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An unpleasant drop gives winemaker a bitter aftertaste

In a wine connoisseur's worst nightmare, a container of Australian Shiraz that retails at £125 a bottle was smashed when a malfunctioning forklift dropped 462 cases of the precious red.

The consignment of Mollydooker Wines' 2010 Velvet Glove Shiraz from McLaren Vale in South Australia was worth £675,000.

The winemaker, Sparky Marquis, said: "How do I feel? Gut-wrenched, shocked and numb... There was red everywhere – but it smelled phenomenal.

"Really, we've only found one carton that has survived intact, so it's going to mean a massive shortage of the wine," he said.

The accident means the loss of a third of the wine's production and will severely affect the winery's US launch, which was due to take place in September. Demand for the latest vintage was expected to be high. Luckily the winemaker was insured.