wine-pages.com
Tom Cannavan's wine-pages.com   

March 2007


Best of Argentina


   News this month of the first ever international Wines of Argentina award. New supremo of WoA in the UK is James Forbes, ex-Head Buyer for Oddbins and now making an immediate impact. The awards were decided in Argentina's wine 'captial city' of Mendoza, by a panel of UK and Argentinean judges. "I was really very pleased with the set of results that came out of the event," said Forbes. With eight out of the nine trophy winners retailing, or set to retail in the UK for under £10, Forbes continued, "It goes a long way to proving my view that, when it comes to making wine of high quality at a price that everyone can afford, it is difficult to beat Argentina."

Medal
Sparkling Wine
Red Blend
Tempranillo
Cab Sauvignon
Malbec
Sauvignon Blanc 
Torrontes
White Blend
Syrah
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Producer
Familia Zuccardi
Norton
Tittarelli
Santa Ana
Fabre Montmayou 
Pulenta Estate
Felix Lavaque
Luigi Bosca
Don Domenico
O. Fournier
Valentin Bianchi
Enrique Foster
Bodegas Callia
Norton
Trapiche
Trapiche
Infinitus
Tamarí
Eral Bravo
Callia
Doña Paula
Dominio del Plata
Colomé
Cave Extrême
Wine Name
Alma 4 Chardonnay Roble
Norton Privada
Finca El Retiro Tempranillo
La Mascota Cab Sauvignon
Malbec Gran Reserva
Flor de Pulenta Sauv Blanc
Quara Torrontés
Gala 3 Viognier
Domenico de Huanacache Syrah 
Alfa Crux Blend
Enzo Bianchi
Enrique Foster Reserva
Grand Callia
Norton Perdriel
Malbec Viña Pedro Gonzalez
Malbec Viña Victorio Coletto
Infinitus Malbec-Syrah
Tamarí Malbec - Cab Reserve
Eral Bravo YBS
Callia Magna Shiraz
Estate Seleccion de Malbec
Susana Balbo Malbec
Colomé Torrontes
Extrême Méthode Champenoise 
Year
2003
2003
2004
2005
2005
2006
2006
2006
2006
2001
2003
2003
2004
2004
2004
2004
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
2006
NV

Dinner of the Tsars

On Thursday 29th March 2007 Quintessentially Wine, a very upmarket concierge club for the unfeasibly wealthy, is recreating the legendary Diner des Tsars, held during the World Art Fair in Paris in 1867 at the Café Anglais (now Le Tour D'Argent). In 1867 royalty and guests enjoyed a fifteen course dinner with fine
 
wines and Champagnes by Louis Roederer. 140 years on, an invited 350 guests will enjoy a lavish gala evening in aid of UNICEF. An eight course banquet will be prepared by Michelin-star chef Tom Aikens, with wines and Champagnes supplied by Champagne Louis Roederer, including limited edition Jeroboams of Cristal and other Louis Roederer estates including Domaine Ott and Château Pichon-Lalande. Throughout the evening, an programme of entertainment will include performances from Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins. The host for the evening is Mariella Frostrup with UNICEF ambassadors Jemima Khan and Fiona Hesselden. Quintessentially are always rather coy about their prices, but my insider information was that the 350 tickets for this event were snapped up at a cool £1,500 per person. For further information on Quintessentially, contact Katie Lowry on 020 7758 3360.

Chanson expands


   Domaine Chanson, owner of a 38 hectares of Premier and Grand Cru vineyards in Beaune, Savigny les Beaune, Pernand Vergelesses and Corton, has expanded its holdings with the acquisition of a new domaine of 7.35 hectares, which mainly includes vineyards classified as Premier Cru in Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Folatières, Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru les Chenevottes and Santenay Premier Cru Beauregard. Although one of the oldest wine producers in Burgundy, Chanson Père & Fils have enjoyed a middling reputation in recent years, but the domaine is now part of the Champagne house
Bollinger (which also owns Champagne Ayala, Langlois-Chateau in the Loire and a significant stake in Delamain Cognac). President of Chanson Père & Fils, Gilles de Courcel, says this recent acquisition "confirms the commitment of the group to pursue the development of Chanson with the extension of the domaine in the most prestigious vineyards of Burgundy." The wines of Domaine Chanson are distributed in the UK exclusively by Mentzendorff.

Charles Heidsieck 'oenoteque'


The Champagne house of Charles Heidsieck has selected the newly restored Grosvenor House hotel on London's Park Lane to house its very first Champagne oenoteque in the UK. The literal translation of 'oenoteque' is 'wine library', and Charles Heidsieck will offer 10 different Champagnes "allowing connoisseurs to savour the remarkable differences between vintages". Grosvenor House will have worldwide exclusivity on
 
a number of the rarer vintages making it a hot spot for Champagne lovers. The Charles Heidsieck oenoteque opened in Gosvenor House's Park Room last week, and is the brainchild of Director of Restaurants, Steve Laine. Laine comments, "Londoners are constantly demanding something new and exclusive on the food and beverage scene. The restoration of Grosvenor House gave us the ideal opportunity to introduce different ideas and the Charles Heidsieck oenoteque is truly unique to the capital." Grosvenor House is currently undergoing a multi million pound restoration programme, believed to be the most expensive of any hotel in Europe, and due for completion in 2008. For reservations in the Park Room and oenoteque, call +44 (0) 207 399 8452 or visit www.grosvenor-house.co.uk.

back label babble?


   Sainsbury's has announced it will follow the voluntary guidelines proposed by the United Kingdom government's Department of Health on the labelling of alcohol. New back labels will feature on all Sainsbury's own brand beers, wines and spirits. Indeed, Sainsbury's own label spirits have already started to carry information on recommended daily intake, number of units per glass and number of units per bottle. The back labels on own-brand bottles also include information on drinking whilst pregnant. Department of Health studies suggest that consumers find it difficult to calculate the number of units they are consuming, even those who say they are aware of the recommended limits. The new back labels are intended to facilitate this and encourage responsible drinking.

stressed Britons turn to drink


More Britons than ever are turning to the bottle to relieve stress according to a survey published by the Samaritans. A total of 32% of people questioned said they have a drink to feel less stressed, while in 2003 the figure was just 23%. In some regions it's even higher, with 45% of those
 
surveyed in Northern Ireland admitting they drink to relieve stress. In the survey, the same three causes of stress top the poll as in the last survey in 2003: money is top, cited by 51% of people who feel stressed, work is cited by 38% and family issues come in third with 27%.