Wine Name:

Friday, 30 March 2012

Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd: proposed voluntary strike off

Alexander Barclay Wine Ltd, which was incorporated on 3rd August 2011, has applied for voluntary strike-off (27th February 2012) and the First Gazette was published on 6th March 2012. Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd appeared to be the follow on company to Beaumont Vintners Ltd, which has gone into voluntary liquidation and will be holding a creditors' meeting on 5th April 2012 – see today's previous post. 

It is not known whether Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd, whose sole director is Samuel Philips, sold any wine. However, anyone who did buy wine from Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd and who is uncertain whether their wine has been purchased and is in account in their own name may wish to object to the voluntary strike off.  

Update: August 2014: 18.6.2014 – voluntary strike-off suspended.  



    The Financial Services Authority has withdrawn its High Court petition for the winding up of Wills & Co. Stockbrokers Limited, the disgraced investment firm that collapsed after Financial Mail exposed its use of misleading claims to sell high-risk shares to inexperienced clients.

    Instead, the company's creditors have approved a Voluntary Arrangement aimed at eventually giving them 19p for every £1 they are owed. A key part of the scheme is that it allows Vin X Limited, a new company set up by Wills director Peter Shakeshaft, to contact Wills's clients and sell them unregulated investments such as wine. In return, Vin X will pay £250,000 over the next two years towards paying off Wills' debts.

    Read more:

  2. Edited post from anon:

    Vin-x keep coldcalling me telling me they are the third largest fine wine trading company in the UK and that they are regulated by the WSTA. They are trying to get me to cash in my ISAs and send the money to them so that they can buy fine wines for me as a short term investment with guaranteed high returns. Specifically, one of the Vin-X "brokers" who coldcalled me promised that if I sent him my money, he could guarantee "as a short term investment inside a year cash out well above 15-20% return."

  3. Anon. If it correct that Vin-X has told you that they are regulated by the WSTA, then they are mistaken. The WSTA is not a regulatory body. It has, however, published a guide to wine investment as a guide to the public.

  4. I have just tried Albany Portfolio management's price checker that you talk about so highly. I put in Lafite Rothschild 1998 and it told me that the market price was over £8500 for a case of 12 - check it, you'll see. They then put 15% on top of that. Seeing as i can buy this case for £7500 at any other wholesaler, why do you recommend this company? Ps - if you plug in any other wine, the price is always hiogher than market - is this the price they are selling at??? They are making a killing! Those poor investors who trust that they are getting the right price.

  5. Anon. I would suggest that you read carefully what Albany's price checker does. It states clearly that it displays the average price on the market. It does not display the price offered by Albany Portfolio Management nor the cheapest price. You may or may not find the price checker useful but I can see no deception as the checker is clearly explained.

    From checking on wine-searcher the current range of prices for 1998 Lafite runs between £6500 and £11,000 for a case of 12.

    Please note that I list Albany Vintners Ltd as a company I would consider buying from.

    Do you assume that you are the anonymous who has posted a number of commnets that are critical of Albany Portfolio Management? If so, it is time you stopped hiding your identity.

  6. Quite a big difference there Jim, £6,500-£11,000.......
    Dear me...

  7. Of course there's a big difference on the market.

    Lafite 1998 has dropped in value since mid 2011 when it was selling at circa £10-11,000 per case

    Those merchants who bought it at that level and haven't written down their stock to match the new level will still be listing it at a high price.

    Those who have written the stock down or purchased it recently will be offering at the lower price

    Also, Winesearcher isn't always entirely up to date so the higher prices may be reflecting old lists and old prices.

    This large spread will always occur when you have a wine that has dropped in value over a relatively short period.

    It just demonstrates how important it is for anyone buying "investment-grade" Bordeaux to do their research thoroughly before buying in.

  8. This is rich ...

    From Harpers:

    Peter Shakeshaft, founder of fine wine investment brokers Vin-X, has proposed establishing a recognised association which would offer best practice guidelines and exams for brokers, as well as expelling members who failed to meet standards.
    Shakeshaft said the industry “should be proactive in regard to our responsibility to the customer and to protecting the reputation of our industry”.

  9. Jim

    I am the person who posted on this thread: "Apr 4, 2012 09:59 AM".

