Sherry ‘has the same complexities as flamenco’

16th June, 2017

With its dizzying diversity, Sherry boasts “the same complexities as flamenco” music, according to Josep Roca, the head sommelier of El Celler de Can Roca.

Speaking at the seventh Copa Jerez food and Sherry pairing competition in Jerez this week, Roca told the drinks business:

“Sherry is salted tears and has the same complexities as flamenco. You can compare its different styles with different styles of flamenco. There are so many nuances in Sherry, they are bottles of tradition full of art.”

Josep ‘Pitu’ Roca

To illustrate his point, during the event Roca paired ten different cherry picked Sherries with ten different flamenco guitar performances by Diego del Morao.

Among the Sherry and flamenco pairings were a 2002 oloroso by Bodegas Williams & Humbert with a solea desafinada, and a palo cortado VORS from Bodegas Tradicion with a solea por bulerías.

During the pairings, Roca spoke of both flamenco and Sherry’s capacity for “duende” – the ability to inspire emotions and passion through its magnetism.

Emotions aside, Roca also spoke of the need for the Sherry industry to make the most of its magnificent product, which is often undersold in terms of value.

“It’s important for the Sherry market to be economically stable and there is plenty of room for it to conquer more consumers as the wines are so authentic, but it’s sold too cheaply at the moment.

“Its quality and authenticity can be used to raise its profile but we need to return to the vine and we need to find new and open roads for Sherry to thrive,” he said.

He also spoke of his love for cooking with Sherry at his three Michelin starred restaurant in Girona, El Celler de Can Roca, which db reviewed earlier this year.

“I cook a lot with Sherry, from rock oysters and manzanilla, and prawns and amontillado, to dehydrated oloroso and steak tartare.

“There is a world of opportunity when it comes to cooking with Sherry and an infinity of possible recipes that I love playing around with,” he said.

The week in pictures

16th June, 2017

db donned its glad rags and headed to Hurlingham Park in Fulham last week for Chestertons Polo in the Park, which for the third year was sponsored by Champagne Lanson. This year, the theme of Lanson’s sponsored areas, which included a VIP paddock and separate bar, was white to highlight its White Label Cuvée, which was also available in Magnums and Methuselah formats.

The week that was

16th June, 2017

the drinks business presents this week’s round up of wine, beer, spirits and other related news items.

Click through our highlights from news sites and social media across the world.

Rare liqueur linked to doomed Titanic at Vinexpo

16th June, 2017

A bottle of 1912 Marie Brizard gold-speckled Danzig liqueur, of the kind served to those aboard Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage in 1912, will be on show at this year’s Vinexpo in Bordeaux.

The extremely rare bottle comes from the cellar of Michel-Jack Chasseuil, whose private collection of wines numbers some 40,000 bottles.

From his vast collection, Chasseuil selected 100 of the rarest to be featured in his book, 100 Extraordinary Bottles: From the Most Beautiful Wine Cellar in the World, including this bottle of 1912 Marie Brizard liqueur which contains 22-23 carat gold shards.

Chasseuil bought the bottle in 1988 at an auction in Versailles, with the bottle put up for sale by the descendants of Louis Renault, the founder of the Renault cars and its former owner.

Renault, according to this ancestors, had held the ambition of crossing the Atlantic on board the Titanic in 1912, but luckily for him his dream did not come true.

Unable to make the journey himself, but keen to get a taste of the experience, Renault tracked down a bottle of Marie Brizard’s Danzig liqueur after learning that it would among the beverages be served on board.

At the time, the gold-flecked Danzig liqueur, created by a Dutchman in the 16th century and based on herbs and roots, held the reputation of being able to purify one’s blood.

Renault never drank the liqueur, preserving a small slice of liquid history.

Chasseuil’s bottle of 1912 Brizard liqueur will be at Vinexpo this year, as part of a showcase of the brand’s heritage, at the Marie Brizard Wine and Spirits stand, Hall 1, Stand BD287.

Beer honours Millwall fan who fought terrorists

16th June, 2017

A Swedish brewery has released a beer named ‘F*** You, I’m Millwall’ in tribute to a fan of the south London football club who fought off three knife-wielding terrorists during the London Bridge terror attack earlier this month.

