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Mentzendorff grows spirits portfolio with first gin from Bollinger Group

Mentzendorff has added the first gin to its growing spirits portfolio, but has no plans to “expand into mainstream spirits”, brand manager Ciara Wong told db.

Mentzendorff grows spirits portfolio with first gin from Bollinger Group

Mentzendorff has introduced French organic gin Anaë, created by the Bollinger Group, to the UK market — the first gin listed in its growing spirits portfolio.

The new addition will sit alongside Delamain Cognac, two Brandy de Jerez from Hidalgo, two liqueurs; Mentzendorff Kummel and The Luxumus, and a Grappa produced by Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona. All of the premium spirits in the Mentzendorff portfolio with the exception of Kummel are made from grapes.

Ciara Wong, Mentzendorff’s brand manager for new world and spirits, told db that the new addition “compliments what we already have” in the spirits category, and “broadens our offering that appeals to our premium on-trade and Fine Wine specialists complimenting our current Champagne, Sparkling and Fine Wine offering”.

The UK importer is keen to grow its “niche spirits portfolio”, but with a focus on brand which “share the same premium or Fine Wine characteristics” already present in Mentzendorff’s offering.

“We aren’t looking to expand into mainstream spirits but rather keen to discover interesting or esoteric premium spirits that fits nicely with our customers,” Wong explained to the drinks business.

Anaë was first launched by Bollinger in 2021 as part of a project designed to combine the expertise of different companies within the Group. Pauline Raffaitin, head of marketing at Bollinger Diffusion and the founder of Anaë Gin, worked alongside Dominique Touteau, cellar master at Delamain for the past 30 years, Philippe Lacile, master distiller in Cognac, and Guillaume Quenza, co-founder of the Fréquence Bar in Paris.

Anaë is made from 100% organic French grapes combined with 100% organic certified ingredients all produced in different regions of France. Its origins highlight “the importance of provenance for the brand”, according to a press release.

Wong told db that the criteria for adding new brands to the portfolio is based on “authenticity, provenance and quality”.

“It is very important that our spirits have a truth or story behind their creation, made from the highest quality products and sourced in the most sustainable way possible with as much care to the environment and terroir,” she said.

Anaë’s recipe includes Chamomile sourced from the Maine-et-Loire, Cornflower from the North of France, Lemon Thyme from the Drôme, Lemon Verbena, Coriander seed from the Gers, Fenugrec from the Haute-Garonne, and Maceron, also known as Marsh Pepper, which is harvested by hand from the lle de Ré and brings a unique aromatic depth.

It is distilled and bottled on the Atlantic coast in the Cognac region.

Pauline Raffaitin, the gin’s creator, explained that Anaë “was born from the desire to produce a gin that reflects the best of French authenticity and savoir-faire”.

She added: “We are committed to producing an exceptional organic gin, that respects the terroir, biodiversity and the community and to continue to innovate in the most responsible way possible. Anaë has partnered with beekeepers on the Atlantic coast, to create new hives and thus protect these endangered species as without them our gin could quite simply not be made.”

Its makers suggest serving on its own over ice, in a long drink with a premium mixer, or in both classic cocktails and original creations and pairings.

Anaë will be available from prestige on-trade, independent and online specialists for RSP £43.

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