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Monthly Archives: November 2012

  • Xanadu Wins Five Nations Chardonnay Trophy

    Western Australia producer Xanadu has taken the trophy for the Best Chardonnay at this year’s Five Nations Challenge before going on to win the Trophy for Best White Wine of Show.

    Pitted against the best wines from New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa and Chile, the 2010 Xanadu Reserve Chardonnay came out on top. This incredible wine can now justifyably claim to be the Best White Wine in the New World!

    The trophy was presented by Huon Hooke at the Five Nations Challenge Presentation Trophy Dinner in Sydney on Friday night.

    The five nations wine challenge results are is here.

    Congratulations to Glenn and the team at Xanadu!

    If you're interesting in getting hold of some Reserve Chardonnay, we have a very limited allocation. Please contact us for more details.

  • Spotlight on South & Central American Spirits

    South & Central America is an increasingly important continent in the spirits world - the varied climates, wide spread of latitudes and diverse cultural traditions all contribute to a wide range of unique spirits styles.

    In Mexico the native agave reigns supreme, but many of the Caribbean and Atlantic facing countries use on sugar cane as their raw material, however some choose fresh cane juice for a lighter style, while others use heavier molasses for a rich flavour. On the Pacific coasts grapes rather than cane are preferred base for distillation.

    Regions and countries have different production methods too, Mezcal's smokey flavours are the result of baking or roasting the maguey pinas in fire pits before fermentation.

    Pot stills and column stills all contribute to the flavours as does the barrel maturation process - in warmer tropical climates spirits age up to 3 times faster, but slower at higher altitudes where the air is cooler.

    Our South & Central American Spirits selection this month features a wide range of unique spirits from a number of countries including Cachaças from Brazil, Pisco from Peru and Chile, classic Mezcals from Mexico and fine rums from Guatemala, Venezuela and Colombia. While rightly proud of their heritage, many producers continue to innovate with fine rums infused with orange or coffee - some are taking this further and even making gin!

    If you'd like to know more about our range of products and services please contact our Sales office or your Account Manager.

  • Yealands wins Global Green Award

    Yealands Estate has been awarded “Most Sustainable Medium Business” at the International Green Awards 2012. The Marlborough winery is the only New Zealand organisation, and only winery globally, recognised by the leading sustainability awards.

    The winners were announced last night at the International Green Awards ceremony and dinner at Battersea Power Station, London. Yealands Estate Pinot Gris and Yealands Estate Pinot Noir were served throughout the evening, which was hosted by actor and impressionist Alastair McGowan, an ambassador to WWF-UK.

    The International Green Awards were created with the aim of identifying companies that have exhibited leadership and innovation in their sustainability approach. Details can be found at Below Yealands' UK Business Manager Giles James accepts the award on behalf of the winery.

    Giles-James-accepts-Green-award- for-YealandsFounder of Yealands Estate, Peter Yealands, says this global recognition marks a coming of age for the winery.

    “We set out with a vision of best practice from the vine to the bottle. Since launch, our goal has been to produce world-class wines and become a global leader in sustainable wine production. This award, in addition to recently winning the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world at the International Wine Challenge, demonstrates that we’re well on the way to achieving that dream.”

    The Most Sustainable Medium Business category is open to medium enterprises around the world, with total revenues between $10 million and $100 million. The judges commented that their aim was to reward an organisation that is innovating, challenging traditional wisdom and can show impressive first-hand results that can be replicated with other businesses. All entries were judged anonymously, to avoid any prejudice.

    “Yealands Estate continually strives to improve our sustainable practices. For us sustainability is about using resources in a smarter way, which guarantees future supply and our profitability. We’re conscious that our commitment needs to be tangible; being green is an integral part of who we are, and for us it is essential to producing world-class wines.” comments Peter Yealands.

    New Zealand Winegrowers Chief Executive, Philip Gregan, says the win recognises New Zealand as a global leader in sustainable wine production.

    “The New Zealand Wine industry is committed to sustainable wine production and it’s a great endorsement that one of our producers has been recognised on the international stage.”

    Browse the Yealands range.

  • Ken Forrester's Gypsy wins 5 Stars in Platter

    Ken Forrester’s The Gypsy 2009 has just received a 5 star rating in the 2013 John Platter Wine Guide, South Africa’s most respected wine journal.

    To qualify for 5 stars, a shortlist of wines are entered into a second round of tasting. After a third blind tasting, the highest scoring wines are given a 5-star rating. In total, 65 wines were awarded this prestigious mark, less than 1% of the 7,300 wines tasted.

    Forrester’s Gypsy is created from the best barrels of Shiraz and Grenache, blended and matured in oak for almost 24 months to fully express the balanced, yet somewhat “wild” somewhat bohemian character of these noble varieties.

    Browse Ken Forrester's wines.

  • A thrilling view

    Piemonte. At Conterno Fantino, on the very top of the hill of Monforte d'Alba, at 560 metres altitude. In the foreground, (left), the village. In front, autumnal Chardonnay vines. In the far distance, rising spectrally above the mists, the Alps, with Monte Viso (3800 metres) soaring above the rest.

  • One cheese at a time

    Edgar has been pondering that age old cheesey question:

    We often get asked to recommend a wine with cheese and I always find it tricky. The essence of the problem: it depends which cheese you are talking about. I quite like Hugh Johnson’s idea of only serving one cheese, because then at least you can get the wine matching right. BTW, this has massive advantages from the kitchen’s perspective too – serve a product at the height of condition, reduce wastage, reduce complication.

    As one of our colleagues says “A friend of mine has just opened a restaurant in Clerkenwell. One of his driving ideas was that if anyone wanted cheese, they’d just get a really good piece of one cheese. And that’s it.”

    My ha’porth for good wines from our list with cheese (obviously this misses hundreds out):

    Hard (Cheddar) Need juicy, ripe fruit and smooth tannin complement the tangy dry structure of the cheese Gigondas Tradition from Brusset Santa Cecilia from Planeta

    Firm and aged (St Nectaire) Wanst something which is beginning to show tertiary development which complements maturity of cheese Pommard from Gaunoux

    Washed rind (Munster, Stinking Bishop) All about the aromatics and unctuous texture. Gewurz Reserve from Trimbach - don’t knock it until you try it.

    Soft (Brie) Wants acidity to cut through the creaminess Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett from Paulinshof

    Goat Again, needs acidity. Herbaceous aromatics also work well. Black label SB Yealands – for very pungent cheeses Sancerre Carrou – the traditional match

    Blue Sweetness, but also benefits from botrytis (mould brings complexity to both cheese and wine) Clos Dady Hoepler TBA Tokay Aszu 5 putt Crasto Vintage port

    All rounder Need acidity, probably best off without tannin, so white, but want structure, so wood is good Chateauneuf Blanc from Janasse Bourgogne Blanc from Moreau

    Do we also need an aged Loire Chenin Blanc with 55 grammes of residual sugar? Possibly the ultimate cheese wine? Watch this space.



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