Roy Larner recovering in hospital.

Roy Larner was at Borough Market on 3 June when a white van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge at 10.08pm. Three men then jumped out and went on a rampage through several bars and restaurants in Borough Market, stabbing people at random who had been enjoying an evening out.

Larner, a Millwall fan, was in the Black & Blue restaurant when the attackers stormed in. Instead of retreating, Larner confronted the terrorists, shouting “F*** you, I’m Millwall” as he took on the three men single handedly.

“I didn’t think of my safety at the time. I’d had four or five pints – nothing major,” he said. “I can handle myself. But I was out with an old person and it was out of order.”

He was stabbed eight times and was hospitalised, with his actions allowing others in the restaurant to get to safety. While recovering in hospital from multiple stab wounds, Larner’s friends made light of the situation by offering him a book called ‘Learn to Run’.

A JustGiving page set up to raise a £500 reward for Larner has already raised £50,000, with calls for him to be awarded the George Cross.

Now, Larner’s story has reached Sweden, with his heroic tale immortalised in a beer called ‘F*** You, I’m Millwall”, a 5% English bitter.

“A friend of mine who is a Millwall fan in London sent me a link to an article about Roy and I thought it was an amazing story of his bravery,” said David Mortimer, co-owner of Frequency Beer Works, speaking to Southwark News.

“When I read it I thought ‘that’s amazing, that really is something special’ so I spoke to the other guys at the brewery and we thought we could stick some money into the Just Giving campaign but that it would be more fun to tell the world about it. It just feels like it’s one of those stories you want to tell people about because it’s amazing – and it’s also a great name for a beer.”

Even Piers Morgan, a hardened Arsenal supporter, praised the efforts of Millwall fan Larner noting: “Millwall fans get a very bad rack, a lot of it very deserved, but there are times when you really want a lot of Millwall fans – and that was one of them.”

All of the profits made from ‘F*** You, I’m Millwall’ will be donated to Larner’s Just Giving page.

 

Uncorked: Andrew Lam

16th June, 2017

With over 17 years of experience in the wine and hospitality industry, Andrew Lam was appointed the sommelier at five-star Langham Hotel last year, overseeing the wine and beverage programme of the hotel’s six award-winning restaurants and bar, including the three Michelin-Starred Cantonese restaurant T’ang Court. Having just earned his Advanced Sake Sommelier Certification in Japan earlier this year, the wine professional apires to acquire his Advanced Sommelier Certificate by the Court of Master Sommeliers. In the interview, Lam chats to dbHK about the lingering impact of a Le Pin 1991 he tasted 24 years ago and his self comparison to a 1979 Opus One.

Langham-Hong-Kong-Hotel-Restaurant-Tsim-Sha-Tsui-Kowloon

What vintage are you? 

1979…although it’s not an outstanding vintage, the quality was surprisingly better than expected.

What bottle sparked your love of wine? 

Approximately 24 years ago, my parents decided to relocate us to Australia where my uncle offered us a Le Pin 1991 at our farewell party. This was the first fine wine that I ever experienced. I was young and at that age, I didn’t know much about wine in general but it certainly left an impression. To this day, I still remember the notes of blackberry, dark plum, and dark chocolate aftertaste.

What would you be as a wine? 

I would definitely be an Opus One 1979. Opus One was a joint venture between two wine giants – Château Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, and their first vintage was 1979. The vintage significance is also personal since I was born in 1979 as well.

Where are you happiest? 

I’m happiest when I’m with friends drinking great wine.

What’s your greatest vice? 

My love for coffee…and almost addictive. If I don’t have coffee I don’t function to the best of my ability.

Best advice you ever got? 

“Don’t focus on the wines, but tune in to the palate of the people drinking it.”

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save? 

I would dive in to save Henri Jayer Richebourg 1985 because the man himself was regarded as the legend of Burgundy. He had great influence within the industry over the last two decades and only produced about 3,000 bottles a year, which are now rare commodities.

What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business? 

The best thing is to see the Hong Kong wine industry take flight after the government eliminated the wine tax. Wines are much more accessible with a diverse range from all over the world. 

What’s on your wine bucket list? 

