Portobello Road moves into vodka
Portobello Road Gin has diversified its portfolio with the launch of a new range of British vodkas made with premium grade English-distilled potato spirit. A Potato Vodka, a Golden Madagascan Vanilla Vodka, a Calabrian Bergamot Citrus Vodka and a Toasted Coffee Bean Vodka will be available later this month. Launched in 2011, Portobello Road Gin has been at the forefront of gin’s resurgence and aims to play a key role in driving the growth of the premium flavoured vodka category, which has enjoyed significant growth over the last few years. The move into vodka will see the company change its trading name to Portobello Road Distillery. Four more flavours are due later this year: Amalfi Lemon Vodka, Asparagus Vodka and Watermelon Vodka.
STRYKK launches vanilla variant
Elegantly Spirited has added a vanilla variant to its STRYKK range of non-alcoholic spirit alternatives. STRYKK NOT VANILLA V*DKA is infused with Madagascan vanilla beans, is under 0.5% ABV and contains 0g sugar. It taps into the popularity of serves such as the espresso martini and passionfruit martini, which together account for one in five cocktails served in the UK. The launch increases STRYKK’s core spirits range to four products, joining STRYKK NOT G*N, STRYKK NOT R*M and STRYKK NOT V*DKA which were launched into the UK on-trade in 2018. “With 8.6 million drinkers looking to reduce their alcohol intake, STRYKK NOT VANILLA V*DKA represents a huge trade-up opportunity, giving consumers a non-alcoholic alternative to a favourite flavoured spirit,” says Elegantly Spirited CEO and co-founder of STRYKK Alex Carlton.
Château de Pommard goes organic
Château de Pommard has released its first batch of wines to carry an organic certification from a French certifier. Burgundy's largest monopole says the achievement is a ‘recognition of its commitment to wines that are better tasting, better for people’s health and better for our planet’. There are six 2019 wines available made with organic grapes from different parts of Château de Pommard’s 20 hectare Clos Marey-Monge vineyard.
New fizz on the block
West Sussex’s House Coren vineyard has produced an English wine made using the Charmat method. Priced at £26, Boco by House Coren is a blend of 42% Reichenstiener, 29% Chardonnay and 29% Pinot Noir with ripe pear, stone fruit and fresh citrus on the nose and peaches, ripe pears and hint of raspberry on the palate. House Coren says it opted for the Charmat method - which sees the second fermentation happen in a tank rather than in bottle - because the style showcases the bright, fruity freshness found in English grapes. It also points out that they can be released earlier and offer a lower price point than traditional method , which is the dominant style in England. The name for the wine was inspired by Old Sussex regional dialect, ‘boco’ derived from the French ‘beaucoup’ meaning ‘lots of/more.’ wines. “Boco creates a whole different segment in the English wine market that we feel there is demand for. A different price dynamic, easier drinking and brighter packaging will all in turn appeal to a much wider demographic,” says founder William Coren.
“Disruptive” Chablis brand launched
President of Nuits-Saint-Georges winery Badet Clément, winemaker and brand creator Laurent Delaunay has teamed up with his winemaker cousin, Dominique Gruhier, to shake things up in Chablis. The pair have created ‘contemporary, international brand’ Grand Calcaire that ‘encapsulates their extensive combined knowledge of the region and their shared vision for the future’. “Cool climate and minerality are two key trends in the international wine market at the moment, in Grand Calcaire we have both,” says Gruhier. To achieve this, the pair have selecting shaded north-facing plots with Kimmeridgian clay-limestone marl soil. The packaging will be more contemporary and international than that of most Chablis producers. There are three levels in the new Grand Calcaire range. Launching later this month are Grand Calcaire Chablis 2019 and Grand Calcaire Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2019, with Grand Calcaire Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2020 set to be released in 2022.
Yorkshire Tonics finds paradise
Yorkshire Tonics is expanding its range of mixers with the launch of a Paradise tonic that marks Yorkshire Day on 1 August. Paradise is made with natural extracts of quassia and Mediterranean botanicals including Sicilian lemon and rosemary. “Paradise is a versatile mixer which can be paired with any premium gin or vodka or served simply with ice and a slice,” says operations director Oliver Medforth. “We have seen demand grow for this type of tonic from pubs and bars and Paradise ticks the boxes when it comes to being fresh, sharp and strong and made here in Yorkshire.” Yorkshire Tonics’ range includes Apple and Elderflower; Pink Grapefruit; Citrus, Apple and Elderflower; Strawberry and Pomegranate; and Mixed Berry variants.
Smells like elderflower essence
Alcohol-free brewery Nirvana Brewery has launched a limited-edition lager for the summer season. Its elderflower lager is made with vienna malts and cascade hops with the addition of elderflower essence and is said to be the first of its kind in the country. The 0.5% abv straw-coloured lager is described as having a floral and fruity character with a refreshing finish of elderflower and is available in 330ml bottles.
Tia Maria matcha
Coffee-based liqueur Tia Maria has turned to tea for its latest expression with a matcha tea variant. Tia Maria Matcha sees the creamy blended with the distinctive flavours and natural caffeine of Japanese green Matcha tea extract to create a 17% abv drink. The company suggests serving the drink in a glass with a sugar and matcha tea powder rim.
Gordon Ramsay launches own gin
Billed as Ramsay’s ‘first step’ into the UK spirits market, Six Rivers: Eden Gin sees the world famous chef collaborate with St. Andrews-based distiller Eden Mill. Botanicals used in the gin include a Scottish superberry called the honeyberry, which grows near Eden Mill’s distillery, and Mara Seaweed harvested from nearby Crail. “There is a dynamic and vibrant gin industry within the UK. As one of the world’s fastest growing spirits segments, it’s been clear to me for a while that gin has huge appeal,’ says Ramsay, who was once the face of Gordon’s gin. “The team at Eden Mill have an innovative approach to the art of distilling, it has been a joy to work with them and I really respect their passion for their craft. We set out to create a narrative from the area around the distillery, to forage ingredients and develop flavours that told a story and I absolutely believe we have done that.” Six Rivers: Eden Gin is being distributed to the off-trade by Glen Turner.