Top 15 new products of the month
1. Sipsmith Summer Cup
Homegrown lemon verbena, Earl Grey tea, cardamom, cucumber and orange are just a few of the ingredients that create the new Sipsmith Summer Cup. Harking back to the quintessentially English “cups” of the 1800s, Sipsmith Summer Cup ingredients are blended with Sipsmith London Dry Gin in Prudence, London’s first copper pot still since 1820, to produce a drink inspired by sippers of yesteryear.
“We are thrilled to be launching our Summer Cup, which we believe encapsulates the flavours of summer and hope will be enjoyed at many a garden party.” Fairfax Hall, Co-founder of Sipsmith said.
2. Old English Gin
Hammer & Son Ltd has launched Old English Gin, distributed by Coe Vintners in the UK, which has been created to “whisk you back to the 1800’s and the way Gin was meant to be indulged.”
In 1783 England was the largest importer of French Champagne and it was normal that consumers would fill any vessel they had when buying Gin from the Gin shops.
Hammer and his team are using recycled Champagne bottles, organic sealing and silk printed labels as they did in 1783 to emphasize the concept of how English Gin was made, named and distributed at that time.
Gin has been the preferred spirit for cocktails for more than 220 years’, says Henrik Hammer, the maker of Old English Gin, ‘and I wanted to re-create English Gin as it was made in the old days, offering bartenders a tool to make classics such as the Julep, Smash, Crusta, Martinez and Tom Collins, and have them taste as they were intended’.
‘Of course I wouldn’t know exactly how Gin would have tasted back then, but I was lucky to lay my hands on a recipe from 1783, and my aim was to reach a tasting profile comparable to gins made at the time. Being lucky again, I was offered to have the Old English Gin distilled in the oldest pot still currently used in England, making the whole concept even more authentic.’
In 1690, English soldiers returning from the wars against the Dutch in the Mediterranean brought back a drink that rapidly became extremely popular. By 1751 the British government decided to regulate uncontrolled production. As the manufacture of Gin became overseen, the focus shifted to quality and taste, sparking off a range of cocktails that we now know today.
Up until 1890 the “styles” London Gin and Dry Gin didn’t exist, and when buying Gin in the 1700’s and 1800’s you’d be offered a simple choice: Holland’s Gin or English Gin.
3. Beefeater Inside London Limited Edition
Beefeater Gin is celebrating its home city with the launch of the Beefeater Inside London Limited Edition bottle. The limited edition design pays homage to the capital city.
Wrapped in Beefeater’s distinctive red, the bottle reveals a lot of colour within the transparent Yeoman silhouette.
Beefeater was created by James Burrough in a small distillery in Chelsea in 1863. Now distilled near the River Thames in South London, the traditional Beefeater recipe has remained virtually unchanged offering a full-bodied gin with beautifully balanced flavour.
The limited edition Beefeater Inside London bottle is available now until the end of the year in more than 25 key markets, with an ABV of 40%.
4. Olmeca Fusión Dark Chocolate
Olmeca has strategically rolled out the Dark Chocolate variant of its Olmeca Fusión range into Spain. The premium Tequila-based liqueur, with an ABV of 20%, will aim to attract new consumers to the category.
The launch into Spain, where the consumption of short drinks is currently very strong, will be supported by “Release the Flavour” themed consumer sampling events with ice shot machines.
Olivier Fages, international vice president for Olmeca, says: “While bartenders across the globe are really embracing Tequila with innovative and exciting cocktails, there is still huge scope to grow the other side of the category, by recruiting young, adventurous consumers.”
“The Olmeca Fusión range, which has a lower ABV than our original Tequila, currently boasts two variants, each inspired by the delicious flavours of Mexico – Dark Chocolate and Hibiscus. Like the rest of the Olmeca family they are each presented in an iconic bottle that represents the premium quality and authenticity of the product. We are confident that this vibrant, refreshing range will be huge success for us, and look forward to monitoring its development following this latest launch in Spain.”