As a wine enthusiast, I don’t have a bucket list because there’s too many to mention and every year the production is different due to the weather, soil and harvest. The Shiraz you tried last year might not be the same this year or next year. And some wines may discontinue, while others are introduced.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? 

I would invite Michael Jordan because in my eyes, he’s the ‘God of Basketball’ and my idol.

Personal satisfaction (Parker points – out of 100)?

I’d rate myself 85 because no one is perfect. Life is a journey where you continuously learn and grow to be better.

Which wine would you like served at your funeral?

I would say a bottle of Château d’yquem 1979 or something similar. I would want my loved ones to drink a vintage of the same year I was born in.

里奥哈产区通过单一园分级制度

16th June, 2017

里奥哈产区管理委员近日宣布已批准出台单一园分级方案,使酿酒师得以加强对其葡萄酒原产地和风土的宣传和推广。但是,就酒标上是否可以标注特定村庄名称这一问题,委员会表示仍需继续讨论。

昨日,里奥哈产区管理委员会投票通过单一园分级方案,表示该方案的通过是对市场上要求得到更多葡萄酒原产地信息这一日益增长的需求的回应。

此外,委员会还补充声明将尽快商讨‘de municipio’的标注问题(即酒标上不允许标注村庄和小产区这一规定),并提出解决方案。

这一方案的通过可以说是终于解决了西班牙产区管理委员会与150多名生产商就西班牙风土问题的长期争议。据这些葡萄酒生产商称,里奥哈现行的产区等级制度“忽视了风土间的差异以及品质的高低”,并呼吁政府作出“深度改变”,以促进当地文化遗产发展,防止重量不重质的隐患。

里奥哈现行的产区等级制度最早出现于19世纪末期,随后有所变更,并最终以“木桶陈年年份是葡萄酒质量的体现”这一信息作为其市场推广的主题。这样的产区等级制度后来也备受其它产区的推崇和模仿。

然而在过去十年间,要求“对里奥哈的单一园进行分级”的呼声越来越高。就在2016年1月份,超过150名酿酒师、酒商和葡萄酒作家签署了一份联合声明,要求有关当局对西班牙的风土投入更多的关注。这份名为“斗牛士俱乐部宣言”(Matador Club Manifesto)的声明由酿酒师Telmo Rodriguez发起。他希望里奥哈能够建立一个金字塔状的产区分级制度,以产区大酒作为金字塔的底层,村级酒居中,单一园葡萄酒则位于最顶端。

这一宣言得到诸多知名酿酒师的联署和拥护,包括Artadi酒庄的Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacalle(他随后还因为这一议题退出了里奥哈的DOCa产区分级体系),Finca Allende酒庄的Miguel Angel de Gregorio,Pingus酒庄的Peter Siseck,Equipo Navazo酒庄的Jesus Barquin以及葡萄酒作家Victor de la Serna。

此次新的单一园分级制度将是原有的根据葡萄酒陈年时间长短进行分级的制度补充,也就是说,原有的Crianza,Reserva,Gran Reserva以及Joven四级体系仍保留使用。

在这个新的分级制度下,各酒庄庄主必须确定及证明其列级葡萄园的“自然分界线”,且这些列级葡萄园的产量比DOCa允许的产区产量标准要更低20%。同时,列级葡萄园也必须全部人工采收,所酿的葡萄酒也必须具有完整的可追溯性,并且需要通过两轮严格的质量检测,包括一次初始评分以及一次售前评估。

另外,产区委员会还破天荒地调整了相应规章,以支持当地高品质起泡酒和桃红起泡酒的生产。规章指出这些起泡酒必须采用传统的香槟手法酿造并经过15个月的陈年时间,要达到更高级别则需经过36个月的最低陈年时间。

产区委员会还表示将进一步调整产区规章,重审Reserva以及Gran Reserva这两个级别的最低瓶中陈年时间。预计这方面的新规定将于2019年1月1日发布。

撰文:Arabella Mileham

翻译:肖斐远

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纳帕赤霞珠葡萄高价令人担忧

16th June, 2017

纳帕谷赤霞珠葡萄的价格达到有史以来的最高值,专家发出警告,部分产区将会因此陷入“品种单一的险境”。

据Wines & Vines媒体报道,纳帕谷赤霞珠的价格和需求量在2008年经济衰退后均有所下降,但自2010年起,价格开始持续上涨,目前已达到每吨7,000美元(约合人民币47,558元)。

