Trio of Coteaux Champenois AOC wines launched
Champagne Drappier has released three new wines under Coteaux Champenois AOC, Champagne’s (somewhat lesser-known) appellation for still wines. Perpétuité is a white wine made with Pinot Noir using a solera-esque system that combines wines from 2002 to 2018 to create a floral wine that is reminiscent of white Burgundy. Next up is Permission, which is also 100% Pinot Noir but vinified as a red wine and offering blackcurrant and red fruits alongside 'tight yet refined tannins'. Aged for two years in oak, the wine is described as being a ‘step closer to Burgundy’ and one that’s worth ageing. Finally, Trop M’en Faut! is made from Fromenteau - AKA Pinot Gris - which used to be prominent in the region but is now a rarity. The wine is lightly sparkling with notes of dairy, lanoline, pineapple and poached pear. “As the climate warms, the quality of Champagne’s still wines will evolve. With our limestone soil and the right weather, we’ll be close to the Burgundy of thirty years ago. Our red and white wines will doubtless be excellent,” says head of house Michael Drappier.
Premium prosecco takes pop at Champagne
England-based wine enthusiasts Mark Hill and Harry Cooke are hoping to change consumer perception of Prosecco with a premium take on the hugely popular northern Italian sparkler. Pale Fox Prosecco is produced in Asolo DOCG, which is to the south of Veneto’s more famous Conegliano and Valdobbiadene DOCGs. Pale Fox’s secondary fermentation in tank is longer than that of most Proseccos, resulting in finer bubbles and a product that combines the ‘lightness of a premium prosecco with the minerality, structure and flavour of fine champagne’. Pale Fox is drier than most proseccos - which are typically produced as Extra Dry with up to 17g of sugar per litre - with 8g of sugar per litre. The 2020 vintage recently received 93 points from wine critic James Suckling.
A most benevolent rum
Launching in the UK this month, Saint Benevolence is billed as a rustic, terroir-driven sugar cane spirit. It’s a rum clairin, a style unique to Haiti that’s often compared to mezcal because it tends to be produced by small scale distillers. With hints of wasabi and white pepper, smoke on the nose and touches of green banana and briny green olive, Saint Benevolence was founded by Calvin and Chase Babcock as a means of merging their love of rum with their charitable endeavours. The father-son team have dedicated themselves to the island nation over the last four decades and are donating 100% of their profits to fund life-changing medical services, educational programs and economic developments benefitting the people and local communities of northern Haiti. Serving suggestions for this 50% ABV rum include sipping straight, with freshly squeezed lime, or used in nostalgic rum cocktails such as mojitos and daiquiris.
Camden Town Brewery creates beer dedicated to Arsenal FC
Camden Town Brewery has marked the 50th anniversary of Arsenal’s ‘double header’ - winning both the FA Cup and Premier League in the same year - with Camden’s Double Hells Lager. The limited edition brew has an ABV of 7.1% (see what they did there?) and is double dry hopped with Hallertau hops. Full of citrus and herbal flavours, beer (and football) fans can expect fresh bread aromas from the malt, with refreshing lemony notes and a clean, dry finish. “1971 was one of the most iconic years for Arsenal and the club’s amazing fans, so we brewed this limited-edition beer, that we believe is befitting of such a season, for Gooners to celebrate with,” says head of brand experience and partnerships Ashleigh Amos. “Inspired by the away kit the team won in at Wembley 50 years ago, we’ve swapped our iconic Hells Lager red for yellow and blue. The colour is exclusive to our new Double Hells Lager, so it looks as fresh as it tastes.”
Bolney Wine Estate brings still chardonnay to market
West Sussex’s Bolney Wine Estate has bolstered its range of still wines with the launch of its first chardonnay. The 2020 vintage is part of the Bolney Estate Range, and joins Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Pinot Gris. Bolney says the UK’s cooler climate has resulted in Chardonnay that retains more apple and citrus characteristics than those made with grapes grown in warmer climates. The Bolney Estate Chardonnay is described as a textured, crisp white with citrus, apricot and orange peel, finishing with brioche and honey. “The last year has been more than challenging for everyone, but we’re so pleased that something positive has come out of it for Bolney and our customers with our 2020 grapes ripening to perfection,” says managing director Sam Linter.
Nude makes Zero range even lighter
Turkey-based glassware manufacturer Nude has made its Zero premium range of lightweight glassware even lighter. Nude uses Ion Shielding Technology to make the new glasses tough yet stylish and light to handle. There are two different collections. Ghost Zero Belly features a bulbous bowl transiting into tapering straight sides while Ghost Zero Tulip is a more classic tulip shape with smooth curves. Both collections include red, white, sparkling and tumblers. “To be able to combine outstanding strength with such elegance is the usp of these Ghost glasses. They really are unbelievably light,” says Josh Rammell, marketing manager at Nude’s UK distributor Utopia. Nude’s Ion Shielding Technology is based on an ion-exchange process during manufacture, whereby larger ions are incorporated into the glass’s surface structure replacing smaller ions which cause the strains and stresses that cause micro-fissures leading to weaknesses.
New hard seltzer brand launched
Lot 42 has entered the UK’s booming hard seltzer market with a range of drinks that is billed as ‘all-natural’ as well as being gluten-free, vegan and kosher. There are two drinks in the range - Blueberry & Lemongrass and Huckleberry & Ginger. The products can be served on their own or mixed with spirits. Founders Dale Milliken and Chris MacDonald launched Lot 42 - which is named after a township on Prince Edward Island, Canada - after working for major global drinks brands Heineken and Pernod Ricard. “Hard seltzers are seen to be the latest alcopop fad created for young people. At first glance they cue artificial flavours and the cans are always overly colourful and playful,” says Milliken. “With Lot 42, we wanted to offer a more premium option into the hard seltzer market, one which had the lightness we’re all looking for, but which is, and tastes, natural.”
Vedett launches summertime beer
Belgian beer brand Vedett has launched a summer time-focused 5.2% Belgian tropical lager that’s designed to be served with a wedge of lime in the neck of the bottle. Offered only in a 33cl bottle, Extra Playa is pale blonde in appearance with refreshing notes of lemon and joins Vedett Extra Pilsner, Vedett Extra White and Vedett Extra IPA. All the beers are brewed by the family-owned Duvel Moortgat in Belgium. “This is a summer-time pixie,” says UK brand manager Jonas Rosales. “With Extra Playa, Vedett is adding a light, tropical, easy drinking beer to its range. It’s refreshing during the summer months and during that window, a fresh, new addition to the existing Vedett-portfolio.”