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Top 10 new products: November

Royal Tokaji 2008 Essencia

Royal Tokaji has released the 2008 vintage of its Essencia, the sixth vintage produced since it was founded in 1990.

Of all of the Tokaji wines produced in Hungary’s Tokaj region, Essencia is its most rare, made from Aszu grapes that have been raisined by botrytis, resulting in a highly concentrated, intensely sweet wine with a minimum sugar content of 450g/litre. Royal Tokaji’s 2008 is only the fifth vintage of Essencia to be released by the winery, with the four intervening vintages being 1993, 1999, 2000 and 2003.

The 2008 vintage in Tokaj was very mild with rain in early summer and a dry August, followed by a cool and wet September, creating the perfect conditions for botrytis and affording grapes a longer ripening period. A long Indian summer began in October, which turned a “good vintage into one of the greatest in living memory”, Royal Tokaji said.

Winemaker Fruzsina Osvath described it as: “Fresh, ripe peach on the nose with complex honeyed, spicy, ginger notes and background presence of botrytis. Full but graceful, intensely concentrated, rich and sweet, balanced with taut acidity.”

Just 2,906 bottles of Essencia 2008 have been produced.

RRP: £391


Bruno Paillard 2006 Blanc de Blancs

Bruno Paillard has released its “generous and voluptuous” 2006 Blanc de Blancs Champagne in the UK. The 2006 is the seventh Blanc de Blancs vintage created by the house and is made from a blend of Chardonnay grapes from the Côte des Blancs. With a dosage of 5g/l it is an ‘Extra Brut’. It spent more than nine years on the lees in the cellar, and a further 12 months post disgorgement, which took place in 2015 and is dated on its label.

“This is a generous and delicious vintage, but also demanding: it was important to sort carefully and only keep the best bunches,” said Paillard of the 2006 vintage. Since his first vintage in 1981, Paillard has commissioned an artist to design the label according to a theme that reflects the vintage. For 2006, Swedish painter Jockum Nordström illustrated the label on the theme ‘Volupté,’ in keeping with the generosity and roundness of mature citrus fruits in this wine.

RRP: £80.

CONTACT Walker Wodehouse, +44 (0)207 449 1665

Longmorn 23 Year Old / Longmorn 16 Year Old

Chivas Brothers’ single malt whisky Longmorn has released two new bottlings; Longmorn 23 Year Old and a reinterpretation of its Longmorn 16 Year Old, completing a trio of single malt whiskies. Longmorn 23 Year Old, aged for two decades in oak casks, is bottled without chill-filtration, offering notes of “ripe pear and soft red apples that give way to a long, smooth finish”.

The Longmorn 16 Year Old meanwhile is crafted using a higher proportion of rare first-fill American oak casks resulting in “smooth, vanilla flavour notes”. Matured in a combination of ex-Sherry, American and traditional oak casks and still bottled without chill-filtration, Longmorn 16 Year Old carries notes of “ripe orchard fruits, sweet vanilla and smooth milk chocolate”.

The bottlings join Longmorn The Distiller’s Choice, which was released in Jaunary 2016 and named after the belief that Longmorn was every distiller’s favourite dram apart from their own.

RRP: £US$1,450 (£1,193)/$252 (£207)

CONTACT Chivas Brothers, +44 (0) 208 250 1801

Crios, Susana Balbo Wines

Argentina’s Domino del Plata, overseen by Susana Balbo, has revamped its Crios range of wines, taking a more terroir-specific approach. Balbo first launched the Crios range in 2001 in tribute to her son, José, and daughter, Ana, with ‘Crios’ meaning ‘offspring’ in Spanish. Crios wines were made from the grapes that did not qualify for use in Balbo’s signature wines. Instead, they were blended from grapes sourced across several subregions in Mendoza. Now, Balbo is working to position the range as a primary wine in its own right.

As of the 2014 vintage, Balbo has sourced grapes for her Crios range from the Uco Valley, upgrading its quality and taking a more regional approach its production. The exception is its Crios Torrontes – which remains a blend of grapes from Cafayate and Altamira. The newly revamped range, which also boasts a new modern label, comprises a Malbec, Torrontes, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blend.