在纳帕谷上个月举办的葡萄园经济研讨会上,The Correia Co.顾问公司的董事长Tony Correia评论说,“现在,纳帕谷所有能够种植和适宜种植赤霞珠的土地都种满了赤霞珠,他们轻易就能以7,000美元(约合人民币47,558元)的价格出售。”

Correia还在会议中警告道,如果不宜种植赤霞珠的区域种植了过多的赤霞珠,纳帕谷赤霞珠的声誉将受到损害,即使现在还未受影响。

为了顺应赤霞珠不断增长的需求量和价格,纳帕谷的一些种植者还拔除了长相思等葡萄品种,只为种植更多的赤霞珠。

在索诺玛,黑皮诺品种也正经历着相似的境况。在Correia看来,黑皮诺每英亩已接近200,000美元(约合人民币1,358,790元)的平均价格是“愚蠢的”。他说,“黑皮诺的需求量很高,但高品质黑皮诺葡萄园的供应量却有限。”

会议期间,酿酒葡萄种植者联盟(Allied Grape Growers)主席Nat DiBuduo提出,现在的情况如同泡沫,他对高端纳帕谷赤霞珠市场的可持续性表示担忧。他说:“我从未见过如此之高的价格,我们必须在酒庄和葡萄种植者之间找到一个平衡点。”

此外,据Wines & Vines媒体报道,嘉露酒庄(E.&J.Gallo Winery)最近买入面积600英亩的Stagecoach Vineyard(这是纳帕谷最大的连续的葡萄园,Alpha Omega Winery,Caymus Vineyards和Duckhorn Vineyards等90多座酒庄都在使用这里出产的葡萄),并可能因此而将2,000吨优质赤霞珠带出市场。

尽管加利福尼亚州已于2017年增种15,000英亩葡萄藤,大部分位于沿海地区和Lodi产区,但从长远来看,美国葡萄酒消费量的增长速度将会超过葡萄园的发展速度。

所幸,对于生产者和消费者来说,值得欣慰的是,加利福尼亚州种植的大多数葡萄都是用于生产价格10美元及以上(约合人民币68元)的葡萄酒的。

撰文:Lucy Shaw

翻译:肖斐远

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François Lurton:新世界葡萄酒无需陈年

16th June, 2017

知名酿酒师François Lurton近日表示他认为来自新世界温暖产区的葡萄酒无需陈年,因为它们的果实成熟度及单宁结构都与旧世界不同。

Lurton在近日一场Bodega Piedra Negra(他在阿根廷的酒庄)的品鉴展示会上声称,很多葡萄酒圈中人,尤其是法国人,太过重视陈年潜力。

他解释说,很少有买得起好酒的人喜欢新世界的葡萄酒,因为这些人都习惯了高品质葡萄酒应该在酒窖中长久陈年然后才开瓶饮用的教条。这些人不习惯新世界以成熟的果味为主导并可以立即享用的风格。

“这就好比饮用绿茶。我只喝日本的绿茶,所以当我喝来自中国的绿茶时,味道完全不同,我就不喜欢。一旦你陷进了某种习惯,你就不愿意改变它。”Lurton说。

他相信新旧世界的葡萄酒陈年过程不应该被相互比较(就好比凉爽气候和温暖气候的产区间不应相互比较一样),因为“这些葡萄酒非常不同,就像拿古典音乐和摇滚乐作比较一样。” 因此Lurton相信,旧世界葡萄酒的单宁需要经久陈年才能变得成熟复杂,而新世界葡萄酒则无需陈年。

他还进一步指出了新旧世界在酿酒的各种细节上的不同。

譬如,欧洲北部产区所得到的日照就比智利和阿根廷少得多。他还指出,他们在阿根廷的葡萄藤树冠高度通常在1米或1.5米,而在欧洲树冠的平均高度则在1米以下。

另外,高海拔也是非常重要的一点。他表示,很多新世界的酿酒师在过去深信酿酒技术比葡萄本身的栽培和种植更重要,但现在,尤其是阿根廷,风土的意识开始深深扎根。

最后,他指出在新世界很少有酿酒师对产量过于敏感。“产量是非常法国的一个概念,这也就是为何在阿根廷,酿酒师都偏爱选择阿根廷的马尔贝克株系而不是法国的Côt株系(两者均为马尔贝克品种),因为后者的产量更低。”

