What have these luxury brands got planned for 2023?
Db takes a quick look at what some of the leading wine brands have planned for Christmas and 2023, focusing on the top end of the sector.
Barton & Guestier
Barton & Guestier is releasing Thomas Barton Réserve Privée, “a true homage” to its founder, 18th-century Irishman Thomas Barton, a pioneer in the Médoc, known across Europe for his winemaking expertise and knowledge of Bordeaux. Created by winemaker Christian Veyry, the blend is 48.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48.5% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot from old vines, and has been aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months (these barrels are pre-soaked in wine for three months to “liberate the oak from their hard tannins”). This gives “exceptional balance between an intensely fruity and a well-integrated oaky flavour”, the company said, “with smooth tannins and a long finish with seductive notes of coffee and chocolate”.
The selection process of La Unica fourth edition, a blend of various Tempranillos from Pagos del Rey wineries in Fuenmayor (La Rioja), Olmedillo de Roa (Burgos) and Morales de Toro (Zamora), took place during the pandemic via panels of expert tasters. It was a rigorous three-stage selection process, underscored by the unique backdrop that Covid-19 presented. The wines have been aged in bottle since they were made in 2020, and were released in the first quarter of this year.
The world’s most expensive rosé, Clos du Temple, the iconic pink from Languedoc winemaker Gérard Bertrand, is now available on Zapp, London’s 24/7 premium delivery app that delivers drinks, snacks, essential groceries, and luxury gifts in minutes. This is the first time Clos du Temple has been available in the quick commerce sector. “It is already proving very popular, as customers enjoy shopping for their favourite rosé on demand at any time of the day,” a spokesman for the brand said.
Schloss Johannisberg, the premium Riesling wine estate of Henkell Freixenet, has risen to fifth place in the World’s Best Vineyards 2022, the highest distinction for any German wine estate this year. Additionally, the company has highlighted its internationally known Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso from its prestige line and Mionetto’s Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG from the luxury collection as real eyecatchers. Considered to be the premium line of the brand, the luxury Mionetto collection blends together winemaking excellence with the prestigious tradition of Venetian glass artists.
Historic Amarone producer Masi has released its “extraordinary” 1997 vintage – the best-recorded vintage in Valpolicella of the 20 thcentury – to celebrate its 250 thanniversary. The limited-edition Vajo dei Masi comprises just 2,500 numbered magnums, signed by Masi’s president Sandro Boscaini. It is made from Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone, and Molinara grapes that were matured for five years in wood (1997-2002), before being preserved in steel containers. Boscaini said he was proud to present the unique wine, calling it “a nectar of great complexity, determined by the long refinement and unusual and unexpected freshness”.
Symington Family Estates
In October 2022, Symington launched the Graham’s Bicentenary Collection Cabinet; the most luxurious release the family has ever launched. Created in honour of Graham’s 200 thanniversary, the unique cabinet contains 12 historic Ports, two of which have never previously been released – along with a Jancis Robinson decanter and glasses, a two-part Durand corkscrew, and a specially commissioned decanting funnel. Only 30 made-to-order editions will be sold, the first of which will be auctioned through Christie’s in London in March 2023, with all proceeds going to charity. The recipient organisations will be the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and Portugal’s Santa Casa de Misericordia de Carrazeda, each selected to reflect the origins of the Port brand’s owner.
Two key releases came from Taylor ’s Port this year, both of which prove that many things really do get better with age. Taylor ’s Very Very Old Tawny Port (VVOP for short), is one of the oldest wines released to date, and retails at RRP £750. Golden Age, a 50 Year Very Old Tawny (RRP £180), has aged for half a century in old oak casks, making it an essential part of any 50th anniversary celebration.
The 2019 vintage of Trivento’s Eolo Malbec has completed its three-year bottle ageing at the winery, and is now available in principal markets. Eolo Malbec is the expression of a 100-year-old, four-hectare river situated above the northern bank of the Mendoza River, at 983 metres in altitude. “The long-awaited fruits of this year ’s labour, combined with a season of benevolent weather, reflect balance and delicateness,” Germán Di Césare, Eolo’s oenological director, said of the newly released 2019 vintage.
Renowned Prosecco producer Val D’Oca is celebrating the launch of its luxury collection, the Classic Cuvées, which are dedicated exclusively to the hotel and catering channel. The four-strong range comes packaged in the producer ’s sleek and contemporary black bottle, each with its own colour foil.
Viña Santa Rita
In September, Casa Real Reserva Especial launched its 2019 vintage on La Place de Bordeaux, celebrating 30 years of outstanding vintages for this iconic wine. Featured on its label is the historical Hotel Casa Real, which seeks to be a world reference for heritage hotels in wineries worldwide, giving guests an exclusive experience, in a place that has been declared a historical monument, and always with wine at the centre. In November, Viña Santa Rita was chosen as the ‘Best Enoturism Experience’ in Chile. This award is organised by Corfo’s Chile Wine Tourism programme, which seeks to highlight the most beautiful wineries in the country.
The newly released 2020 vintage of Castello di Albola’s Chianti Classico, now listed at Hedonism, has become the first vintage of the wine to be certified as organic. Head winemaker Alessandro Gallo has created a wine described as “soft and luscious, with fine acidity and ageing potential”. Indeed, all wines from the estate will be certified as organic from the 2020 vintage onwards, with the Santa Caterina Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Il Solatio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, and Poggio Alle Fate Chardonnay also available at Hedonism Wines.