The Summer of ’69
The summer of 1969 was a tumultuous and eventful time around the World. From Neil Armstrong becoming the first person to set foot on the Moon and The Beatles’ recording their final album, Abbey Road (as well as their last public performance together, on the roof of Apple Records) to the first Concorde test flight and Woodstock.
In the Douro Valley meanwhile the 1969 vintage had experienced one of the highest winter rainfalls on record. This record breaking winter was followed by a very hot July and August but the cool start to the summer meant that harvesting did not begin until early October.
Since then this extraordinary wine, sixth in a series of magnificent limited edition ports, has been aged for 50 years in oak casks at Taylor’s lodge in Gaia. The wine today is described as having a “deep mahogany” colour, “wild honey” and “cigar box aromas” on the nose and “perfectly calibrated palate…lifted by a fresh acidity,” with, “molasses, dried figs, sultanas and apricot confit”.
Adrian Bridge, managing director at Taylor’s, which owes its leadership of the aged tawny category to its extensive reserves of very old Port maturing in oak cask, said: “It is an absolutely exceptional wine, a superb example of the art of wood ageing refined by Taylor’s over the generations.”
The Delamain Cognac Prize – WSET Awards & Graduation 2019
Monday 21st January saw wine and spirit professionals from around the globe and from all aspects of the industry gather to celebrate the annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust Awards & Graduation Ceremony at London’s Guildhall. 2019 not only marks the WSET’s 50th year but also the largest ever graduating class of Diploma candidates at 532 from over 40 countries.
Paul de Newtown, a cocktail & spirits consultant, received the Delamain Cognac Prize for WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits seen below with Andrew Hawes (MD of Mentzendorff & Co.) along with Honorary President, Steven Spurrier. This prize is awarded to a student from the UK wine & spirit trade who achieved outstanding results and Paul will visit Delamain in Jarnac sometime in the coming year to study the art of Cognac.
Joseph Hallam was the winner of this year’s Vintners’ Cup whilst the Riedel Trophy for the WSET Educator of the Year was awarded to the West London Wine School. This year the WSET also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW in recognition of her contribution to the development and growth of WSET in the United States.
Kilikanoon Awarded International Wine Spirits Competition Australian Wine Producer of the Year
We are thrilled to announce that Kilikanoon has been awarded Australian Wine Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition awards banquet held at Guildhall in the City of London.
This is the fifth time in eight years that Kilikanoon has been internationally recognised as Australian Winery of the Year, previously by James Halliday in 2013 and Germany’s Mundus Vini in 2010, 2017 and 2018.
In addition the Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz 2014 picked up the Shiraz Trophy on the night. The announcement comes after Kilikanoon was shortlisted last month as one of the six top performing Australian producers at this year’s show, having received medals for all of the 14 wines submitted including 3 Gold medals.
Mentzendorff’s Ciara Wong and Jason Cane from Kilikanoon attended the ceremony and were in very good company on table 20 as also on their table were Chris and Gosia Bailey (Mr. & Mrs. Fine Wine) who won Independent Wine Retailer of the Year, Tom Cannavan who picked up the Communicator of the Year, Inniskillin Okanagan Ice Wines went home with the Dessert Wine Trophy and Morris Wines (Cadella Wines) won Fortified Wine Producer of the year.
Well done to the team at Kilikanoon and all of the other worthy winners!
Delamain; Guardians of Time Honoured Cognacs
Delamain Cognac is very excited to be unveiling its new packaging and image. This new look combines a contemporary feel with ageless elegance and luxury, befitting a House with as rich a history as that of Delamain.
Based in Jarnac since 1824, The House of Delamain, has crafted cognacs which are recognised as being among the very best in the world. Three of the Delamain stable have so far undergone this re-branding: Pale & Dry X.O, Vesper X.O and Le Très Vénéré (previously Le Très Vénérable).
Since its creation in 1920, Pale & Dry has become a benchmark for X.O Cognacs. Generations of the Delamain family have been tasked with replicating this extraordinary cognac, named because of its pale colour and dry style. Vesper X.O was created in the 1950’s and is more powerful than Pale & Dry and expresses itself more affirmatively. The word “Vesper” in Latin means both “evening” and “evening star” and it was named with the still deep power of early evening or “Vesper” prayers in mind. Last but not least Le Très Vénéré, whose character is most etched by the gifts of time of all of the cognacs in the Delamain range. Le Très Vénéré is a creation at the peak of its potential and is the fullest expression of the art of cognac.