Winebits 165: U.S. wine market, Far Niente lawsuit, Andrew Lloyd Webber

? "Most lucrative in the world": Wonder why so many foreign producers want into the U.S. market (and send so much crummy wine over here in the process)? That's because we're "by far the most lucrative wine market in the world," reports Wines & Vines in its coverage of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. Said one analyst: "They all know how well New Zealand has done here with sauvignon blanc and how well Argentina has done with malbec. They will try to succeed, and they will keep coming relentlessly. That ?s the downside of having the most lucrative wine market in the world." What's even more interesting about this is that the weak dollar doesn't seem to be an obstacle; imagine how much more intense foreign efforts would be if foreign wine was less expensive here.

? Far Niente heir sues winery: Or, from the Department of Things Can Always Get Worse, Despite the Recession, Jeremy Nickel, son of Far Niente founder Gil Nickel, has filed a lawsuit against three members of the board of directors of his family ?s wine companies. The Wine Spectator reports that Jeremy says the board members misused company funds and gave themselves substantial raises at the expense of company shareholders. He wants at least $50 million in damages. Far Niente, of course, is a big-time Napa winery, and its holdings include Nickel & Nickel Vineyards, Far Niente Vineyards and Dolce Wines. The lawsuit doesn't name Jeremy Nickel's step-mother and cousin, who the company's co-owners, but the two said they support the current board. Sounds like lots of family fun, doesn't it?

? Wine collection goes for more than a song: Sorry — couldn't resist. Part of musical impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber ?s wine collection sold for $5.6 million in a Hong Kong auction. There were almost 9,000 bottles of French wine in the sale, including a case of 1982 Chateau Petrus, perhaps the trophiest of all tropy wines. It sold for $77,564, or about $6,500 a bottle. The sale exceeded expectations, and yes, that was because the Chinese still, apparently, have no limit on what they'll spend for rare French wine.

One thought on “Winebits 165: U.S. wine market, Far Niente lawsuit, Andrew Lloyd Webber

  • By b burnsey -

    Can’t say I don’t blame Mr. Webber, I would bet he held back enough to enjoy some treasures.

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