尽管Lurton声称新世界的酒款无需陈年,但他在品鉴展示会上陈列的酒款所具有的酸度无一不证明其同样具有长久陈年的能力。这些自然取得的酸度来自海拔、产量和混酿等因素的共同影响。

最后Lurton还揭示了在阿根廷Uco Valley下新成立的三个新产区:Gualtallary, Los Chacayes以及Altamira。Lurton本人正是其中第二个“Chacayes”产区的拥有者,但他也允许其它当地葡萄采用“Los Chacayes”的标志。对此,他强调说,这里和法国的产区体系不同,酿酒师并没有任何必须遵守的规则。“这一产区标志更多只是说我们是来自这个地方而已。”他说。

撰文:Phoebe French

编译:肖斐远

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白雪香槟全面落实新战略

16th June, 2017

白雪香槟(Piper-Heidsieck)近日宣布将实施全新的“战略重塑”,以帮助重新定义品牌定位,并吸引更多“千禧一代”消费者的关注。

白雪香槟自2011年被EPI集团收购后,已花费数年时间重整品牌经销渠道,将自己逐步从前东家Rémy Cointreau确定的代理渠道中脱离出来。

品牌在全球100多个市场中至少有一半销售渠道需要重新调整,包括法国。目前在法国,白雪已脱离由Rémy Cointreau集团和William Grants共同创立的‘Lixir’代理分销集团,转而加入Bacardi-Martini的分销商。后者同时也是白雪香槟在比利时的代理商,而William Grants则保留作为白雪在英国的代理商。

此外EPI在Nippon Liquor公司持有股份,也因此自去年开始给白雪香槟在日本的销售开辟了一个新渠道。

现在通往各大市场的道路已经得到保障,白雪香槟也开始着手准备重塑品牌形象的全新宣传推广活动,以更好地与其它一众顶级香槟品牌进行竞争。

对此,白雪香槟首席执行官Benoit Collard解释说,“我们要做的是将白雪香槟打造成其它顶级香槟品牌的可靠替代,进而成为香槟消费者的第一选择。为了达到这一目标,我们的香槟需要有稳定出众的品质,以及清晰易懂的形象。”

在白雪的多项革新策略中,首先执行的便是对旗下酒款酒标风格的统一化。如今白雪香槟旗下的每一类香槟酒酒标都有了固定的颜色,譬如干型香槟是红色或金色,桃红香槟是粉红色,年份香槟则是黑色等。

和从前的酒标相比,新酒标在用色上更为大胆,尤其是旗舰酒款的红色。此外,此前正面酒标中很多啰嗦的小字也都转入背标中,使整体酒标更为简明整洁。

在市场方面,新策略也将向更为年轻的消费群体,即所谓的“千禧一代”倾斜。

Collard继续解释说,“香槟需要扩大其消费群体,特别是年龄在40岁以下的消费群体。以法国市场为例,在过去五年中,这部分人群所占的市场份额降低了8%,但他们在每瓶酒上的平均花费达到11欧元(折合人民币约84元),远高于其它人群不足5欧元(折合人民币约38元及以下)的平均花费。造成这一现象的重要原因在于这部分人群在家以外的场所饮酒的频率更高。我们所需要做的便是重新唤起他们对香槟的好奇心与需求。”

另外,白雪香槟还以“诱惑”作为此次推广的主题信息。在这些年轻消费群体上所做的研究表明,“当代的年轻人和此前几代人相比更相信爱与承诺。他们也声称自己更为浪漫。因此为了他们,白雪必须和‘诱惑’联系在一起。所以我们通过在Piper和Heidsieck两个词间加入破折号(dash),并用“一点诱惑(a dash of seduction)”这一口号来传达这一主题信息。”

撰文:Rupert Millar

翻译:肖斐远

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