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Top new products: July

‘H’ by Hine VSOP Cognac

Thomas Hine & Co. has redesigned its Cognac H by Hine VSOP, the first in its range to undergo a revamp this year. During 2017, the entire Hine family of Cognacs is set to undergo changes to their packaging, led by H by Hine, incorporating the producer’s newly refined red stag logo. This latest revamp uses a cut-out ‘H’ in its label, with the aim of giving the Cognac a “livelier, fresher, more vibrant presentation”.

Eric Forget, Hine’s cellar master and estate manager first developed H in 2004 as a young, fruit-forward VSOP blend of Grande and Petite Champagne eaux-de-vie, with the intention of producing a Cognac that was suited to cocktails, punches and long drinks. Forget describes H as being “expressive yet discrete, with hints of iris, fresh apricot, acacia and white pepper”. The new packaging will be available in 300cl, 70cl/75cl, 20cl and 5cl formations.

RRP: £34.99 (75cl)

CONTACT Pol Roger, James Clark, +44 (0)1432 262 800

Indian Runner Drinks

A craft beer brand has launched in the UK with the aim of providing the market with a “refreshingly different” craft beer to suit all tastes. Indian Runner Drinks began life in a small Hampshire village when co-founders Bill Harris and Andy Burdon lit the spark of an idea. The pair felt that the craft beer market was missing something, and that together they could create a craft beer that was fun, innovative, niche and different.

This year saw the launch of Indian Runner IPA, which joins its flagship golden ale and a craft pilsner. All three are brewed in the UK under the eye of Rod Williams, a master brewer with previous experience producing global brands such as Tennent’s, Bulmers and Magners.

RRP: £2.39.

CONTACT Indian Runner Drinks, +44 (0)808 168 6188




Quinta do Noval 2015 Vintage Port

Port house Quinta do Noval has declared a 2015 vintage, the latest in a string of declarations in the region. Christian Seely, managing director of Quinta do Noval, explained the estate’s unique approach to declarations: “Noval follows its own path in its approach to Vintage Port. If we believe that we have wines of the quality and personality to join the ranks of the Quinta do Noval Ports of previous years, we will bottle it and declare it, even if this means declaring several years in a row, and even if it means, as is often the case, bottling only a few hundred cases of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, representing a tiny percentage of the total production of the Quinta, in some years less than 3% of our production”.

The wine is described as having, “great aromatic intensity and purity of fruit. The nose has wild spicy black pepper notes, with great freshness and balance on the palate. There is an underlying strong tannic backbone.”

RRP: £76.

CONTACT González Byass UK +44 (0)1707 274 790 


Alayna 2016 Jackson Estate Pinot Rosé

Having teamed up with ballerina Alayna Ng, New Zealand’s Jackson Estate has released its first rosé Pinot Noir, featuring a visually striking label captured by photographer Amber Griffin. Fruit for its inaugural Pinot Noir rosé was sourced from its homestead vineyard in the Wairau Valley and its Gum Emperor vineyard in the Southern Waihopai Valley.

2016 was one of the better vintages experienced at Jackson Estate in recent years, with exceptional weather and just two rain events, causing the berries to swell, with long periods of warm weather allowing the grapes to ripen evenly. As a result, the team were able to pick ripe fruit earlier at slightly lower Brix levels, resulting in a lower alcohol level – just 11.5% abv.

RRP: £14.

CONTACT González Byass UK +44 (0)1707 274 790

Montes Outer Limits 2015 Syrah

Winemaker Aurelio Montes has expanded its Outer Limits range to include a 100% Syrah. Outer Limits was founded by Montes in 1988, with a 45 hectare vineyard in the Aconcagua, born out of a desire to push Chilean winemaking in a new direction. Montes’ first Outer Limits Syrah is produced from vineyards located 150 meters above sea level and just 7km from the Pacific coast in the seaside town of Zapallar, part of the Aconcagua Valley’s most coastal zone.

Following fermentation, 45% of the wine was racked into a concrete egg, “whose ovoid shape enables the lees to stay in constant suspension, which lends greater volume and complexity”, with the remaining 55% racked to third-use French oak barrels and aged for 12 months. On the nose, aromas of strawberries, sour cherries, fresh plums and a touch of crème de cassis are followed on the palate by a “vibrant acidity that becomes exquisitely juicy yet complex”, with light tannins.

RRP: £21.99.

