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db recommends: Louis Roederer new packaging

Champagne Louis Roederer has unveiled new-look packaging designed by Philippe di Meo, who recently put his hand to the house’s limited-edition Jeroboam design for the 2002 vintage of its prestige cuvée Cristal, with a lattice design crafted from 24-carat gold. The five designs for the Roederer range incorporate everything from scribbles and swirls to Cubist-inspired geometrics. Keen to keep reinventing itself, Louis Roederer has also revamped its logo, which is now featured more prominently on the entire range. The simplicity of the new logo is echoed in the house’s new labels, with a block colour for each cuvée chosen to mirror the wine’s characteristics. “The coherence across the range reinforces its visual impact, brand personality and consistency. The new look does justice to our brand architecture while staying in tune with modern tastes,” says Michel Janneau, executive vice president of Louis Roederer.

CONTACT: Maisons Marques et Domaines +44 (0)20 8812 3380

Martini Bitter

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Italian vermouth brand Martini has relaunched Martini Bitter, a “light and refreshing” apéritif made to the original recipe developed by the company’s founder in 1872. According to its makers, Martini Bitter uses only pure and natural ingredients, such as sweet oranges and limes for the citrus component, Italian Artemisia, Chinese rhubarb and gentian for a bitter edge, and Bulgarian roses to add a delicate hint of aromatics. Designed to be used in classic ‘aperitivo hour’ cocktails, with the launch of the ruby-tinted sip the brand hopes to lure a new generation of consumers into becoming life-long Martini lovers. “As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, we are relaunching some of the products created at the time of our founders. First created by Luigi Rossi, Martini Bitter offers an explosion of flavours with gentle bitter, zesty lime and a touch of honey,” says John Grieveson, UK marketing director at Bacardi.


Dodd’s gin limited edition

With the London artisan gin boom in full swing, The London Distillery Company is celebrating the first anniversary of Dodd’s gin with a limited-edition bottling in collaboration with luxury department store Fortnum & Mason. Just 300 bottles will go on sale this month, with botanical inspiration taken from F&M’s rooftop beehives and the store’s extensive collection of rare teas. Developed at the Battersea-based distillery, the limited-edition line has been hand bottled, labelled and numbered and features a bespoke gold and silver design by United Creatives, with a bee taking centre stage on the label. The organic ingredients used to create the backbone of the 49.9% abv, non-chill-filtered gin are distilled in “Christina”, a 140-litre copper still, while the more delicate botanicals are reserved for “Little Albion”, a state-of-the-art cold vacuum still. Dodd’s gin pays tribute to 18th century entrepreneur and engineer Ralph Dodd.

RRP: £39.50/50cl.

CONTACT Fortnum & Mason +44 (0)20 3740 7476

Albion Racing Club Spiced Malt

Aiming to attract a new generation of whisky sippers is this chic new spiced malt. The hand-crafted malt, which was made in Cambridge, is distilled five times in copper pot stills then steeped in vanilla pods, raisins and Columbian coffee beans. According to its makers, the result is a 42% abv spirit boasting whisky characteristics but with a smoother, slightly sweeter palate, making it accessible to non-whisky drinkers. The brainchild of a trio of branding and design experts, the malt is designed to shine both neat and in cocktails. Targeting “premium spirits drinkers with a sense of adventure”, the Albion Racing Club will put on two classic car races a year, in the summer and winter, with The Alpine Run in Meribel setting the pace last month.

RRP: £29.99/50cl. 

CONTACT Fortnum & Mason +44 (0)20 3740 7476

Crabbie’s Fruits

Crabbie’s has unleashed a trio of alcoholic fruit-flavoured drinks onto the market. Targeted at 22- to 26-year-olds seeking a sweeter style of sip, Crabbie’s is hoping the range will come into its own at festivals, parties and picnics this summer. With the line-up formed of Zesty Lemon, Raspberry & Rhubarb and Black Cherry, weighing in at 4% abv, all three are made with natural fruit ingredients and are designed to be drunk straight from the bottle. Crabbie’s will be supporting the launch with a consumer campaign throughout the summer, which will include sampling at a range of events across the UK.

