News

June 2019

Maison Saint AIX and the Royal Yacht Squadron Members’ Regatta 2019

While magnums of 2018 AIX Rosé rested in ice buckets, flags fluttered in the wind on the ramparts of The Royal Yacht Squadron, one of the most prestigious and exclusive yacht clubs in the world. Originally named The Yacht Club, it was founded in 1815 by a group of gentleman yachting enthusiasts. King George IV supplemented the club’s title with Royal five years later before King William IV renamed the club the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1833.

AIX Rose at the Royal Yacht Squadron

credit Stephanie Mackrill

The Royal Yacht Squadron clubhouse is known to most sailors as the centre of the action at Cowes Week, however the middle of June sees it host the Members’ Regatta (13th-16th June). Maison Saint AIX is incredibly proud to have been able to sponsor the opening reception on the Thursday and is looking forward to continuing this new partnership with the Royal Yacht Squadron. Sir Ben Ainslee, the most successful sailor in history with four Olympic gold medals and an America’s Cup win to his name in 2013, spoke the evening before the racing commenced as did Jaap Sonnemans from AIX and Bertie Bicket from the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Team Juno at the RYSMR 2019

Friday morning through to Sunday afternoon saw the Royal Yacht Squadron race officers looking down from the starting platform, and the mighty brass cannon marking the start of each race with their booming voices. Jaap and Mentzendorff Sales Director Justin Liddle, went out sailing with Yacht Juno in Class 1, the team looking resplendent in their AIX polo shirts and placing 4th after the six races. The racing was of course then followed by the prize giving with Jeroboams given to 1st and Magnums to 2nd and 3rd places. To the victors belong the spoils!

RYSMR Prize Giving

 

June 2019

Impressive Medal Haul for Mentzendorff

Mentzendorff has been celebrating the success of many of its producers who have achieved some fantastic results in a range of internationally renowned wine competitions so far this year!

At the Decanter World Wine Awards Kilikanoon and Henriques & Henriques were both awarded Best In Show medals for the Attunga 1865 Shiraz 2014 and the 20 YO Verdelho respectively. The Madeiran producer cemented its position at the top of the Decanter Awards with a Platinum medal for the 15 YO Sercial and Gold’s for the 20 YO Terrantez and 50 YO Tinta Negra.

Humberto Jardím, H&H Master Blender, commented “We produce wines in a ‘traditional’ style, although under modern and certified technical processes, which allows us to maintain the high quality and consistency that we have shown in our wines for generations. H&H’s wine profile has a special and unique identity.”

H&H Medal Winners

Tapanappa, Klein Constantia, Taylor’s and Bodegas Hidalgo, no strangers to the DWWA having all picked up top medals in last years judging, proved this year wasn’t going to be any different with Gold medals for the Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2017, Vin de Constance 2015, Quinta de Vargellas 2004 and the Amontillado Napoleón (VORS).

This years International Wine Challenge also saw more fine performances for H&H as they scooped Gold medals for the 10 YO Malvasia and Sercial and the 15 YO Verdelho. Taylor’s Port is one of the most highly respected producers of aged tawny wines and this was underlined with a Gold medal for the 20 Year Old expression. More success too for Kilikanoon with the wonderful 2015 vintage Oracle Shiraz which, quite rightly, won a Gold medal.

Great results were also enjoyed at the Wine Merchant Top 100 awards with two trophies; Best Fortified for the Henriques & Henriques 10 YO Bual and Best Value Fortified for the Fonseca Unfiltered LBV 2012.Bodegas Hidalgo and Fonseca made the Top 100 list with the 2019 Spring bottling of En Rama Manzanilla and Terra Prima (Organic) Port.

And finally, for now at least, in the Sommelier Wine Awards Michel Chapoutier’s Schieferkopf received a Gold Medal for the 2016 Riesling.

For the full Mentzendorff results click here.