5. Estrella Galicia
PLB has been appointed the sole UK importer for Estrella Galicia beer for the UK retail, restaurant and bar sectors. The agreement gives PLB’s Beer Division its first Spanish beer agency, and Estrella its first sole UK distributor.
Estrella Galicia, which dates back to 1906, is produced at the self-titled brewery based in La Coruna, in the province of Galicia in northern Spain. It is currently the fifth largest brand in the home market, with a 90% share of sales in northwest Spain. Single 330ml bottles currently retail for around £1.89 in the UK.
“Estrella Galicia has been available in this country for five years and has a strong base in London – now they’re ready for a national awareness drive, which PLB is able to lead,” commented Martin Howe, Sales Manager for PLB’s Beer Division.
“Consumer demand for world lagers in the UK continues to climb and Estrella – which has over 100 years of heritage and is recognised as a true, authentic Spanish beer from a family-run company – gives a focal point to our developing world beer portfolio.”
6. Devil’s Cut
Maxxium Travel Retail is staging a launch campaign for Devil’s Cut at Frankfurt airport whilst at the same time unveiling a three-month awareness drive across its expanded Jim Beam portfolio.
This major airport activation promotes the April launch in European travel retail of premium expression, Devil’s Cut. Aimed at 26-39 year old men, Devil’s Cut is a unique product with flavour unlocked from inside the barrel wood.
Under the campaign banner “Unleash your Spirit”, the high-visibility initiative for Devil’s Cut ran throughout June and encompasses activity both in and out of store.
With every purchase of Devil’s Cut, customers receive a free whiskey tumbler and are encouraged to enter a draw which runs until August to win a special VIP Club night prize for the winner and five friends.
7. Yali Wetland Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2011
Leading Chilean producer Viña Ventisquero has added a new Rosé to the Wetland entry level of its environmentally friendly range.
Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Viña Ventisquero’s owned vineyards in Peralillo, Colchagua Valley, the new Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé will sit alongside the already popular Merlot Rosé, as this category approaches peak season.
Winemaker Alejandro Galaz explains how this is achieved, “I allow the canopy to grow unmanaged giving rise to plentiful leaf formation over the clusters which acts as a sun umbrella. This allows the grapes to ripen fully, but removes direct exposure to the intense Chilean sunshine which would raise the sugar content and alcohol.”
8. Vergelegen DNA
Vergelegen has launched a new label in the UK designed to be the South African estate’s answer to top Saint Emilion. The wine, called DNA, is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and winemaker André van Rensburg said: “My love of Cheval Blanc is the inspiration for this.”
The latest edition to the Vergelegen range features André’s fingerprint on its label, because fingerprinting is used to identify individuals by their DNA.
It also looks like a contour map of a vineyard. Before the creation of DNA, André explained the Cabernet Franc was blended into other wines in the Vergelegen range, remarking: “I always thought it was such a waste.” RRP £21.
9. Champagne Drappier eco-friendly label
Champagne Drappier has launched a new, more ecological label for its Carte D’Or.
What has been created is a “greener” label with a 50% reduction in the surface area of paper. All paper used is sourced from FSC certified forests. There are no chemical inks used as they are now 100% vegetable. The choice of a non-adhesive or “dry” label for 95% of the production means, according to Drappier, “it doesn’t stick so well in an ice bucket, but the benefit for the planet is inestimable.”
While staying true to its distinctive yellow colour, the new labelling marks an increase in the proportion of Drappier’s organically cultivated vineyards to 35%.
First lauched 60 years ago, the original Carte D’Or label carried the name André Drappier, patriarch of the family, until the company removed his first name in 1985 as its launched into the US. In 1988 the alcohol content was added to the label.
10. Lillet Rosé
Maison Lillet has released its first new style in 50 years, Lillet Rosé.
