The Annual Mentzendorff Portfolio Tasting
Wednesday 7th of March saw the Annual Mentzendorff Portfolio Tasting return to One Great George Street for another great event. This day always offers a fantastic opportunity to bring together our winemakers and principals from around the world with so many of our customers from up and down the country to taste through our range and to develop our business together.
The entire portfolio of Champagnes, wines, fortified wines and spirits was available to taste as well as some stellar new releases such as the Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 2007, Ayala Blanc de Blancs 2010, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 2013, AIX Rosé 2017 and the unbelievably fresh Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana En Rama.
Wine may be our thing, but everyone deserves a lip-smacking cocktail or a vivifying long drink on occasion! So this year saw the return of Ludwig’s Cocktail Lounge, named after our founder Ludwig Mentzendorff who first brought Mentzendorff Kummel to England in 1851, where a number of cocktails and long drinks using ingredients from our own portfolio were on offer.
Mentzendorff Announces a New Agency Partnership with AIX
Mentzendorff is pleased to announce a new exclusive agency partnership with AIX. As one of the world’s most celebrated rosé producers AIX will sit within a portfolio of the finest family owned producers of Champagne, wines, fortified wines and spirits from around the world, complementing and strengthening the company’s Provençal offerings.
The 130 years old winery of Maison Saint Aix is located in the renowned appellation ‘AOP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence’ and dedicated solely to producing a hypnotising, salmon pink rosé in a variety of different size formats.
Situated on a plateau at an altitude of 420m above sea level AIX is one of the largest domains in Coteaux d’Aix en Provence with over 75 hectares of vineyards planted with Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. The AOP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence is the perfect region for harvesting these varieties thanks to the areas mineral rich soils and ideal elevation. This terroir combined with the warm days, cool nights and mistral winds create a fragrant and well balanced wine. AIX’s alluring salmon pink colour reveals a fresh and fragrant nose that is delicate yet youthful while the palate offers rich, fruity and spicy notes.
Through their dedication and passion AIX has cemented its position as one of the world’s most highly acclaimed rosé producers and this is reflected in a mass of Gold medals from the Drinks Business, International Wine Challenge & Le Mondial du Rosé etc.
Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona – 2013 Brunello di Montalcino
Mentzendorff is pleased to announce the release of the 2013 vintage of Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino.
Fermentation for the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is carried out in stainless steel and concrete vats. Ageing occurs for more than 24 months in 20-75 hl Slavonian oak barrels, followed by over 8 months of bottle refinement.
2013 is considered a ‘classic vintage’ as the harvest took place at the beginning of October whereas the previous two, much warmer, years began at the beginning of September. A cool, wet spring delayed budbreak slightly however it was followed by a picture-perfect July and August. Good weather in September helped conclude the ripening period, and the bunches remained healthy throughout the estate. A promising vintage, with the wines of Brunello di Montalcino showing finesse and balance already, moreover these wines are expected to age superbly.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013
“Aromas of light coffee, plum and cherry follow through to a full body with a wealth of dried fruit and hints of figs. Drink or hold. 93/100“
James Suckling – 27th November 2017
Domaine Chanson En Primeur 2016
The 28th of November saw the 2016 Domaine Chanson En Primeur Tasting take place at Mentzendorff with Vincent Avenel, Domaine Chanson Managing Director and Mentzendorff’s Director of European Wines, Justin Liddle.
The general feedback regarding the 2016’s has been extremely positive with the reds in particular gaining a huge amount of interest. Chanson rate their reds as potentially outstanding, although unfortunately volumes are low due to the frost and hail experienced in some vineyards over the vintage. This year the wine selection has been slightly adjusted, we have introduced two new reds; Maranges 1er Cru La Fuissere and Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Damodes, this is partly due to low volumes but also the outstanding quality.
The winter 2015/2016 was particularly mild (the warmest winter since 1880) and spring followed on the same path. Bud break arrived early: 15th April in Côte de Beaune and 17th April on Côte de Nuit. The wine growers had to face various meteorological events: storm, hail, light frost. However, the black frost that hit the whole of Burgundy at the end of April had a very severe impact on some villages of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits.
The weather in June was mild and rainy which engendered Millerandage; the summer was calm, very warm and very dry with a consequence: the lack of water slowed down the ripening of the grapes. The harvest started on September 20, 2017 with a small group of 10 people who harvested only the ripest plots. The whole team of 100 was fully operational on September 26; the harvest lasted 13 days.
The operations in the winery were intense and meticulous with a very strict control of the acidity for the white wines and long and careful macerations combined with very strict controls of temperatures for the reds to retain the delicacy and subtle character of this vintage.
The white wines differ depending on their geographical origin and meteorological conditions which prevailed in spring in each area. The Mâconnais wines are well-balanced with a well-shaped minerality. The wines of Chablis are tense and precise with a well-crafted acidity especially the Premiers Crus and Grands Crus. In the Côte de Beaune, the whites are fleshy with a good texture. As for the reds, the quality is outstanding: they are dense, crunchy, deep with well-shaped and silky tannins and a velvety texture.
To sum up, the 2016 vintage had historically low yields in some appellations and specifically in Côte de Beaune, nevertheless the quality is exceptional.