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Chivite Las Fincas Rosado 2014

In time for summer, the jewel in Navarra’s crown, Chivite, has launched a fetching rosé in collaboration with three Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak in San Sebastián.

Keen to elevate the image of Spanish rosé, the wine hails from a vineyard close to Tudela. The pink was created by chief executive Julián Chivite in homage to his good friend, esteemed Spanish chef José María Arzak.

A blend of 54% Garnacha and 46% Tempranillo, the rosé was aged on its lees for six months prior to bottling. “The wine carries both our names and has been designed to stand out from other Spanish rosés due to its pale colour and food-friendly nature, but it’s as good with food as it is on its own,” Chivite said.

The wine is housed in an attractive elongated bottle bearing similarities to Brangelina’s Château Miraval Rosé.

RRP: £9
CONTACT: Bespoke Drinks Media +44 (0)1403 240 147

Summertime Passion Fruit

Australian Vintage has become the latest producer to spot an opportunity for fruit-flavoured sparkling wine as it launches a range called Summertime.

Described as a “crowd pleaser” and aimed at the UK’s younger, female audience, the 8% abv drink comes in passion fruit, mixed berry or watermelon styles and is currently available exclusively through Asda. Julian Dyer, general manager for the UK & Europe at Australian Vintage highlighted a trend towards lighter styles.

“Summertime is the ideal drink for those who enjoy the sweeter things in life and love having a good time. It’s fun, easy to drink and perfect for sharing with friends. We’re convinced that shoppers will love this drink,” he said.

The move forms part of a wider product development trend by a number of major wine companies to offer fruit- flavoured options in a bid to appeal to a younger audience.

RRP: £5.49
CONTACT: Australian Vintage +44 (0)207 924 8846

Bacardi Tangerine

Rum giant Bacardi has added a tangerine variant to its flavoured rum range in tandem with the 20th anniversary of the collection. Bacardi Tangerine is a 35% abv flavoured rum infused with “rich tangerine flavours for a tangy, fresh taste”. The inaugural flavoured variant, Bacardi Limon, was first introduced in 1995.

“This anniversary year is a big deal for Bacardi flavoured rums and we continue to expand the portfolio with innovative flavours to meet our consumers’ needs for rich taste experiences,” said Shane M. Graber, vice president and brand managing director for Bacardi North America, adding, “With the introduction of Tangerine, the brand delivers a flavour for consumers to enjoy throughout the summer during pool parties and at the beach.”

A suggested serve is to combine Bacardi Tangerine with orange juice to turn it into a cocktail. New packaging for all of Bacardi’s flavoured rums will be rolled out this summer.

RRP: £8/750ml

The Macallan Rare Cask

The Macallan’s Rare Cask – which it claims is the embodiment of its “obsession” with single malt – has been launched in the UK. Making its debut in the US last October, the new malt has been made from whiskies matured in Spanish and American oak and some of the casks used in its creation will never be used again by the distillery.

Bob Dalgarno, the master whisky maker responsible for creating the spirit, said: “Rare Cask is about firstly identifying a selection of casks which can truly be called rare. Each of the cask styles result in different character, so each imparts their own distinct influence on the final whisky.”

The whisky is available from specialist retailers.

RRP: £200
CONTACT: Maxxium UK +44 (0)131 557 5252

Rioja Vega Rosé Tempranillo 2014

This new rosé from Rioja Vega is made from a blend of 50% Tempranillo Blanco and 50% Tempranillo Tinto harvested on 18 September last year. The grapes were kept at a low temperature throughout the production process.

Once in the cellar, both batches underwent a brief pre-fermentation cold maceration for a very short amount of time so that there was barely any contact of the must with the skins.

This process differentiates the rosé from the traditional saignée rosés. According to its makers, the “satin pink” rosé is a delicate wine “with hints of white flowers on the nose and a fresh palate with a good acidity”.

RRP: £12.99
CONTACT: Rioja Vega

Charles Heidsieck Rosé 2006

Charles Heidsieck has unveiled its Rosé Millésime 2006, the first since its 1999 vintage. While a Rosé 2005 remains in the pipeline, Charles Heidsieck’s executive director Stephen Leroux explained the decision to launch a 2006 expression first: “2005 is very good, but it’s so closed,” he revealed to db.

