Champagne Bollinger & the 2017 Rugby Autumn Internationals
The 2017 Autumn Internationals has now drawn to a close after three action packed weekends. England fans were treated to three victories giving the home supporters plenty to celebrate post-match in the Bollinger Tent and leaving Coach Eddie Jones’ squad with a near-perfect record of 22 wins from 23 games. The recent series of Tests were also a fantastic result for England Rugby and Champagne Bollinger who round out their 17th year as the Official Champagne of England Rugby.
Lawrence Dallaglio, former England number 8 and founder of Dallaglio Rugby Works joined Andrew Hawes of Mentzendorff & the new head of Champagne Bollinger Charles-Armand de Belenet to sign the #BollingerBigBoy, a Nebuchadnezzar of Bollinger Special Cuvée which will be claimed by a lucky fan.
Champagne Bollinger has always been presented to the Old Mutual Wealth Player of the Match across all England men’s and women series games and this year saw the launch of the Champagne Bollinger Fans Player of the Match, the award for the best player as voted for by general public.
Champagne Bollinger also played host in the Cardinal Vaughan car park over the last three weekends. Guests were treated to Bollinger Special Cuvée on their welcome, after all what match-day experience at Twickenham would be complete without it! This was followed by M.Chapoutier Chante Alouette 2015 paired with roasted celeriac soup with hazelnut pesto, Roda Reserva 2012 was matched with a stunning beef bourguignon, creamy mash and mixed autumn vegetables while Taylor’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port complemented a selection of cheese and chocolate brownies, many thanks to the inimitable chef Ben Rule and his team.
Mentzendorff Announces New Agency Partnerships With Akitu & Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona
Mentzendorff is pleased to announce new exclusive agency partnerships with two prestigious producers: Akitu of Central Otago and Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona of Montalcino. These two highly acclaimed producers will sit within a portfolio of the world’s finest family owned producers of Champagne, wines, fortified wines and spirits; and more specifically will complement & strengthen the company’s New Zealand and Italian ranges.
With regards to Mentzendorff’s approach to new agency acquisition Managing Director, Andrew Hawes had the following to say “Taking on a new agency is always a major decision, we take our time and choose our exclusive partners carefully, looking for family owned producers who share our values and will fit naturally into our focused portfolio. Our approach has evolved in that we are finding success by developing strengths in specific areas of the market and we have found that representing complementary Estates in South Africa (Klein Constantia & Hamilton Russell) and in Australia (Chapoutier, Kilikanoon, Turkey Flat & Tapanappa) is working increasingly well for us. Therefore Akitu will sit comfortably alongside The Crossings from the Awatere Valley in Marlborough and Ciacci Piccolomini joins Fertuna (from the Maremma).”
Akitu was founded by Andrew Donaldson (a local man) in 2001. Set in the heart of Central Otago’s Wanaka sub region, the 12-hectare vineyard sits alone at 380 metres above sea level on a stunning north facing slope, in the southern most winemaking region on earth. The vineyard is entirely dedicated to Pinot Noir, block planted from 6 carefully selected clones that produce Akitu’s two wines: ‘A1’ and ‘A2’.
Andrew Hawes adds: “We are particularly excited about the quality of the Pinot Noir from Akitu, we believe in the region’s ability to produce exceptional Pinot Noir, a variety which lies particularly close to our hearts due to its deep connection to the Bollinger family group”.
From the depths of Central Otago to the rolling Tuscan Hills, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona is regarded as one of the great Brunello di Montalcino producers. The estate traces its roots back to the 17th century. The Ciacci family owned the estate for over a hundred years until in 1985 the countess Elda Ciacci bequeathed the property to her long-standing estate manager, Giuseppe Bianchini. The Montalcino estate is now run by Giuseppe’s son and daughter, Paolo and Lucia.
Located in the south east of the Montalcino region near the beautiful medieval village of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, the estate extends over 220 hectares of which 53 are in vine and 40 in olive groves on the rolling Tuscan hills bordered by Arna hill and the Orcia River.
2016 Turkey Flat Grenache wins the ‘Jimmy’
On Thursday 19th October the 2016 Turkey Flat Grenache became the first ever Grenache to win Australia’s most prestigious wine honour – the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy in its 56 year history. This award also marks the return of the ‘Jimmy’ to the Barossa Valley for the first time since 2003.
The Jimmy Watson is the most prestigious trophy at The Royal Melbourne Wine Show – regarded as Australia’s leading national wine awards since its inception in 1884 attracting approximately 4000 entries yearly in its 71 classes. It brings together the very best Australian winemakers and producers and is renowned as a benchmark of excellence in wine production. The trophy is a memorial to the late Jimmy Waston, the proprietor of the iconic Watson’s Wine Bar, who is credited with changing the tastes of the Melbourne wine drinking public, after his sudden death in 1962. The Trophy has been won by some of the biggest names in the Australian wine industry – which now, proudly, includes Turkey Flat.
For Winemaker, Mark Bulman, who admits his love for Grenache borders on the obsessive, this win is particularly sweet. The suitability of Grenache in the warm, Barossa climate, and the savoury, complex and tannic characters in the resulting wine were the hook for Mark settling in this area. Mark noting “the hot, dry conditions of the 2016 vintage combined with the timely 30mm of rainfall in January and our extraordinary old vine material set us up in the winery to create something truly exceptional.”
Always a champion for Grenache Christie Schulz, owner of Turkey Flat Vineyards, is elated by the win “tonight’s win is a vote of confidence for the distinct style of our Grenache.”
Klein Constantia – Still Creating History
There is much cause for celebration this month, as Klein Constantia wins “Best South African Sparkling Wine” at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2017 with their 2013 Méthode Cap Classique Brut .
Tuesday 19th September also saw the launch of the 2014 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, the latest scion of arguably South Africa’s most iconic wine. The launch took place at the Devonshire Club, London with Winemaker Matthew Day & Co-Owner Charles Harman taking the guests on a journey through the recent vintages of Vin de Constance. In addition guests were treated to a number of Sauvignon Blancs which ranged from 1987 up to 2016, surprising all in attendance with the amazing ageability of this other corner stone of Klein Constantia’s offerings.
With the preceding vintage, the 2013 Vin de Constance, collecting the Platinum & Best in Show for Sweet Wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 earlier this year and with the 2014 harvest being hailed as one of the best of the decade it is clear this will be a very special wine.
More good news came in the form of Tim Atkin’s South Africa Report 2017 with Klein Constantia retaining its First Growth status, the only producer from the Constantia Valley to do so. In addition to this honour a number of the Klein Constantia wines received some very impressive scores.
Klein Constantia also sponsors Velo Birmingham which takes place on Sunday 24th September in the heart of Birmingham. The event will see 15,000 cyclists line up to start an unforgettable 100 mile route, taking them through the picturesque Worcestershire and Staffordshire countryside before returning to Birmingham.