    I suggest Peter Shakeshaft begins by cleaning up his own business first. May I suggest the following measures he could start with:

    1. Stop coldcalling private individuals on their domestic landlines and mobile phones.

    2. Stop getting Robert Parker confused with Ray Parker Jr (the guy who sang the theme tune to "Ghostbusters" in the 1980s).

    3. Stop providing his 'brokers' with misleading sales scripts.

    4. Go jump in a deep lake.

    The Vin-X 'broker' who cold-called me used the name 'Paul Tyson'. He also emailed me in November 2011 from stating,

    "I have included my current recommendation to which even Robert Parker Junior (THE industry guideline) believes this wine will outperform the market and other wines. Our current recommendation is Cos D'Estournel 2003 –
    £1850 Case cost. £2183.00 Total cost. This accounts for the one off management fee of 15% - advising and monthly updating, 3 years storage and insurance in London city bond, buying and selling costs. There are no further fees payable for the remainder of the investment.

    • Score 98/100 (Robert Parker Jr is set to re-score the 09’ vintage in January, will re-instate Cos as a brand if it becomes Cos’ first 100 pointer)
    • A super second wine
    • Cos is the number 1 choice of Robert Parker Jr, chosen out of his magical 20 to outperform the market over the next year. -
    • The last 10 vintages of Cos have shown momentum of 30% growth from Jan-Aug 2011
    • India has loved Cos for centuries. Up to 90% of exported Cos went to India in the 1800’s. It has an elephant and Indian castle on the label. India is in final stages of a trade agreement with the EU. This will reduce import tax from 150% to 40% and potentially open floodgates, mimicking China in 2008.
    • Becomes physical around march

    I believe that in a smaller way this particular Cos will mimick China’s favourite Lafite, which rose in 08’ when Hong Kong abolished import tax - and it grew from £2000-£13500."

  10. Wills the stockbrokers who ruined their clients and were hammered by the FSA and still owe money, I suggest we award Peter Shakeshaft comedian of the year ward

    The audacity of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. From Peter Shakeshaft at Vin-X

    Jim as you know we record every phone call from this office. As there is a direct allegation against Paul Tyson I will check his calls to Anon and append the phone call as I have done so previously to you. Anon are you happy for me to do this ?

    I only write this so you may get the facts straight anonymous.

    Jim, as far as cold calling is concerned you know that it is amongst others, one of our methods to market. We have talked about this before and you have understood that the practice is not illegal. We have also taken the message onto Radio 2 and 4, Bloomberg and CNBC.

    HOWEVER you will be aware that we at VIN X do not use high pressure tactics here and never will. I have the evidence to prove it.

    Instead of reading ill informed comments how about we all get behind the initiative I have put forward in this weeks Harpers magazine and properly self regulate the market.

    My experience from my past clearly gives me a strong understanding of the need for self regulation for the benefit of all consumers.

    Vin X have made important steps in creating a level of self regulation and they include:-

    1.Vin-X commission an independent Accountancy firm to audit our clients wine stocks. The first to do so. This year we went further and included En Premmuer to bottle. (see the website)

    2. We record all our phone calls. Ideal for identifying any issues that arise from phone conversations

    3. We issue contract notes which clearly state the price of the wine sold and the commission charged.

    4. We offer a 7 day cooling off period.

    4. The clients wine is stored at London bonded warehouse in the clients name to ensure client control.

    5. We are in discussions with Plumpton college to create a sylabis for wine investment exams.

    6. We have a team of Analysts, chartists and economists that monitor globally the impacts that may prevail on wine prices. That is why after our analysts have tracked the performance of ISA's against either cash or FTSE 100 tracker's VinX believes it can do better. (it seems our clients do too!)

    7. Vin-X are working with Accountants to once and for all gain an agreed understanding in regard to tax implications in regard to both Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax. Something once completed Jim I will be more than happy to share with you.

    8. Lastly as you know very well Jim we ARE members of the WSTA and you and I (amongst others) were instrumental in helping the WSTA set up the guidlines in regard to Fine Wine Investment it proudly displays on its website today.

    Frankly and as I have emailed you just recently I do not think the WSTA can go further as it is mainly a lobbying group.

