The Fladgate Partnership Declaration of the 2016 Vintage
Mentzendorff is please to confirm that the three historic Port houses of The Fladgate Partnership – Croft, Fonseca and Taylor’s – have each announced their decision to declare the 2016. This being the first “classic” declaration since the great success of the 2011 vintage released 5 years ago in 2013. This announcement is made, according to custom, on 23rd April – St. George’s Day.
The Fladgate Partnership’s Managing Director, Adrian Bridge, described the 2016 vintage ports as follows. “The keynotes of 2016 are purity and refinement. The Vintage Ports of the three houses are stylistically distinct but all display elegance and poise, a wonderful purity of fruit and tannins of great quality.”
The 2016 winemakers’ notes at harvest time referred to the fine fruit character and pronounced tannins of the musts. The Fladgate’s Partnership’s Technical Director and Head Winemaker, David Guimaraens explained: “Two factors stand out in 2016. Heavy rainfall in spring meant that the vines had plenty of water throughout the summer. Secondly, the ripening season started relatively late and lasted well into September. This led to very gradual and even ripening of the crop with all elements in perfect balance at the time of the harvest. Picking started later than usual on all of our houses’ estates, particularly those located in the Pinhão Valley.”
Commenting on the wines, David noted: “Harvesting conditions at the end of September and early October were perfect, with cool nights contributing to long fermentations and gentle, complete extraction. As a result the wines are solidly structured with firm, well integrated tannins and display very fine fruit quality.”
The 2016 Vintage Ports from Croft, Fonseca and Taylor’s will be shipped later in the year and will be available in the autumn.
M.Chapoutier 2017 Sélections Parcellaires
Yesterday at the TATE Modern in London, Michel Chapoutier presented his 2017 Sélections Parcellaires wines from across the Rhône Valley, Roussillon, Alsace and Australia.
The M.Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires are rare wines that represent the highest expression of each appellation, an unofficial “grand cru” range. The winegrower lets the soil express itself, without intervention, to offer the best snapshot of the terroir. Here biodynamic farming is meaningful. With only 100 to 700 cases produced annually, these rare wines grown on ancient vines with tiny yields are among the greatest red and white wines produced in the world.
Certain years bring major climate surprises… and 2017 was certainly one of those. In the Rhône Valley, after an uneventful winter, the spring brought early flowering and a lot of rain, combined with some worrying frost snaps on certain vineyards. The summer came with so little rain that there severe uncertainly about the harvest ahead. June temperatures were extreme… and still the rain didn’t come… until July 22! The vines recovered their green hue and balance, and the August heat brought the important balance combining maturity, tension and minerality.
Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2004 – Bold, Brilliant & Generous
The global launch of Bollinger R.D. 2004 took place on March 22nd at Bonhams auction house in Mayfair, London. Gilles Descôtes, Champagne Bollinger Chef de Cave, presented a unique masterclass for 50 guests exploring different expressions of Bollinger R.D. alongside the R.D. 2004.
“Bollinger R.D. 2004 has been aged for more than 13 years in the heart of the House’s cellars in Aÿ. Disgorged just a few months ago, it finally reveals all the brilliance of the 2004 vintage. This is a generous wine with intense aromas and an incomparable freshness for such age.” Gilles Descôtes, Chef de Cave.
After the atypical 2003 vintage with particularly low yields, the 2004 vintage is generous and intense. Following below-average annual temperatures and lower than average rainfall (excepting the end of August), the month of September fostered slow and progressive maturation of the grapes in an ideal climate, allowing the development of an intense aromatic expression in the fruit. The harvest took place during a bright Indian summer, a sign of a quality crop and an exceptional vintage.
For the release of the 2004 vintage, Champagne Bollinger worked with one of Britain’s most celebrated chefs, Philip Howard of Elystan Street, to create an original recipe to pair with Bollinger R.D. 2004.
Phil created a generous dish of roast Zander with lentils, baked celeriac and smoked eel which harmonizes the elegance and aromatic power of the Bollinger R.D. 2004.
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.