In keeping with the house’s traditional approach, the Rosé 2006 is made up of just over 60% Pinot Noir and around 30% Chardonnay, drawn from around 15 villages. While the majority of the Pinot Noir comes from the Montagne de Reims, a proportion is drawn from Les Riceys in the warmer Aube region to the south.

Christopher Descours, whose family firm EPI bought Charles Heidsieck in 2011, outlined efforts to improve distribution in line with the quality of product. In particular, he observed: “We try to be more steady in the regularity of bottling our cuvées.”

RRP: £95
CONTACT: Liberty +44 (0)20 7720 5350

Gáudio Clássico 2013

After the successful release of Gáudio Clássico Red 2012, Alentejo-based Ribafreixo Wines has moved on to its 2013 vintage.

Made from a blend of 40% Touriga Nacional, 40% Alicante Bouschet, 10% Tinta Miuda and 10% Aragonez, the red is aged in French oak. According to its makers, the wine has a “full body, rounded and silky tannins, with a perfectly integrated acidity and a long and persistent finish”.

On the nose are notes of “blackberries, plums, blueberries and chocolate”, while the palate is “smooth and concentrated with lively acidity”. It is said to make a great pairing for steak with aromatic herbs or big game with truffles.

RRP: £12.95
CONTACT: Ribafreixo

Ileana Pinot Grigio

This “crisp” and “aromatic” number is made from Pinot Grigio grown on a south-facing hillside vineyard on the eastern bank of the Val d’Adige close to the Dolomites in Alto Adige.

A microclimate of cold winters and warm summers with cool nights enables the grapes to reach full maturation while retaining great acidity and minerality.

This “bone dry” white, its makers say, is “lean” in style and “lower in carbs”. The wine is left on its lees for five months for added complexity.

According to its makers, it offers aromas of “citrus fruit, peaches and honeysuckle” and flavours of “lime, melon and pears” on the palate leading to an “elegant, persistent and lingering” finish.

RRP: £9.99.
CONTACT: Orion Wines +39 (0)461 247 135

Graham’s 1972 Single Harvest Port

Port house Graham’s has launched individually numbered bottles of its 1972 Single Harvest Port, the first wine selected for ageing as a dated tawny by Peter Symington in the era following the family’s acquisition of Graham’s in 1970.

Over 60% of the original wine has evaporated as part of the “angel’s share” after more than 40 years of maturing in seasoned oak casks in the Graham’s lodge.

The decision to bottle the concentrated result was taken by Peter’s son Charles, head of winemaking at the family company, who has nurtured the wine since his father’s retirement in 2009.

“I selected this small parcel from the 1972 vintage and from the very oldest vines, then over 80 years old. I watched this wine age in the Graham’s cellars for many years before handing over the responsibility to Charles,” said Peter Symington. Golden in colour, the liquid boasts aromas of “dried fruits and orange peel”.

RRP: £215
CONTACT: John E Fells: +44 (0)1442 870900

The Pogues Irish Whiskey

West Cork Distillers, one of only three independent whiskey distilleries in Ireland, has launched an Irish whiskey in partnership with The Pogues.

Fronted by singer Shane MacGowan, The Pogues are a Celtic punk band who formed in 1982. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s, but are perhaps best know for their classic Christmas duet, Fairytale in New York, with Kirsty MacColl.

The whiskey is a blend of grain malt Irish whiskey, which its producers claim make it Ireland’s “highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey”.

“We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,” says John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.

“The Pogues offer a perfect partnership as they share many of the same values as our company such as an independent spirit, a slightly unorthodox approach and a commitment to quality, as well as success on the international stage.”

Crafted by distillers Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy, the whiskey is aimed squarely at the younger market targeting 25 to 35 year olds.

The whiskey is said to have an aroma of malt, cracked nuts, almond and a slight sweetness. Its “smooth intensity delivers a palate that is malty and floral with a mild chocolate taste and lingering citrus”, a release said.

Halewood International has been appointed to market the whiskey in the UK. However the distillery is also working with more than 16 partners to distribute the products throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, USA and Canada with the aim of establishing The Pogues Irish Whiskey as a global brand.

RRP: £30
CONTACT: Halewood International: (+44) 151 480 8800

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