    My proposition of The London Wine Exchange can make a massive difference as it can advertise the fact that IF the Company is NOT a member and adhering to its rules then it is not following best practice, which frankly Jim is what you have been campaigning for. I have had calls from notable people in our industry keen to get behind the scheme, and I do hope that once convinced you will become a leading light in its direction.

    As I have always stated if Anonymous (or others) wish to speak with me you will find my details on the Vin-X website.

    Kind Regards


  12. Jim

    The reason I had to publish anonymous is because your URL would not accept me email address. Can you check please.


    Peter Shakeshaft at

  13. Peter Thanks for your comments. I'm afraid I don't know why Google isn't letting you publish under your own name

  14. Peter (Shakeshaft). You contacted me at the end of February briefly outlining your proposals and plans.

    I replied as follows but received no response:

    27th February 2012


    Thanks for your message. Happy to look at your ideas, although I think that now the wine investment code has been adopted by the WSTA any suggested changes ought to go through them.

    Happy be be involved in a Harpers discussion, although I'm hardly going to be in the UK at all during March.



  15. Peter: re having to post anonymously.

    Have checked the comment settings for the investdrinks' blog and it is set for anyone including anons to post, so I don't understand why it won't let you use your own name.

  16. Peter Shakeshaft14 April 2012 15:50

    Ok thanks Jim.

    The next step in regard to the Harpers piece is a round table discussion. I have asked Harpers for you to be invited if you are in the UK. Listening to Radio 4 today (saturday) shows more mainstream interest in wine investment following your comment re £100 million potential loss to investors !

    I will now try again re Vin-x url. If it comes up anonymous it didnt work !

    Speak soon.


  17. Peter Shakeshaft14 April 2012 15:56


    For the record I confirm the contents of 27 th February email to me as accurate.


  18. Peter. I would now seem that blogger has allowed you to post in your own name, which is good.

    A few points:

    a) It was Nedim Ailyan of Abbott Fielding who produced the figure of over £100 million potential loss to investors over the past four years and not me.

    It is, of course, notoriously difficult to produce a global figure like this but as Nedim has been the liquidator for eight failed wine investment companies he is in as good a position to know as anyone. There is no doubt if you include the whisky scams, millennium Champagne scams and now all the wine investment scams both in the UK, the US the total figure may well be between £500-£750 million. Then there are the close links to land banking that some of the wine investment firms have had.

    b) WSTA: anon was objecting to the alleged claim that Vin-ex is regulated by the WSTA and we both know that the WSTA is not a regulatory body for wine investment.

    c) Although it is good that you offer a 'seven day cooling off period' this appears to be less than the statutory minimum under the Distance Selling Regulations. Customers have seven working days starting from the day after the date of delivery. For wine investment this would be from the time the wine arrives in the customer's account in the bonded warehouse This certainly applies to bottled wine, whether it applies to en primeur orders remains unresolved.

    d) Wine should be stored in a customer's own account at a bonded warehouse completely independent from a merchant.

    e) Self-regulation/ regulation
    When I started drafted the wine investment code which was adopted by the WSTA after contributions and amendments from a number of people, I certainly had in mind that people in the wine industry might want to go further.

    As the WSTA has taken on the code, I think this is where further discussions should start. Any self-regulating body would have to have broad support in the legitimate trade and should be established and managed by a body independent of the wine trade, which would clearly have cost implications.

    f) Ideally wine investment as a whole should be regulated as wine funds now are. For instance it certainly should not be possible to make all sorts of claims about wine investment on a website that are inaccurate and untrue and that would not be permitted for sites for financial products that do come under Goverment regulation.

    Unfortunately complaints through the ASA take too long and the onus should be on the wine investment company is prove that its site complies with regulations covering the selling of financial products.

    In the early part of the last decade the DTI was very active in tackling wine investment scams and closed down at least 18 companies in the public interest. Action now by the Insolvency Service could be very helpful but it is question of whether they now have the resources to do so.

  19. From peter Shakeshaft@ Vin-X


    I reply to you using your letter system.

    A) Apologies for that ! I saw an article that had your name associated with the comment. I Thought it was yours !!

