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Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch

Kilchoman has released its first single malt Scotch whisky matured in Madeira casks.

Just 17 first fill ex-Madeira barrels were selected for the limited edition release, with only 6,100 bottles set to be made available worldwide. Filled in 2011, the Islay single malt has spent its full maturation period in the Madeira wine barrels.

“This release is a break from the norm for us, it represents a bit of an experiment with full maturation rather than simply finishing whisky in casks like Madeira”, said Kilchoman’s founder Anthony Wills, adding, “Full maturation means the impact of the cask is that much greater. The challenge is to ensure the whisky remains balanced and the influence of the Madeira cask is integrated with that of the Kilchoman spirit.”

Bottled at 50% abv, it carries a tasting note of strong lemon and citrus on the nose with a sweet and nutty dark chocolate character on the palate.

CONTACT Kilchoman

RRP: £69.

Sténopé 2008

Renowned Rhône-based winemaker Michel Chapoutier has unveiled his first Champagne, which has been made in partnership with Devaux.

The new fizz is a vintage Champagne made solely with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and has been called Sténopé, from the French word for a pinhole camera, in reference to the fact that the Champagne aims to create a photographic image of a terroir every year.

The pair of producers plan to release a vintage every year, which will “faithfully capture the image of the vintage”, according to Chapoutier, rather than simply “the expression of terroir in a declared vintage”. Only 3,400 bottles and 620 magnums were produced for the inaugural 2008 vintage and just 160 bottles and 30 magnums will go on sale in the UK.

CONTACT Liberty Wines +44 (0)20 7720 5350

RRP: £150.

Portobello Road Director’s Cut

Boutique gin producer Portobello Road has released a limited edition expression of its small batch Director’s Cut gin distilled with British asparagus.
Co-founder Paul Lane travelled to Cambridge to pick 10kg of British asparagus spears for the release, working with asparagus producer Will Aveling. Crafted in its 30-litre still “Copernicus the Second”, each batch is bottled and labeled by hand at the Ginstitute on London’s Portobello Road. Other botanicals used include gentian root, juniper berries, cassia bark, nutmeg, lemon and orange peel. Just 1,000 bottles of the 47% abv craft gin will be on sale at and selected independent retailers.

CONTACT Portobello Road Gin +44 (0)20 3588 7800

RRP: £39 for 70cl.

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Veuve Clicquot has launched the most recent vintage of its prestige cuvée, La Grande Dame 2006.
Made from a blend of 53% Pinot Noir and 47% Chardonnay, grapes for La Grande Dame come from the house’s eight classic Grands Crus vineyards. Chef de cave Dominique Demarville described it as being “first floral, fruity and then toasty” on the nose, developing into richer aromas of brioche, nougat, ginger and preserved lemon. La Grande Dame is named after Barbe Ponsardin, the widow (veuve in French) of François Clicquot, who became known as “La Grande Dame de la Champagne”, such was her success as a Champagne maker and businesswoman.

CONTACT Moët Hennessy UK, 0207 808 4300

RSP: £120.

Giffard Chocolate Cookie Syrup

French liqueur and spirits producer Giffard has released a sweet flavoured syrup designed for use in cocktails. Giffard stocks a vast range of 100% pure sugar syrups from mint and melon to guava and green tea. It has now added chocolate cookie to its line-up, which it describes as having notes of cookie dough and chocolate with a biscuit finish.

CONTACT Giffard +33 (0) 2 41 18 85 00

RRP: £5.99

Marawi, Recanati Winery, Hefer Valley, Israel

Israel has released its first commercial wine made from a grape variety that is indigenous to the area. Called Marawi, the variety was discovered over three years ago following research into the native grapes of the Holy Land lead by Dr. Shibi Drori, who also owns the Gvaot Winery, located between the Israeli settlements of Shiloh and Eli.

According to, since 2011, Drori (with the help of researchers at Ariel University in the West Bank) has identified almost 120 grapes, including 20 that could be suited for winemaking, and two that are unrelated to any other varieties in the world – white grapes Hamdani (otherwise known as Marawi) and Jandali.

However, Israel’s first commercial release of a wine from indigenous grapes occurred earlier this month, when the country’s Recanati Winery presented the Marawi wine at Italy’s International Milan Expo.

Recanati’s white Marawi variety is said to be identical to Hamdani, although the Salesian Monastery chose to use the latter name for the native grape. Recanati’s 2014 Marawi is the product of a partnership between Drori, the winery and a Palestinian vineyard near Bethlehem, and consequently the wine’s label bears the name in Arabic script as well as Hebrew (see picture, left).

Nearly 2,500 bottles of the wine, which is said to taste of apple and peach and have a refreshing acidity, have been produced.

RRP: 120 shekels ($31)

CONTACT: Recanati Winery,

The Ardmore Port Wood Finish Whisky

The Ardmore has released a single malt whisky matured for 12 years in Bourbon barrels and finished in European half Port pipes.
The 46% abv The Ardmore Port Wood Finish, “aimed at whisky aficionados”, is the latest release from The Ardmore, owned by Beam Suntory, following a redesign of the brand in 2014. The whisky’s flavour profile is described as having “sweet red apple and honey with the subtlest hint of charcoal smoke” on the palate, with a “smooth, long, lingering” finish culminating in the trademark Ardmore dryness”.

CONTACT Maxxium UK +44(0) 1786 430 500

RRP: £49.99

Cloudy Bay 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough’s Cloudy Bay has released a celebratory 2015 vintage of its Sauvignon Blanc to mark the winery’s 30th anniversary.
Compared to its first vintage in 1985, which was produced in a very damp year, the 2015 was produced from a harvest that followed the driest summer on record. Grapes for its 2015 Sauvignon Blanc were handpicked from vineyards in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renqick and Brancot sub regions of the Wairau Valley, with the harvest completed in April, making it the second earliest finish ever at Cloudy Bay. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks, with approximately 10% of the juice fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak barriques and large format oak vats. The resulting wine is described as having “vibrant citrus aromatics of grapefruit and kaffir lime”, opening out to reveal “ripe, juicy stone fruit and lemongrass”.

CONTACT Moët Hennessy UK, 0207 808 4300

RRP: £23

Stolichnaya Vodka redesign

Stolichnaya Vodka has unveiled its first ever packaging redesign for its entire range since the brand was launched almost 80 years ago.
Stolichnaya Vodka’s new-look range is an “evolution” of its previous design, which remained unchanged for almost the entirety of the brand’s existance. The new range has been designed to create a more “contemporary” look for the brand in a bid to target millennial consumers. Unveiled at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes last month, the new design has been applied to the flagship Stolichnaya Vodka bottle as well as its portfolio of flavoured brand extensions, Stolichnaya 100 Proof and Stolichnaya Gold.

CONTACT Maxxium UK +44 (0) 1786 430 500

Gosset Grand Millésime 2006

Champagne Gosset has launched its latest Grand Millésime, the 2006, which is also the first to use “ultra environmentally friendly” packaging.

Spending eight years in the house’s cellars the Champagne is a blend of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Chardonnay. With a low dosage, it is said to have notes of “hawthorn, lilac and pear” on the nose and a “grapefruit burst” on the palate. As part of its ongoing environmental commitment, the foil caps on the bottles have been replaced with a “new generation” of foils made from low-density green polyethylene and printed with water-based inks.

CONTACT Louis Latour Agencies +44 (0)20 7409 7276

RRP: £65 to £69

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