RRP: £13.75 for whites and rosé and £15.50.

CONTACT Susana Balbo Wines, +54 261 498 9200

Bottega Pistachio cream liqueur

Italian producer Bottega has created a lactose-free liqueur using pistachios grown in the foothills of Mount Etna. Bottega’s green-hued Crema di Pistachio is described as “pleasantly sweet” with an aroma that gives off an intensely nutty flavour and hint of almond. Pistachios are crushed into a paste then mixed with Grappa, water and sugar to create a “round, velvety liqueur with an intense inebriating aroma of Sicilian pistachios”. The 17% ABV liqueur, which is also suitable for vegans, taps into a growing demand for dairy-free and plant-based products.

RRP: £15


Champagne Gosset ‘Celebris’ 2004

Champagne Gosset has announced the release of the latest vintage – its ‘Celebris’ 2004 extra brut. Made from a blend of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, on the nose is said to have notes of frangipane, tarte tatin, honey or salted butter caramel, layered by scents of pear, pineapple and citrus fruits.

While the palate carries flavours of pear, grapefruit and Yuzu. Calling the 2004 vintage incredibly complex and balanced, cellarmaster Odilon de Varine said: “The malic acid which has been expertly preserved in this cuvée gives it the freshness and elegance of great wines and which we will no doubt continue to talk about in several decades to come.”

RRP: £110


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

Nipozzano Vecchie Viti 2013 / Alie Rosé 2015

The Frescobaldi family has launched two new wines, which made their international debut at the The TFWA show in Cannes in October. Nipozzano Vecchie Viti 2013 Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG is produced at the family’s historic estate of Castello Nipozzano in Tuscany. This is the third vintage of this Riserva, made from a vineyard that is more than 40 years old.

The producer’s Alie Rosé 2015 meanwhile hails from Frescobaldi’s newest estate, in the Maremma region, and is described as a “charming rosé made with Shiraz softly pressed and complemented by a small percentage of Vermentino”. Alie Rosé 2015 won a Gold medal at this year’s Drinks Business Global Rose Masters competition.

RRP: £23.99/£14.99

CONTACT Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines, +44 01582 722538

Cuvée Lady 2005,Champagne Paul Goerg

Champagne Paul Goerg, a co-operative founded in 1950, has released the fifth 2005 Cuvée Lady in its history. Produced only in the best years, Lady is the grower-Champagne’s flagship cuvée and is made from a blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir grapes grown in premier and grand cru vineyards in Vertus, Mesnil sur Oger and Verzenay.

Cuvée Lady spent eight years ageing on its lees and carries a dosage of 6g/l. It is the fifth Lady cuvée to have been produced by the house since it was founded in 1985, the intervening vintages being 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2005. The 2005 vintage followed two difficult years in Champagne, with Paul Goerg describing its wines from this vintage as “outstanding with great purity and delicacy”. Just 3,000 bottles of 2005 Lady have been produced, housed in a black box embossed with a gold logo.

RRP: €80/£72


Penfolds Grange 2012 decanter

Penfolds has partnered with a French glassmaker to make two special decanters for its new 2012 Grange. As the release of the new vintage of Grange also includes the first ever bottling of the wine in a six-litre ‘imperial’ bottle, one of the decanters is designed specifically for that format.

Made by one of Europe’s oldest glassmakers, Saint-Louis, the ‘Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Ritual’ is a six-litre crystal decanter mounted on a stand and cradle to help with the pouring. Only five of these decanters have been produced. For more regular bottles of Grange, there is a 750ml crystal decanter, hand-blown by Saint-Louis craftsmen. Only a limited number are available to buy, alongside a bottle of 2012 Grange, with a combined retail price of around £1,200, exclusively at Harrods.

RRP: AU$185,000 (£115k), including an imperial of 2012 Grange

CONTACT: Treasury Wine Estates, +44 (0) 20 8843 8400

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