    B) WSTA I have now checked twenty of Paul Tyson's calls today. Not one uses the word 'regulated" On two of the twenty he mentions Robert Parker Junior. Not one has talked about ISA's !
    Unless Anon can substantiate his claims then I ask for the immediete removal of those comments from your site. Or ask Anon in strictest confidence to talk with me. What complete rubbish and it undermines the good work your site should be doing !

    C) Cooling Off Period :- We both understand the DSR and our advice clearly states that the rule is about giving a customer 7 days after a transaction has been agreed. In our case that is 7 days after his contract note is received. Our customers are very happy about this arrangement.

    D) LCB have written to us confirming that our clients have propriety over their wine full stop ! (its on our web site) I have had discussions with LCB on this matter not just for Vin-X but also so the industry can adopt an industry wide agreement for the clients title of his/her goods !

    E) The WSTA is by their own admission a lobbying group. You agree they are not nor do they wish to become a regulator. I believe the code of conduct (which was somewhat changed from that which you proposed initially) demonstrated that. It is an excellent piece of informative news for investors. But please dont believe that most investors will go to the WSTA for first hand information ! Its not even high on the google rankings !
    I spoke with Gavin today the interim CEO who is very helpful and keen to see how they can help. That said I do not see the WSTA doing any more than they have to date.

    F)I think there are a lot of people talking about things they do not understand on this point ! You say you believe in regulation (by the FSA I presume) I certainly do not !
    The implications for FSA regulation of the wine industry has not been thought out. I see a lot of commentators stating as such without any understanding of what damage it would do to the industry. It would stop every merchant up and down the land on the high street selling any wine for investment purpose and would send many out of business !

    An example.. If you believe you should have already bought the stock before you sell it (and I hope you do, for that seems to me to be where a lot of these fraud cases stem from) then you are holding out as a principal. A principal FSA license needs a minimum of 730 Euros in base working capital. That cannot be invested in wine as wine is exempt from the calculation !

    So before any of us go down that line why dont we then do some analysis on how many Merchants would close ! You state Albany do a good job but they wouldnt exist, how many more? It would leave the big guys to take an even bigger share of the market. Would prices then rise?

    So if you take that into consideration self regulation is by far the best option for all concerned. let us all get behind my initiative, ask the WSTA to endorse it and get on with it ! the LWE (London Wine Exchange) will have the power to tell a firm to take down misleading adverts, it will insist on seeing Independent Auditor reports on wine stocks, it will agree a code of practice with all bonded warehouses, it will insist on contract notes and client certificates !

    Jim. it makes sense and it will gain credibility with the mass media and be understood by the private investors. Can you at least be part of the debate rather than from an uninformed position on the outside please.

    Kindest regards


  20. Jim
    I see in this thread that someone declaring himself to be Peter Shakeshaft at Vin-X Ltd (on Apr 14, 2012 04:54 AM) has admitted in writing that Vin-X Ltd -
    1. systematically make unsolicited cold telephone calls to private individuals in their homes soliciting payments of thousands of pounds;
    2. record those telephone calls and telephone conversations without notice to and without the permission of the individuals they are coldcalling, and then
    3. again without notice to the individuals they have coldcalled and secretly recorded, and again without their permission, Vin-X Ltd distribute the contents of those secretly recorded telephone conversations to other third parties (including Jim Budd).
    Data privacy for private individuals is protected under the Data Protection Act 1998.
    Since you have the evidence of the above activity in writing from Peter Shakeshaft himself, the sole director of Vin-X Ltd, I suggest you pass it to the Information Commissioner's Office, which has the power to prosecute under the Data Protection Act 1998.

  21. Peter

    Thank you for this.

    'Can you at least be part of the debate rather than from an uninformed position on the outside please.'

    I emailed you back at the end of February that I was happy to look at your ideas. That stands but I haven't seen your proposals in full and I'm certainly not going to be bounced into supporting them with a) sight of them and b) time to consider them.


  22. Jim

    Thanks for that. All I am saying is that all interested parties should get round a the Harpers table and put our points forward. From there we should issue a consultation document for wider circulation.

    I am really keen for you to be there because of all the fine work you have contributed to in this area over the years ! Im far from bouncing you into it, on the contrary you have been pushing the industry for years, I am simply using the knowledge I have learned over the years to further the argument.