CONTACT Liberty Wines, +44 (0)20 7720 5350

Yalumba ‘The Caley’ Cabernet Shiraz

Australian winery Yalumba has released a Cabernet-Shiraz blend made with fruit from Coonawarra and the Barossa, which it is calling a “super claret”. Named ‘The Caley’, the wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grown at the Menzies estate in Coonawarra and two plots of old-vine Shiraz in the Barossa (Yalumba’s Horseshoe Vineyard and the Burgemeister Linke Block). The wine is named after Fred Caley Smith, the grandson of Yalumba’s founder, Samuel Smith, a famed horticulturist who had a “profound impact” on the development of the estate’s orchards and vineyards.

Winemaker and fifth-generation owner of Yalumba Robert Hill-Smith said: “It is the result of an unwavering commitment by Yalumba to Australia’s own unique red wine style – Cabernet and Shiraz – from the Galway Clarets of the 1940s, through the ‘Signature’ and ‘FDR1A’ that started in the 1960s and 1970s, and ‘The Reserve’ that was created in the 1990s.” Speaking of the wine itself, he said it combined the “linear elegance, firm tannins and persistent acid structure of Coonawarra Cabernet with the voluptuous, textural richness of Barossa Shiraz”. The wine, from the 2012 vintage, was matured for 22 months: 31% in new French barriques and hogsheads, and 22% in one-year old French barriques and American hogsheads, and the rest in older versions of the same.

RRP: £225.

CONTACT Negociants UK, +44 (0)1582 797 510

Tomatin Five Virtues

Scotch whisky producer Tomatin has unveiled a limited-edition range of single-malt whiskies that draw inspiration from the five elements. Each whisky in the Five Virtues range is inspired by wood, fire, earth, metal and water, with each one benefitting from a pointed use of either oak casks, heavily charred oak, peat, copper stills or water from the Alt-na-Frith burn.

“We wanted to release a creative limited-edition series focusing on the effects of different cask maturations, while linking it to a wider concept,” said Jennifer Masson, Tomatin’s marketing manager. “That is something that we have achieved with Five Virtues, and we are incredibly proud to be launching the series onto the market.” Just 6,000 bottles of each whisky have been produced, with its artwork designed by Scottish artist Eva Ullrich. The Wood and Fire expressions are available now, while Earth, Metal and Water will be released later this year.

RRP: From £49.99.

CONTACT Tomatin, +44 (0)1463 248 148

Croft Twist

González Byass has released a pre-mixed Sherry-based sparkler in the UK, following two years of market research, describing it as a “true innovation”. Croft Twist, a ready-mixed sparkling cocktail, is a “British version” of the Andalusian rebujito, which is made from fino Sherry, lemonade and ice, with a garnish of mint. Instead, Croft is a blend of elderflower, lemon and mint cordials with Croft Fino and water; all gently sparkled. The low-alcohol-serve carries an abv of just 5.5%, and is intended to be served with a garnish of basil or mint and lots of ice.

“Croft Twist is the most delicious and visually exciting product that the company has launched in recent years and is a true innovation,” said Martin Skelton, managing director of González Byass UK. He added: “We are thrilled to bring such a unique product to market, and strongly believe it has all the ingredients to be a huge success.” Aimed at female drinkers aged between 30 and 45, Croft Twist has been launched after two years of development and research into changing consumer habits. It will be available in 75cl bottles, first at Waitrose and later Ocado, while Matthew Clark will be distributing it within the UK on-trade.

RRP: £7.

CONTACT González Byass UK, +44 (0)1707 274 790

Absolut limited-edition LGBTQ bottle

Absolut Vodka has launched its third limited-edition bottle in support of the LGBTQ community, marking the start of a new multimillion-pound campaign to drive sales this summer. The bottle, which includes a ‘taking pride in diversity’ statement on the back label, contains Absolut Original vodka and a label that features a rainbow flag depicted in brush strokes, intended to convey a “hand-made look”, in keeping with the brand’s artistic heritage while tapping into a wider trend for craft spirits.

“It’s going to be an exciting few months for Absolut, with this limited-edition bottle marking the start of an ambitious multimillion-pound marketing campaign for us,” said Adam Boita, head of marketing at Pernod Ricard UK. “Absolut’s bold creativity and historical championing of the LGBTQ community has always been its point of difference, and with this year being the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, we’re proud to promote diversity once again.”

RRP: £19.45.

CONTACT Pernod Ricard, +44 (0)20 8538 4484

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