May 2019

Champagne Bollinger and the World’s Leading Festival of Ideas

Champagne Bollinger has become the Official Champagne of the Hay Festival Wales. From 23rd May to 2nd June the World’s literati descended on Hay on Wye for the festival’s 32nd edition. Flocks of award-winning writers gathered to launch new works, global policy makers, pioneers and innovators debated solutions to the biggest issues of our time, from the rise of populism to the climate crisis.

32nd Hay Festival Wales

The festival also saw the prize giving for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. Established in 2000, the prize is awarded to the novel deemed to best capture the comic spirit of the late PG Wodehouse. This year the prize was won by Nina Stibbe for her pitch-perfect vintage comedy about love, lust and social angst at the dental surgery. Stibbe joins 19 previous winners including Helen Fielding, Hannah Rothschild, Howard Jacobson, Terry Pratchett and Will Self.

After a discussion of her book Reasons to be Cheerful Nina was presented with a special rollover prize of two locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, newly named Reasons and Cheerful, and a methuselah of Bollinger Special Cuvée.

Nina Stibbe with her Gloucester Old Spot pig

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “The writers of comic fiction are astonishingly gifted. They turn phrases, create characters to love, and offer a hotline to truth. Comedy can be a weapon to power too, and we need it today more than ever. For all of these reasons it is a joy to celebrate the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize at our Festival in May. We have been delighted by all the winners over the years.”

The Hay Festival

Victoria Carfantan, Director of Champagne Bollinger UK, said: “We are very proud of our long-standing relationship supporting the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, and we are delighted to partner this year with Hay Festival Wales as Official Champagne provider. It is an important occasion to continue supporting the most talented names in comic fiction, and we are delighted to offer our congratulations to Nina Stibbe as this year’s winner.”

April 2019

Fladgate Partnership 2017 Vintage Port Declaration

Taylor’s, Fonseca & Croft have all announced their decision to declare the 2017 vintage, this follows directly after the also classic 2016 Vintage . In addition to classic Vintage Ports from the three Houses, there will also be two ‘old vines’ bottlings.

Fladgate Partnership Vintage Ports

Taylor’s will release a 2017 Vargellas Vinha Velha, only the eighth bottling ever made (95, 97, 00, 04, 07, 09, 11 & 17). This rare Vintage Port is made in very small quantities from the very oldest vines on the property.

Further exciting news for wine enthusiasts is that, for the first time, Croft will release a Vintage Port from the oldest vines of the magnificent Quinta da Roêda.  “Serikos”, a reference to Roêda’s post-Phylloxera involvement in the production of silk, the wine captures the essence of this pre-eminent property’s historic vineyards.

Harvest at Quinta de Vargellas

The Fladgate Partnership’s Managing Director, Adrian Bridge, commented: “After the long interval that followed the 2011 Vintage release, we are delighted that the highly acclaimed 2016s are now followed by the superb 2017s.  All our houses and their properties have produced exceptional wines, with impressive density, depth and aromatic potential.”  He added:  “It is clear that 2017 was a stunning year for the old vineyards.  In addition to a Vargellas Vinha Velha release, we are very excited to be launching Serikos, a Vintage Port from the oldest vines of Croft’s Quinta da Roêda.”

Harvest at Quinta da Roeda

The group’s Technical Director and Head Winemaker, David Guimaraens, commented:  “We will remember 2017 for the very dry conditions throughout the growing and ripening seasons and the very early harvest.  August was not excessively hot and, although the wines were concentrated by the dry conditions and low yields, they were also beautifully balanced.  The start of the harvest was the earliest in a generation.  The last time picking started this early was in the legendary vintage of 1945.”   Commenting on the wines, he noted: “The thick skinned, perfectly ripened grapes have produced dense, firmly structured wines, with impressive depth and reserves of aroma.  Many of the wines display an attractive minerality which brings a touch of elegance and restraint to the powerful fruit.”

Fonseca Quinta do Panascal

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