in the last season to a Far Eastern buyer for £30,300. Like Château Pétrus, Le Pin is not part of the famous 1855 classification system( see Issue 1). In fact the château only dates back to the early 1970's. It just proves that history does not have to be counted in centuries when it comes to good wine.