Week in pictures: 5 – 11 August
This week in pictures features Peroni trainers, Van Gogh wine labels, a Majestic megastore, db‘s Louis Thomas trip to Italy, and wine bar dogs.
Staff writer Louis Thomas visited Broglia to investigate how old vines and Cortese’s high acidity enable the creation of age-worthy Gavi di Gavi.
Italian footwear brand Superga and premium Italian lager Peroni Nastro Azzurro today released a brand-new line of Italian-island Capri inspired sneakers.
Designed by shoe artist Daniel Cordas, the Capri Nights Cotu Classics take inspiration from the island of Capri’s beautiful landscapes and iconic blue palette.
The limited-edition Capri Nights Cotu Classics are on-sale now in-store and on Superga.co.uk for £65, and released to celebrate the launch of Peroni Nastro Azzurro’s Stile Capri.
Majestic, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, has opened the doors to its newest store in Rugby as it accelerates its bricks-and-mortar expansion.
The 3,600 sq ft shop on the popular Junction One Shopping Park will stock the full Majestic range of more than 1,200 wines, plus beers, spirits, and low and no alcohol alternatives.
Majestic’s experienced and qualified colleagues will host free wine tastings seven days a week from the in-store Tasting Counter, offering customers the opportunity to try a selection of wines before they buy, receive tasting notes and get expert advice.
Majestic CEO John Colley (pictured above opening the store) said: “We are delighted to be opening our doors in Rugby – a location we have had our eyes on for some time as part of our store expansion strategy. Everyone at Majestic is looking forward to serving the local community and bringing our award-winning wines and expert knowledge to the town.
“This is the first new store opening of our current financial year and we are excited about becoming a part of even more communities across the UK in the coming months.”
Domaine du Météore
Domaine du Météore is launching a range of wines in collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This exciting development sees Domaine du Météore and the Van Gogh Museum create two organic wines inspired by the world-famous artist, Vincent van Gogh, which capture the essence and beauty of the South of France.
Working with the Van Gogh Museum, Domaine du Météore is launching the wines which represent the link between nature and art, the South of France and Vincent Van Gogh himself. Just as Vincent captured the essence and beauty of these southern landscapes in his paintings, Domaine du Météore has created wines born from the same terroir.
The organic white wine takes its name Sunflowers from the famous sunflower picture painted near Domaine du Météore which is located in Languedoc. The red wine is called Avenue of Poplars in Autumn after the beautiful autumn landscape with tall poplar trees lining the roads, typical of the Languedoc region. As an organic wine Domaine in the South France, with its vines growing in and around a 10,000 year old meteorite crater, Domaine du Météore has a unique natural setting. Both the paintings and the Domaine highlight the importance of nature and its influence on artistic and viticultural creations.
The Sunflowers white wine is a blend of organic Rousanne and Viognier grapes typical of the region where the Domaine is located. The Avenue of Poplars in Autumn red wine is a blend of organic Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes. The Sunflowers wine bottle has a beautiful label depicting the masterpiece, with the name Sunflowers written below. The Avenue of Poplars in Autumn bottle’s label depicts Van Gogh’s 1884 painting, which he described to his brother as “a study of an avenue of poplars with the yellow autumn leaves, where the sun makes glittering patches here and there on the fallen leaves on the ground…”
Balvenie launches new Stories
As part of its Stories Collection, Balvenie launched an entirely Oloroso aged 19 Year Old edition at José Pizzaro’s high-end eponymous Spanish restaurant in Bermondsey. Called “A Revelation of Cask and Character”, the delicately spiced dram is the first release created by Kelsey McKechnie, who underwent a six-year apprenticeship under the tutelage of previous Malt Master, David C. Stewart MBE. Making up for the fact that neither McKechnie nor Stewart attended the launch, head cooper, Ian McDonald, assembled, live and loud, a barrel in the restaurant’s window, in front of a photo showing Pizzaro with his parents. McDonald started as an apprentice at The Balvenie in 1969. “Coopering is the original form of recycling,” he said, adding, “We always repair old casks, which adds to the rich flavours of the spirits.” Poured alongside presa Ibérica and patatas bravas, A Revelation of Cask and Character (£307 via Master of Malt from 15th August) joins other Balvenie Stories expressions such as the 27 Year Old, “A Rare Discovery From Distant Shores”.
Cooper at Porte Noire
Set in a Meccano-like gas holder, “gastronomic wine bar and shop” Porte Noire is the project of Luther actor, Idris Elba and French wine merchant, David Farber, founder of French and Italian-focused fine wine merchant, Connaught Cellars. Popular merchandise sold here includes “Dog Pérignon” dog bowls, created in honour of Farber’s sidecar riding pooch, Cooper, who is the premise’s lead attraction, here pictured beside a glass of Hundred Hills English sparkling wine.
Farber notes that Cooper acts as the welcoming committee on the entrance terrace, and that some customers even phone ahead to check the labradoodle will be in during their visit…
An Endless Crush
Born into a family of prune farmers, founder of Inman Family Wines, Kathleen Inman, showed her wares at The Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, of which she is a member. Her inaugural wine role was tour guide and cellar rat at Napa Creek Winery on the Silverado Trail. Serendipitously, on day one, she met hungover Englishman and solicitor, Simon, whom she married. The couple lived in Elvington, on the west bank of the River Derwent, for 15 years, where Kathleen prospered as a finance executive while finding time to organically tend their eleven-acre garden. After 15 years, the Inmans relocated to California, purchasing the Olivet Grange in Russian River Valley from where Inman practised “eco-ethics” on a larger scale over a trio of closely spaced vineyards, with 2002 being the first vintage.
Since 2010, fruit is processed at a solar-powered winery wrought from recycled materials as naturally as possible, though Kathleen “believes in filtration”, comparing it to “safe sex”. Securely, then, we tasted four generously appointed wines. Endless Crush 2021, a grapefruit scented rosé with a tannic hint, was initially made from a tonne of Pinot Noir in 2004 “as a present for Simon when I forgot our twentieth anniversary.” Subject to prompt picking, and evoking melting butter on Melba toast, Pratt Hill Chardonnay 2021 was inspired by a taste of Domaine Leflaive Les Combettes, and receives 50% new French oak.
The first of two 2019 Pinot Noirs was marked “Russian River Valley”, being thick and juicy, featuring all three vineyards, being Olivet Grange Vineyard, Vine Hill, and the higher elevation Sonoma site, Sexton Road Ranch. RRV Pinot Noir, which is not made every year, was lush, lactic, and rose-scented, being a product of four passes across the Olivet Grange Vineyard Estate, with the final pass subject to carbonic maceration “which adds pop-iness” said importer, Jack Fernon of The Wine Importers (thewineimporters.com).