News story

March 2020

Mentzendorff Announces New Agency Partnerships with Jean-Luc Colombo and Hambledon Vineyards

Mentzendorff is pleased to announce new agency partnerships with two prestigious producers: Jean-Luc Colombo and Hambledon Vineyards. 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 French and sparkling wine ranges.

Jean-Luc Colombo

Jean-Luc Colombo and his wife began their wine trade career in 1984 with the opening of the “Centre Oenologique des Côtes du Rhône” that quickly established Jean-Luc’s name as a consultant and world-leading authority on the Syrah grape. In 1994, following the purchase of key vineyard sites, first in Cornas and then throughout the Rhône, they established “Vins Jean-Luc Colombo.” Jean-Luc and Ann have since been joined in the family business by daughter Laure, who is now head-winemaker.

Jean-Luc said, “We are very much looking forward to working with the Mentzendorff team. Their dedication to wine, knowledge of our region and expertise in developing distribution in key quality focused parts of the market such as the On-Trade and Wine Merchants, makes them the perfect long-term partner for us in the UK.”

Mentzendorff & Co; who will commence sales of Jean-Luc Colombo’s “Blue Coast” Mediterranean wines from 1st April, before following with the full Jean-Luc Colombo Rhône Valley range from 1st July.

Hambledon Vineyards

Hambledon in the South Downs is England’s oldest commercial vineyard having been established in 1952. Ian Kellett acquired Hambledon Vineyard in 1999 and, as a passionate wine lover intrigued by the winemaking heritage of the property, he analysed the potential for producing traditional method English Sparkling Wines.

Ian’s research convinced him that Hambledon was perfectly situated and in 2005 a 10-acre ‘test bed’ of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier were planted on 27 different combinations of clones and rootstocks. The chalk on which the vines grow was formed on the seabed of the Paris basin some 65 million years ago. It is part of the Newhaven Chalk formation that developed between the Santonian and Campanian eras of the Upper Cretaceous period. The same chalk, with the same Belemnite content, is found in the best Chardonnay areas of the Côtes des Blancs in Champagne.

Following increased plantings and a series of successful vintages, Hambledon is keen to increase its UK distribution and has enlisted Mentzendorff & Co. to execute its new commercial strategy. Andrew Hawes, Managing Director for Mentzendorff & Co. concludes: “Hambledon Vineyards is a natural addition to our portfolio of family-owned wine companies all of whom represent the very highest quality from their respective regions. We have followed the development of English Sparkling Wine with great interest and are very excited to be, for the first time, offering our customers a unique complementary portfolio of the highest quality Champagne and Sparkling wines – placing Hambledon (where it justifiably belongs within English Sparking Wine) alongside Champagne Bollinger, Champagne Ayala & Langlois-Chateau Crémant de Loire, in a market for quality sparkling wine that continues to grow and excite huge interest from the trade and consumers.”

Hambledon Vineyards will continue to be represented by Fields Morris & Verdin until 1st June 2020 from which point on Mentzendorff & Co will commence their new distribution agreement.

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