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Saturday 8 May 2010

Watch out for snake oil merchants offering 2009 Lafite

As I anticipated I'm getting a number of reports of people being offered cases of 2009 Lafite as well as other 2009 First Growths. The price for Lafite is up to £12,000 a case and possibly in one instance much more.

Remember that the prices of 2009 Lafite and the other First Growths have yet to be released. Nor is it is known how any cases of these wines will be available. Even long established, reputable companies expected to have difficulty in securing good allocations of these wines. Most of these companies will insist on their customers buying other lesser wines if they want to acquire Lafite or similar at opening prices. Understandably customers are not allowed to cherry pick.

Remember that it is very unlikely that companies that have been recently set up will be able to get hold of the top wines when they are first released.

If you are going to buy en primeur deal only with well established companies.    


  1. It is important for people to realise that many of the 2005's are now at 50% of the price they were traded at in 06. Even from a reputable source the prices will be 20-30% above what they should be. This is not an investment vintage, it is a connoisseurs vintage, the price will go up and their will be huge demand, but the capital growth required to make a return on investment is too great. If we have inflation in the next 2 years you will not make money unless you are very lucky.

  2. Is Bordeaux Fine Wines a reputable firm ?

  3. Anon. I wouldn't buy wine from Bordeaux Fine Wines. Is there are particular reason for your question please?

  4. They keep calling my Dad who is seriously ill but its like they are harrasing him to buy this 2009 vintage wine but he is to old and too ill and does not have the 12k to invest even if they say it will give a return in the next 6 months
    however after reading some of the articles on this site i can say they seem like a scam

    Thank god for Jim Budd !

  5. Anon. I assume that the 12K is for a case of 2009 Lafite. I had a message last week from someone who said he had been offered by Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd:

    2009 Lafite Rothschild for £12000 and 2009 Mouton Rothschild 2009.

    I'm afraid there are some disgraceful and despicable intances of some wine investment companies targetting the old and infirm.

  6. Anon. I would urge you to file a report with Action Fraud today.

    The prices of 2009 Lafite have yet to be released. Even given all the hype it is highly unlikely that the case price will be £12,000. It is also unlikely that Bordeaux Fine Wine are in a position to properly offer 2009 Lafite and Mouton Rothschild for sale.

  7. This morning I asked Bordeaux Fine Wines about offering 2009 Lafite and Mouton-Rothschild en primeur. I have received the following clarification from Ken Gundlach, a director of the company. It would appear that Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd are not offering these 2009s and will not be doing so.

    Dear Jim,

    Many thanks for your email inquiry. I know that investors look to your site as a reference point for investing into the fine wine market and with your advice help them to make the right decision. I can confirm that we have
    never offered Lafite or Mouton 2009 and can also confirm that we won't be offering this wine in the future as I have been advised that the demand is so high from Asia and across Europe it would be very difficult to source.

    The accusations that have been made are false and as a result I will be looking into who has been using my company's name in this way.

    I hope this resolves the issue.


    Ken Gundlach
    Bordeaux Fine Wines

  8. My Dad may be ill but he writes everything down and dispite Mr Gundlachs comments i belive my Dad

  9. they have been reported anyway

  10. Anon. It would be very useful if you could let me have details of when your father was contacted by Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd and what was said. If this is possible please email me on

  11. A further response from Ken Gundlach:


    I have read the messages on your site and would like to resolve the issue.

    Again I can 100% confirm I have never and will not be trading the mentioned wines. It would be helpful if I can have this customers name so I can
    remove them from our system. We are not in the business of forcing people to invest as the market simply sells itself.

    Over the last couple of years we have had no problems and more importantly testimonials of people who have made money. I would be happy to contact anyone to clarify these points.


    Ken Gundlach
    Bordeaux Fine Wines


    investdrinks will not pass on details of contacts. However, I need further details from anon about the circumstances in which her father was offered 2009 en primeur. If that is not forthcoming I will remove your comments from this post.

  12. Edited message received last evening from anon:
    Dear Mr Gundlach,

    I suggest you install either a recording system or a better way to monitor what your salespeople say on the phone.

    Would you confirm how you remunerate your staff, do you pay commission and if so how much.

    What is the gross sales volume of each salesman?

    I am not questioning you but you run a cold calling sales operation which in other industries has been exploited by salespeople.

    I would be inclined if I was you, to listen to the criticism levelled at your company and react. I am more likely to believe the daughter protecting her ill parent than
    a commission driven salesman.

