Alentejan Cartuxa brand joins the Mentzendorff Portfolio
We are pleased to announce that the Alentejan Cartuxa brand has joined the Mentzendorff portfolio. Cartuxa is one of the oldest wineries in Portugal and is steeped in history. Vineyards have been on the same Quinta de Valbom site in Évora since 1517, when the Jesuits came to the region to establish the second oldest university in Portugal. The name Cartuxa comes from the Cartuxa monastery that the Carthusians started to build in 1587 and finished in 1598. It was in 1871 that the Cartuxa monastery and the Valbom were rescued from ruin by the Eugénio de Almeida family.
Today, Cartuxa works across 1050 hectares of vineyards across four sites and is owned by the charitable foundation, Fundação Eugénio de Almeida. In 1963, Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida created the foundation, responsible for developing many important social and cultural organisations across the region, including the Évora University, hospitals, social housing and numerous welfare institutions.
The wines of Cartuxa are produced within the Alentejo sub-region of Évora and have long been legendary within Portugal. The iconic Pêra-Manca has a long pedigree that is intertwined with Portuguese history. Not only were the wines from the “Pêra-Manca region” first mentioned in a letter from Évora Town Council to King João II in 1488, but they were also aboard Pedro Álvares Cabral’s ship when he discovered Brazil in 1500. The Pêra-Manca brand was first patented in the 1870s, and the wines gathered international recognition when the reds won gold medals in Bordeaux soon after. Following many political changes in Portugal, the arrival of phylloxera and the death of the vineyard owner in 1920, the Pêra-Manca wines were not made again until 1990 when Cartuxa revived the Pêra-Manca label for its flagship wines. Today the wines celebrate native grape varieties and now have cult status within Portugal and around the world. Olive oil is also a major part of the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, and now farms an area of some 400ha.
Pedro Baptista, Vice-President of the Executive Board and winemaker of Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, comments, “We believe that Mentzendorff is the perfect partner for our vision to produce unique wines for UK wine lovers and for new consumers who want to discover and feel the spirit of the Alentejo-Évora region in a glass of wine.”
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 2021, Henriques & Henriques was awarded the Best In Show medal for the 20-Year-Old Verdelho, as well as winning an impressive Platinum medal for their Single Harvest Sercial 2001.
The following wines also picked up Gold Medals: Hambledon Première Cuvée Brut (96 points), Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé Brut (95 points), Champagne AYALA La Perle 2012 (95 points), Ciacci Rossofonte 2018 (96 points), Bodegas Roda 1 2016 (95 points), Kilikanoon Mort’s Reserve Watervale Riesling 2018 (96 points), Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2017 (96 points), Bodegas Hidalgo Wellington 20 Years (95 points) and Henriques & Henriques 20-Year-Old Terrantez (96 points).
This year’s International Wine Challenge also saw more fine performances, notably from Taylor’s 20-Year-Old Tawny Port, which won a well-deserved Gold Medal.
Great results were also enjoyed at the Wine Merchant Top 100 awards with a trophy for Best Sweet Wine, won by Klein Constantia’s iconic Vin de Constance 2017. Klein Constantia Metis Sauvignon Blanc 2017 also made the Top 100 list, along with Henriques & Henriques Single Harvest Verdelho 2007.
Guy Kennaway wins the 2021 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
We are delighted to announce that Guy Kennaway has won the 2021 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. His winning novel The Accidental Collector is a laugh-out-loud comedy about the contemporary art world, described by the Daily Mail as a ‘compelling comedy of errors’. He is the 22nd winner of this prestigious annual prize.
Kennaway was awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize at his home in Jamaica. As is tradition for the prize, Guy was presented with a pig, newly named The Accidental Collector, a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année, and the complete set of the Everyman’s Library P.G. Wodehouse collection.
The winning author Guy Kennaway with his various prizes.
Guy Kennaway says, “I have always wanted to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. It combines a number of my passions: good books, fine champagne, laughter and pigs. I am never more at home than with a coupe of Bollinger in one hand, a pork pie in the other, and a smile on my face.”
This year’s shortlist and winner was chosen over a lively judging lunch at The Goring Hotel, aided by a few glasses of Champagne Bollinger. The 2021 shortlisted novels were: Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts (Penguin Books), Naji Bakhti’s Between Beirut and the Moon (Influx Press), Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu (Bloomsbury), Hilary Leichter’s Temporary (Faber & Faber) and Lauren Oyler’s Fake Accounts (HarperCollins). A tough pick for the judges, who were Justin Albert (Vice President of Hay Festival and Director of National Trust Wales), David Campbell (publisher, Everyman’s Library), Daliso Chaponda (comedian), Pippa Evans (musical comedian and improviser), James Naughtie (broadcaster and author), and Sindhu Vee (comedian).
Hambledon Vineyard celebrates English Wine Week at Van Gough Alive
This year, we were lucky enough to celebrate English Wine Week (19th-27th June) in person at Van Gough Alive, with the official wine sponsor, Hambledon Vineyard. Having dazzled a global audience of 7 million people across 65 cities, Van Gogh Alive is being held at London’s Royal Kensington Gardens until September 26th. Van Gogh Alive combines state-of-the-art SENSORY4™ immersive gallery technology, high-fidelity sound and the aromas of Provence that give visitors the sensation of walking right into Van Gough’s paintings as if they are living and breathing.
On June 23rd, Hambledon Vineyard founder Ian Kellett led a fantastic tasting to press, teammates and customers of their award-winning Première, Classic Cuvée and Classic Cuvée Rosé English Sparkling Wines before venturing into Van Gough’s world via a beautifully curated, stunningly detailed immersive experience. Ian Kellet discussed the importance of chalk, the complexity of NV blending, and why growing your own grapes makes such a difference. In the outdoor terrace area, guests were served English sparkling wine from the Hambledon Bar, which takes pride of place inside the purpose-built 25,000 ft2 structure.