Now I’ve got mixed feelings about wine funds though any ethical issues that I have had in the past have been solved quickly, and easily, by simply embracing hypocrisy rather than worrying about it.
A few years ago every fool and his dog knew someone who was starting a fund, who had 25 million just waiting, &c, and, whilst old-school merchants might have sniffed, and wine-geek purists simply sighed, times were good if you had the wine to sell.
The picture today is a little different. “I’m starting a wine fund…” … “Yes, mate, and I’m buying a zoo..”. But a handful still exist, the past three years of falling prices having separated the men from the boys.
One such man is Miles Davis, who runs Wine Asset Managers. I thank Miles for his answers.
What was the first wine/bottle that got you into the whole wine thing?
It was either Giscours or Leoville Barton but it was definitely ’83. I’ve had a strange affinity to ‘83s ever since but am yet to taste Palmer. I was in my early twenties so whatever it was can’t have had any bottle age. I’m not sure quite how good it was but I suddenly realised there was a whole other world out there that I didn’t know existed. I think I thought Rioja Reserva from Tesco was the greatest vinous pleasure available to man at that stage.
What was the first wine/bottle that took you closer to your maker?
As a combination of the moment and the wine it would have to be Margaux ’83. It was on my first holiday with a new girlfriend in 2008 (Jane is now my fantastic and lovely wife). We were in deepest Alsace at the legendary Hotel de la Gare (must go again). It was just one of those magic moments and the wine was singing its heart out and in fabulous condition. The nature of the wine order (a half of Louis Roederer NV, Lafon’s Clos de la Barre ’02 and the Margaux) gave rise to the Maitre D’ (female version and wife of chef) offering extra courses to help us on our way – ‘meubles’ is how she described it! All in all, an unforgettable experience.
What was the best wine/bottle you have had this year? – OK, the past twelve months.
Either ’66 or ’85 La Mission Haut Brion. I was extremely fortunate to attend a La Mission vertical dinner at the Ledbury last month. There were seven vintages on offer going back to ’62. Very, very sadly the ’89 was corked but even then, it was clear what a magnificent wine this must be. I’ll go for the ’66 however as it was such a magnificent year for football and it seems ever so gently topical. And tropical. Come on England!
Thank you, Miles. Come on England? Oh dear.