Last month I attended the analyst presentation for Constellation Brands (STZ) and a pre-IPO Sidotti presentation for Truett-Hurst.  Two years ago, we were very impressed with the new management strategy of STZ and put it on our Buy conviction list.  Since then it has doubled. However, while still a sharp management team, the fact they will become 50% beer and only 50% Wine & Spirits, clearly does not strike this wine lover’s heart favorably. Others STZ Upgraded to Strong Buy.  While I concede the plan forward may be a smart financial move, we have downgraded it to “Market Perform” with intermediate term support at 46 and resistance at 58.  Truett-Hurst has several renowned wine markers advising. They will be concentrating on the highly profitably private label sector for wines.  They are also exploring numerous marketing gimmicks- paper wine bottles for picnics, square wine bottles to reduce shelf space etc.  Their initial IPO strategy failed (too expensive, too favorable to insiders etc.).  Truett-Hurst raises $14.1 million in IPO  started trading on June 20 - a day the Dow was down 353.  Clearly they should fire their astrologer (or hire one)!  Until then, I would wait and not buy this interesting wine company.

This summer the red wines I will be drinking will be mostly Malbec from Argentina.  This is not because I will be barbequing meats but rather preparing for my trip there September 20-30. More next time.

3. WINE 101


1. They've Invented a Twist-Off Wine Cork and Life Will Never Be the SameWine producers go hi-tech to outsmart fraudsters

Tesco Redefines Social Drinking With Community-Created Wine

2. Making Money With Wine Investments


Gold Diverging From Fine Wine as Bullion Investors Lose Faith

3. Wine and Food: Pairing Without Overthinking

The 18 Noble Grapes Wine Challenge

4. July 24 Something to Wine About: Wine Tasting & Comedy

Sept 20-21 Wine Riot New York

5. LE CERCLE RIVE DROITE From Barrel to Bottle
I took pleasure in the jazz accompaniment.  French wine does resonate well with cool jazz.
I most enjoyed spending time with my favored Chateau Le Prieure while discussing vintages:

2009 would “last forever”, while 2010 was “beautiful, charming but complicated and would also age well;” 2012 was “charming, simple and arouse you.”  Naturally, this later depiction had most male and female wine lovers rather  anxious to taste his 2012 vintages!  Not greatly aroused, I preferred his Chateau Vray Croix de Gay 2010.  This despite their info sheet matches it “perfect with Tasty and sensual cuisine.” Ditto with their Chateau Le Prieure Grand Cru, a “perfect match with Fine and delicate cuisine”.
Note: They increased the percentage of Cabernet Franc  to 25% from 10% in the 2010 vintage. [Currently 20%]. The remainder of course  is Merlot.

BURGUNDY WINE WEEK 2013 Gabriella Fine Wines Orsay Restaurant - 1057 Lexington Avenue
Again, Jazz makes French wine taste better!

Of their Beaujolais, I liked the Saint Amour 2012 Curvee La Crois, while Irene preferred the Maganese soil enhanced Moulin a Vent 20122 Curve Le Vieux bourg.
Irene #2 enjoyed the Sparkling Brut Rose  Paul De Coste.
My favorites were their Nuit Saint George 2007  Seigneurie de Posanges and of course the Clos de Vougeot 2006 Domaine Sylvain Loichet.

This time, Susan and I were creatures of habit and decided to stick with the tried and true.
         First Boutari, perhaps the best known quality Greek brand.  Susan’s favorite was Boutari Moschofilero 2011 a Dry White which can age to 4-5 years.  She said it was “smooth and tasteless.” After my quizzical response, she added “no after taste”— a reference to her former  Greek retsina days.

         Very nice indeed is Gaia wines, especially their Gaia Estate 2008 Dry red Agiogitiko $45.

         My “Terroir” favorite: Papagiannakos (the first winery in Greece declared bioclimatic.) Entry level Erythmos (90% Agioritiko and 10% Cab) matches well with food $15 and their Savatiano 2012 (dry white) $15 even their “high end” Retsina 2012 $12 (no bad aftertaste and pleasant enough).

New noteworthy Finds:
         Papaioannou 2006 Old Vines Agiorgiko
         Zafeirakis  Malagousia 2011 

6.  Climate change study 'exaggerated and full of mistakes': Chapoutier

A dating site for wine lovers? It's on its way

Sip, spit: Underage wine students can now taste subject

7.  Which country is the only one whose national anthem begins with an ode to its vines and wines?  A Germany  B Luxembourg   C  Switzerland   D  Portugal
Hint: The relevant portion of the National Anthem is translated: "where the vineyard amply grows along the Moselle, we make heaven's wine."

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Henry Weingarten
http://www.afund.com/wine Twitter@tafund
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