Jean-Luc Colombo Rhône wines join the Portfolio
At Mentzendorff we are always pleased to announce the launch of a new agency and today is certainly no exception, as the Jean-Luc Colombo Rhône range officially joins our Portfolio from 1st July. The Jean-Luc Colombo Blue Coast range has been a part of our Portfolio since April this year and we are delighted to add the highly acclaimed Rhône wines.
Based in the village of Cornas in the Northern Rhône, Jean-Luc Colombo is undoubtedly one of the most famous present day producers of Rhône wines. Since he first started the Domaine with his wife Anne back in the 1980s, production has remained within the Colombo family with their daughter, Laure, joining the family business back in 2010. Living in the middle of their vineyards, it has always been important to the family to preserve their environment and work in harmony with nature, which is reflected in the care that goes into the production of their wines.
Jean-Luc launched his first wine, the single vineyard Cornas “Les Ruchets”, in 1987 and has been producing exceptional quality Rhône appellation wines ever since.
Akitu Pinot Noir Blanc
The Akitu winery, based in New Zealand’s Central Otago, is delighted to announce the launch of a third wine in their range this summer, the Akitu Pinot Noir Blanc.
This is the first time the estate has produced a white wine since it was founded back in 2003 by owner, Andrew Donaldson commented “The Akitu Pinot Noir Blanc become an obvious addition to our range, showcasing the exceptional style of wines we can produce from the great Pinot Noir grape. With this wine, taste buds meet the naked expression of the heartbreak grape, the purest example of the vineyard and the vintage that we can imagine.”
Akitu has been making a name for itself as one of Central Otago’s top Pinot Noir producers since the release of the first vintage in 2012. With 12ha of Pinot Noir located in the world’s southernmost grape growing region, Akitu is situated in the Wanaka sub-region on 250-million-year old schist rock and soils. This really is an example of viticulture on the very edge, the extreme location of the vineyard makes these wines marginal and edgy, subtle yet confident, contemporary and cool.
Made from 100% Pinot Noir, the grapes undergo cold pressing immediately after picking which minimises both colour pick-up and phenolic extraction from the skins. As the wine spends no time on the skins it is technically a white wine rather than a Rosé, despite its delicate pink hue. The wine itself is delicious and refreshing, with refined aromas of light berry sorbet and subtle dried herb notes. On the palate, the wine has great texture and depth of flavour leading to a refined and focused finish. A lacy acidity provides structure and persistence.
Mentzendorff and Hambledon Vineyards
Today, after over 160 years of exclusively importing wines into the UK, we are delighted to welcome our first-ever English Sparkling wine agency to our portfolio in the form of Hambledon Vineyards. Mentzendorff Managing Director, Andrew Hawes, and Hambledon Vineyard owner, Ian Kellett, enjoyed a (pre-Covid-19 social distancing) toast in the vineyards to celebrate the new relationship!
Hambledon is a natural addition to our portfolio of family-owned wine companies, all of whom represent the very highest quality from their respective regions. Hambledon Vineyard has been in production for decades and is the UK’s oldest commercial vineyard first producing wines back in 1952. The estate was acquired by Ian Kellett in 1999, and since then has seen increased plantings up to 200 acres and the creation of the UK’s only fully gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery.The Estate’s three main non-vintage cuvées, the Classic Cuvée, The Classic Cuvée Rosé and the Premiere Cuvée, are widely being recognised as some of the top sparkling wines being produced at present in the UK and we are very excited to work together going forward.
20th Anniversary of Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize marked by exciting and eclectic shortlist
At a time when funny fiction is needed the most we are very pleased to report the 2020 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction shortlist has been announced.
As the UK’s first and oldest award for comic fiction the prize selects the best comic novels of the past 12 months, seeking the books that best evoke the Wodehouse spirit of witty characters and perfectly-timed comic phrase.
Over a lively online meeting, with the usual glasses of Bollinger champagne, the judges whittled down the 68 submissions to the final six. Musical comedian and improviser, Pippa Evans and comedian Sindhu Vee, in their second and third years as judges respectively joined the long- standing judges; broadcaster and author James Naughtie; Everyman’s Library publisher, David Campbell and a Vice President of the Hay Festival and Director of National Trust Wales, Justin Albert.
This year’s witty sextet, which prompted laughter from the judges, includes Weather, the highly praised novel by Jenny Offill sees its protagonist lucklessly navigating through modern life. The second Granta published novel on this year’s shortlist, Rules for Visiting, follows a woman’s journey to reunite with four estranged friends. The 2016 prize winner, Hannah Rothchild’s latest novel House of Trelawney, a hilarious satire on old and new money. FLAKE, the first graphic novel to be shortlisted for the prize, tells a tale of ice cream wars and sibling rivalry. Nobber, the debut by Irish writer Oisín Fagan, a darkly hilarious tale of the small town of Nobber in medieval Ireland, battling through the plague. And 46% Better than Dave, which sees protagonist Dave confronted by the deep feeling that his neighbour, also Dave, is just better than him in every way…
The winner of the UK’s leading prize for comic fiction will be announced on Midsummer’s Day, 24 June. The winner will be awarded with a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année, the complete set of the Everyman’s Library P.G. Wodehouse collection and a pig to name.