Already launched in the US, it aims to carve out a place in the market for a fine wine rosé apéritif. Lillet Rosé’s distributors, Marblehead Brand Development, is hoping to take advantage of the summer and ever-growing trend for rosé in the UK. Dave Steward, Marblehead’s business development director, said, “As part of Marblehead’s philosophy of unearthing treasures from the world of fine wine and spirits, we are delighted to be able to introduce Lillet Rosé to the UK market. Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge have filled a niche and are already very well respected in the trade, so we’re looking forward to a similar success story for Lillet Rosé.”
Lillet Rosé has an abv of 17% and an RRP of £20.
11. Yali Wetland Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
Chilean producer Viña Ventisquero has added a new rosé to the Wetland entry level of its environmentally friendly range. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Viña Ventisquero’s owned vineyards in Peralillo, Colchagua Valley, the new Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé will sit alongside the existing Merlot Rosé.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery has released a new blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon called Eleanor, in tribute to the film director’s wife. “Eleanor has always been a true partner in all my endeavours, bringing her creativity, honesty and generous spirit to it all – she’s wife, mother, artist, filmmaker, collaborator and inspiration,” said Francis Ford Coppola.
“For all this and more, after 50 years of marriage, I want to honour her with Eleanor – her own wine.” The wine retails for US$50 and uses grapes from the 2009 vintage. Eleanor Coppola has also created its label. The floral design on the label expresses Eleanor’s love of textiles, particularly her passion for patterns that were prevalent during the Art Deco period.
13. G H Mumm Blanc de Blancs
GH Mumm is marking 130 years of producing wines from Cramant with the introduction of GH Mumm Blanc de Blancs.
This cuvée replaces the Mumm de Cramant, which was first created in 1882 when GH Mumm acquired a vineyard in the heart of this famous grand cru village. As a family reserve, each bottle of Mumm de Cramant was hand-delivered with a visiting card carefully folded in the top right-hand corner. In keeping with the exclusive spirit of the original, the label of the new GH Mumm Blanc de Blancs features a folded card detail.
GH Mumm Blanc de Blancs has low bottle pressure (4.5 bars compared to the standard 6), giving it a creamier texture on the palate. This is the first grand cru wine from GH Mumm’s new Expert Range which will also include a grand cru Brut Selection and a grand cru Blanc de Noirs (initially only available in France).
GH Mumm Blanc de Blancs will be available in selected prestige on- and off-trade outlets with an RRP £74.99.
14. Salentein Numina Spirit Vineyard Gran Corte 2011
Bodegas Salentein has recently launched its 2011 Numina Gran Corte white, which will be targeting UK on-trade and specialist outlets in 2012. The Chardonnay/Viognier blend, from the high altitude Uco Valley region in Mendoza, was unveiled at this year’s London International Wine Fair. It joins Salentein’s portfolio as one of its premium whites.
Numina is made from grapes hand-harvested and aged for nine months in French oak barrels. RRP £20.
15. Bacardi Wolf Berry and Bacardi Black Razz
Bacardi claims to have added “groundbreaking” ingredients never before infused with rum as part of a US launch also featuring “breakthrough” temperature and light-activated bottles.
The two new products are Bacardi Wolf Berry with blueberry and wolfberry, and Bacardi Black Razz with raspberry and black sapote.
Wolfberry is bright orange-red fruit, oblong-shaped and usually grown in China.
Black sapote fruit are tomato-like with an inedible skin that turns from olive to a deep yellow-green when ripe and an edible pulp that turns from white when unripe to a flavor, color and texture often likened to chocolate pudding when ripe.
“As the world’s most popular rum, Bacardi holds a leadership position when it comes to creating new innovative flavour combinations that blend the very popular, well known flavours with more exotic ones that are gaining momentum like wolfberry and black sapote, diversifying and adding color to the palettes of our consumers,” said Toby Whitmoyer, vice president and brand managing director, rum category, at Bacardi USA.