Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année & La Grande Année Rosé 2012
On Monday 17th February, Champagne Bollinger launched the much anticipated 2012 vintage of La Grande Année & La Grande Année Rosé.
The wines were presented to guests over a lunch hosted by Bollinger’s General Manager, Charles-Armand de Belenet, at St. JOHN Restaurant with a bespoke pairing menu created by founders Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver, with Head Chef Steve Darou. St. JOHN opened in 1994 in a former smokehouse, situated around the corner from Smithfield Market and is London’s champion of nose-to-tail cooking (and recipient of a very well-deserved Michelin star in 2009).
La Grande Année 2012 was served alongside platters of freshly poached Dorset Langoustines, mayonnaise and crusty bread. This was followed by a phenomenal pairing of La Grande Année Rosé 2012 with an otherworldly Guinea Fowl pie served with mashed potatoes and greens. Finally, for dessert, Bollinger’s non-vintage Rosé en magnum worked wonders with a jaw-droppingly gorgeous Rhubarb tart.
Trevor and Fergus said of their inspiration behind the pairings: “The 2012 vintage of La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé was an exceptional year and it has been an honour to create the dishes to pair with these great wines. We have chosen the respective ingredients for each pairing after much careful consideration with the aim of fully expressing the flavours of the dishes and the wines to their full potential.”
Victoria Carfantan, Director of Champagne Bollinger UK, says: “We are delighted to introduce La Grande Année 2012 and La Grande Année Rosé 2012 in the UK, and what better place to launch two such gastronomic cuvées than St. JOHN with an exceptional menu which really allowed the characteristics of the champagnes to shine through.”
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 2015
Tuesday 11th February saw the launch of the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino vintage from Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona at IT, London.
Mentzendorff were delighted to have one of the most highly esteemed Brunello producers show their wines from the acclaimed 2015 vintage and this was the perfect opportunity to explore the new releases, along with a selection of rare back vintages, under the guidance of owner and winemaker, Paolo Bianchini.
The Ciacci estate, extending over 220 hectares of which 55.5 are in vines and 40 in olive groves, has all the typical characteristics of the Tuscan countryside adorned with rolling hills, pastures and woods. Set between Arna hill and the Orcia River to the south-east which helps moderate the temperature of this hot dry part of the region, it offers a unique panorama with the beautiful Mount Amiata in the background. 53 hectares are devoted to the wonderful Sangiovese Grosso grape which produce the Brunello di Montalcino together with small amounts of Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon.
Among the line-up of stellar wines was the single-vineyard Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso 2015 which was recently awarded 100 Points by James Suckling and placed 14th in his list of Top Wines for 2019.
The Delamain Cognac Prize – WSET Awards & Graduation 2020
Tuesday 21st January saw wine and spirit professionals from around the globe gather at the City of London’s historic Guildhall to celebrate the annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust Awards & Graduation Ceremony. It was another record breaking year with the number of Diploma candidates graduating from the class of 2020 at 665 from over 18 countries.
Kaitlin Wilkes received the Delamain Cognac Prize for WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits seen below with Justin Liddle (Mentzendorff Sales Director) along with Honorary President, Steven Spurrier.
This prize is awarded to a student from the UK wine & spirit trade who achieved outstanding results and Kaitlin will visit Delamain in Jarnac sometime in the coming year to study the art of Cognac.
Giro di Toscana Wins The Vintners’ Benevolent Award
Friday 10 January saw members of the trade gather at Vintners’ Hall, the ‘spiritual home’ of the wine trade in the City of London, for the Worshipful Company of Vintner’s Wine Trade Lunch in aid of The Benevolent. The event saw guests enjoy a superb three course lunch accompanied by wines from the Vintners’ cellars, while helping to raise valuable funds for The Benevolent to offer support to anyone who works or has worked in the UK drinks industry and their families as well as networking with fellow members of the trade.
The event also saw the presentation of The Vintners’ Benevolent Award for Fundraising event of the year, which went to Mentzendorff’s Managing Director Andrew Hawes, pictured above with Ross Carter, CEO of The Benevolent and Michael Saunders, Chairman of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association.
Andrew, together with a group of colleagues, members of the trade and representatives from the supporting Italian wineries Tenuta Fertuna & Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, completed the Giro di Toscana, a 350km bike ride raising £35,000 for The Benevolent.
The Giro di Toscana was the tenth challenge of its type organised by Andrew Hawes and it exceeded its fundraising target of £20,000, by quite some margin, to make a new record total of £35,000. The riders had to battle the hills and the gravel roads – called Strade Bianche – of Tuscany in the extreme temperatures experienced in June 2019 with daily highs surpassing 40 degrees Celsius!