  13. Edited comment received last evening from anon:

    I find it hard to belive any company that has been going for UNDER 2 YEARS has a MASSIVE 1 pound share and NO accounts filed (because they havent been going long enough has made anyone money maybe Mr Gundlach would like to openly provide details of this.

  14. No response from the director ? ?

  15. Can I please add that I had problems with Bordeux Fine Wines Ltd and their salesmen!!! My Father who is nursing my mum with Altzheimers was pestered by them to invest, he eventually invested in the region of £21,000, I did some investigative work and spoke with the so called storage place who said they certainly didnt have anywhere near that amount of wines stored there! My dad was heart broken, after eventually getting through to them, numerous messages were left and no replies, they said that the wine was "In Transit" so nothing to worry about......well their letter to my dad clearly stated that it was in storage at the London Vaults!?! Eventually we did get a full refund, no apologies etc apart from staff continuing to call him to try "sell" latest investment wines oh and to ask that I remove any comments about them from Bloggs etc!!

  16. I also have been called by Bordeux Fine Wines and managed to get them to send me a brochure. I believe they not what they appear to be.
    Yes the brochure is nice and glossy with fantastic growth for a SELECT range of wines but my motto is NEVER invest with any company who call's you!!
    So I did a little bit of digging and found they have only been trading for two years.
    I believe I was selected because I was on a list of people who invest sizable sums of money in stocks and shares etc.
    The person whom called me is very smooth and convincing but the alarm bells started to ring when she asked if I could invest some money now.

    So despite what Mr Gundlach has said on this blog I dont think anybody should believe him.

    I also say thank god for Jim Budd!!

    Many thanks for your website and information.

  17. i Just had BFW on phone trying to get me to invest 2k in Montose 2003. He was VERY persistent and wasnt keen to take no for an answer


  18. Put the phone down then

  19. Has anyone actually invested with BFW and been happy with the service and made a profit?

    I'm all for avoiding scams, but I'm equally keen to find a genuine and reputable wine investment company to use.

    Is there anywhere to find a list of companies that are safe to invest through? Or is wine the new snake oil?

  20. 11 October 2011
    Have been cold called by BFW and offered Ducrubeau caillou 2010 en primeur.£2500 for 12bottles and amazing profit.Too good to be true?

  21. I have been an avid collector/trader of fine wines for 21 years and now live at home with my folks as full time carer for my disabled father. I have intercepted two cold calls for my father in the last month from Spencer Hunt of BFW Ltd. The last being today. I asked him last time to remove my father from their database and insisted again today. He must make a lot of calls as he had no memory of our prior conversation.

    He is a most persistent and obstinate salesman who quotes things such as "never lost money for any client" and "fine wine market will make you 8% gains this year" and so on and on and on.....

    I levelled with him that I knew a little about wines so I asked him to give me a price for 1996 Latour which you can buy today for around £6000 per case (12x75cl) IB, he said he was able to offer me one he had on 'the board' for £9200 !!!!!

    Now thank the Lord I know about wines and also dear Jim that you have highlighted the boiler room tactics of this company on your blog. They are praying on old and vulnerable people who know no better and get sucked into their scam.

    I know the bid/offer spreads are quite wide even with the most reputable firms but >50% above trade price is downright criminal.

    They are a disgrace to the wine trade and I hope people are made aware of just how much these charlatans rip off gullible clients, so if you get a cold call from Ken Gundlach, Spencer Hunt or anyone from Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd put the phone down.

  22. Just go and take a look at them in a cigarette huddle outside their building in Landsdowne Rd Croydon. Wide boys in flashy suits and sports cars. You wouldn't go near them

  23. have any of these comments got substancial proof to them as i know for a fact this company is credible just ask someone who has made a return of there investment through the company

  24. Is Imperial Wines of London a reputable company?

  25. Yea I ha e experience of BFW John Wood he is arrogant hard sell who never responds to emails or calls and I have been naive enough to be sucked in but it took me 8 months to get my own account with wines being in transit. I will have to wait years to get back money I invested if at all and they will not let you speak to this Ken guy. They cold called me and no one should entertain them in any way.


  27. Tony Hetherington: 'Everything I have unearthed about William Grant & Co, which says it is an investment and fund management business based in the iconic Gherkin skyscraper in London, can be summed up in one word: fraud.'

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    London-based William Grant & Co is definitely one to avoid!