RRP: £1.59.

CONTACT Halewood International +44 (0)151 480 8800

Chandon Argentina brut and rosé

Moët Hennessy is targeting the gap between Champagne and the rest of the sparkling category with a major UK launch in May for its Argentine Chandon brand. The initial offering will be a white blend of 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as a rosé blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and “a hint” of Malbec. Moët Hennessy UK’s managing director Jo Thornton said: “Prosecco from £7-12 has driven the majority of that growth but we have seen a sweet spot where we can trade people up – and also down from entry-level Champagne.”

RRP: £14.99 (white) and £15.99 (rosé).

CONTACT Moët Hennessy UK +44 (0)20 7808 4400

Bisol noSO2

Renowned Prosecco producer Bisol has launched a zero-sulphur expression onto the market. According to its makers, noSO2 is the fruit of “countless years of research”. Seeking “maximum elegance, authenticity and longevity”, the fizz is aimed at consumers who are sensitive to sulphites. Housed in a striking silver aluminium bottle in order to protect it from the light, the wine is made from grapes grown and hand harvested from the steep slopes of the Valdobbiadene hills. “Excellent on its own and a great match for oysters, noSO2 fits perfectly with the requirements of the modern-day consumer who is keeping an ever more watchful eye on sustainability,” says Bisol’s managing director, Gianluca Bisol.

RRP: £21.99.

CONTACT: Bibendum +44 (0)845 263 6924

Bollinger R.D. 2002

Champagne Bollinger has released its R.D. 2002 vintage onto the market in a worldwide relaunch of the prestige cuvée. With Bollinger’s president, Jérôme Philippon, hailing 2014 “the year of R.D.”, the house is keen to draw attention to its recently disgorged expression. Given the quality of the vintage, R.D. 2002 has been bottled both in magnum and the standard 75cl format. The first-ever expression of R.D. was unveiled by Madame Bollinger 45 years ago at Berry Bros & Rudd in London, where the 2002 launch took place. Philippon believes the latest R.D. release offers: “Incredible freshness in the mouth, combined with a large palate of flavours, including tertiary notes, which are very unusual in a wine that fresh.” Formed of 60% Pinot Noir balanced by 40% Chardonnay from premier or grand cru sites in the Marne Valley, the wine’s back label displays its disgorgement date of 19 September 2013.

RRP: £175. 

CONTACT: Mentzendorff +44 (0)20 7840 3600

J&B Urban Honey

Following on from the success of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jim Beam Honey, Diageo has launched a new honey-flavoured “spirit drink” onto the market in an effort to open up the whisky category to sweet-toothed younger consumers. The 35% abv J&B Urban Honey is made by infusing J&B Scotch Whisky with honey, and is described by its makers as a “characterful”, “balanced” and “smooth” liquid that can be enjoyed neat or in cocktails. No doubt set to cause a buzz, Urban Honey makes its debut in Spain this month. “The creation of J&B Urban Honey is true to the urban roots of the J&B brand and its reputation for reinvention in the whisky category. The rapid growth of flavoured spirit drinks made J&B a natural choice for us as we looked to drive innovation,” said Dougal McGeorge, global brand director at J&B.

RRP: £20.

CONTACT: Diageo +44 (0)20 3036 0289

The Haig Club single grain whisky

Former England football captain David Beckham has launched a whisky in partnership with drinks giant Diageo and TV producer Simon Fuller.

Diageo announced the launch of Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky today, with Beckham set to play a “fundamental” role in developing the brand. Hailing from the House of Haig, Scotland’s oldest grain whisky distillery dating back to the 17th century, Beckham will also lead the promotion of a responsible drinking programme for Haig Club.
Housed in an electric blue square glass bottle with embossed writing, Haig Club appears to take design cues from the aftershave industry, which Beckham is well acquainted with, having put his name to five different fragrances.

CONTACT: Diageo +44 (0)20 3036 0289


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