    I see from the above comment from your friend that he doesnt want to agree to release his his phone calls ! Makes a mockery of his comments ! Personally I would take them down as they are getting very very close to litigation now !

    Speak soon


  23. Peter.

    Thank you for this.

    I'm considering the claim of the use of 'regulated' in the post. It would be helpful if you could confirm whether all parties are informed that the calls will be monitored.



  24. Jim

    How can any of the above really be taken seriously when the company was an off the shelf company with 3 previous names.

    Date of change Previous Name
    11/10/1989 NERIGRASS LIMITED

    "I am simply using the knowledge I have learned over the years to further the argument"

    Over all 2yrs!!!! -- cor that is some experience.

    My point is that this Peter character seems to be piping up about something he and his company has very limited experience in.

    One Last point Jim

    How does the FSA view wine as a collective investment? to my knowledge if you manage someone's money from begining to end does that not count as collective.

    "Realising profit:
    Importantly Vin-X is pro-active in acquiring wines from their clients, ensuring an exit route for investment, with a view to working with our clients to achieve their investment goals. Please contact your Vin-X broker to discuss your requirements further."

  25. David. Wine Funds are a collective investment because you put in x amount into the fund and the wine are bought and held in common. However, if you are sold individual cases of wine that are not shared this is not a collective investment.

  26. Hi Jim, why is Vin-x not on your "I wouldn't buy wines from list?" They cold call, they charge an upfront commission, they make outrageous claims about being the leading wine broker in the uk, Peter Shakeshaft has proved himself in the past not just once but several times with several companies that he can't be trusted with investors' money - yet you don't list them?

  27. Hi Jim. As I see it, your site exists to provide impartial information to the unwary investor, to ensure that he/she does not get ripped off (worst case) and that he/she can make a decision having looked at your advice in the absolute confidence that you have provided them with your absolute best advice.

    You have a section on your site that lists companies you would not do business with. Any company that cold calls or charges an upfront commission is on this list as you state that this is not in your opinion good practice. Yet, there is a company called vin-x that cold calls, charges an upfront commission, and is run by Peter Shakeshaft and employs Peter Shakeshaft's ex colleagues at Wills & co (even though the FSA said that this could not be permitted)who you refuse to put on this list, and even refuse to say why you won't put them on your list.

    This is a company that was set up to pay back a miniscule part of the debt to investors Wills & Co, knowingly and through incredibly bad practice, left in their wake. They have only been going for two years yet make outrageous claims of being the leading wine broker in the UK (based on absolutely nothing).

    The only reason they have their stock audited (physical, interestingly not en primeur) is that this was an FSA condition of the company being formed.

    There are two other companies in Shakeshaft's past that did investors no favours (to put it mildly), so this is the fourth in a long line.

    If and when Vin-x go under leaving investors in the lurch, because they thought, due to the lack of warning on your site, that they were a great company to do business with, how will you feel about your role in this? Does their omission from your "I wouldn't do business with these companies" list not make an absolute mockery of, and render you an unreliable source of information, a source of information, moreover, that should not be trusted?

  28. Anon. Thank you for your comments – assuming that the last two comments come from the same person. The list of companies on investdrinks is exactly as described some companies that I would not buy wine from. I am not seeking to approve any wine investment company, though there are some from whom I would consider buying wine. It is always down to people considering an investment in wine to do their own due diligence.

  29. This is not good enough. The previous post asked you why you do not have vin-x on your list of companies from whom you would not buy wine. Will you please answer the question.

  30. I have answered the question anon.

  31. No you haven!t? You have absolutely not answered the question as to why, faced with all this evidence, you have not listed vin-x as a company you would not buy wine from.

  32. Anon. While you have the cloak of anonmity, I take the risk of publication and will decide what I publish.

  33. Risk of publication? So you think Vin-x will sue you if you list them? On what grounds?

    1. is vin x a genuine company and is it safe to invest with them ? do they make profit from the wine they sell you ?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. To the best of my knowledge Vin-X buy the wines their clients order. In terms of best value I would always check wine-searcher to compare offers. I'm sure like any company Vin-X aim to make a profit on the wine they sell. If they didn't they would go bust.

    You will find further details here: