First-growth success for Klein Constantia!
One of the world’s most beautiful wine estates, South Africa’s Klein Constantia, has been honoured with a ‘First-Growth’ classification in leading wine writer Tim Atkin’s South Africa 2014 Special Report.
Atkin not only concludes that the South African wine scene is more dynamic than ever, but is also confident the industry is in good hands with the talented young guns currently in many influential roles – including Klein Constantia’s own winemaker, Matthew Day. Elevated to First Growth status for the first time, Klein Constantia joins a select group of only 11 other wineries.
This comes at the same time as many exciting developments are taking place at Klein Constantia, most recently with the release of Metis – a South African Sauvignon Blanc unlike any other. Produced in collaboration with Pascal Jolivet from the Loire Valley, this elegant wine shows a true expression of the unique Klein Constantia terroir, and indeed was picked as one of the best 2013 Sauvignon Blancs in Tim Atkin’s recent report.
Bollinger first out of the gates as Official Champagne of Royal Ascot
With a record crowd of 80,000 keen spectators, Royal Ascot 2014 drew to a close on Saturday 20th June after 4 days of excellent racing which marked the high point of the summer social season in Britain. This was an historic year for Champagne Bollinger as, after many years' association with Ascot Racecourse, 2014 saw the House cement its position as Official Champagne of Ascot and Royal Ascot as part of a new, long-term sponsorship agreement. Since its founding in 1711, this is the first time that Ascot Racecourse has appointed an 'Official Champagne'. This year saw two exclusive Bollinger Bars in the Royal Enclosure, and one larger Bollinger bar on the Grandstand Enclosure Motivator Lawn ensured all visitors had the chance to toast their winnings. Bollinger Champagnes were served throughout the fine-dining and hospitality outlets at the racecourse and every winning jockey was presented with a bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvee to celebrate their success.
Taylor’s 1964: an impeccable half century
Drawing from one of the most comprehensive reserves of very old cask-aged Port, Taylor’s has released the first of a series of 50 year old Single Harvest Ports. Ideal for celebrating landmark 50th birthdays and anniversaries, the 1964 is blended from wines of a single year which have been aged exclusively in oak casks in Vila Nova de Gaia, resulting in a complex, spicy and nutty Port wine. Despite its great age, there is crisp acidity to the wine, and an immensely long finish. As Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership, says, “there are few wines in the world which can match the longevity and freshness of these extraordinary Ports and the ones in our collection have survived in perfect condition.” Taylor’s 1964 is to be followed by the release of the 1965 in 2015.
Bollinger R.D. 2002; a Golden Jubilee for Madame Bollinger’s iconic creation
An extraordinary vintage of a revolutionary Champagne was celebrated yesterday in London with the launch of Bollinger R.D. 2002. Returning to Pickering Place in St. James’s, the very location where Madame Bollinger launched the first vintage of her iconic creation, Bollinger R.D. 1952, Champagne Bollinger President Jérôme Philipon and Chef de Cave Gilles Descôtes presented the latest vintage release to assembled guests from the press and trade.
First released in the 1960s with the 1952 vintage, the release of Bollinger R.D. 2002, from one of the best vintages for Champagne in the past few decades, is powerful but well-balanced, using a blend of 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir and an ultra-brut dosage of 3-4 g/L to give tension, energy and life to a wine that also has remarkable ageing potential. As well as being beloved of connoisseurs the world over, Bollinger R.D. is the choice of Britain’s most discerning secret agent 007, having now been featured in 7 James Bond films.
A vintage year for the Mentzendorff Portfolio Tasting
The Mentzendorff Portfolio Tasting returned to the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden for the third year this February. With parts of the building dating from 1858, the same year that Mentzendorff was founded, this glorious setting is the natural location for our largest trade and press tasting of the year. 2014 came with two special added-extras; the unveiling of the new Champagne Ayala and a Bodegas Roda modern Rioja master class. Hadrien Mouflard, President of Champagne Ayala revealed the new look for the brand, and the result of his team’s hard work over the last 9 years as well as treating guests to a tasting of the range of fresh, elegant Ayala Champagnes. Agustin Santolaya of Bodegas Roda greeted and guided guests through 4 vintages of both Roda Reserva and Roda I. Over 400 members of the trade and press spent the day tasting through nearly 200 Champagnes, fine and fortified wines and spirits from the entire Mentzendorff portfolio.