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New Taste

Published:  19 October, 2009

Claire Hu on the latest wine and spirit product launches.

As any on-trade operator worth their salt knows, offering wines by the glass is a great way to encourage timid customers to experiment. Bermar, maker of the Verre de Vin technology, is hoping to tap into the trend with the launch of a new by-the-glass system called the Pod Bar.
It has been designed to easily fit into any back bar, and comes as government proposals are outlined to allow more flexibility in wine serving sizes.

Ian Macleod is launching a range of new whisky releases from its Chieftain's limited edition collection.
The rare casks include Glenrothes 14 Years Old, Aultmore 12 Years Old, an Ardbeg 11 Years Old, a Benriach 12 Years Old, a Bladnoch 16 Years Old and a Tomatin 16 Years Old. The packaging has also been redesigned, and includes individual cask numbers, distillation and bottling dates.

New from Lords Wines is a premium Aussie Shiraz called Cassegrain from the country's newest wine region, the Northern Slopes district of New South Wales.
Together with winemaker Paul Pudner, owner John Cassegrain created the range from a region which has high altitude and a diverse range of soil types in its favour.
With a nose of dark plums, blackberries and coffee and a rich mouthfeel with velvety tannins, the wine has an rsp of £7.95 and both the 2005 and 2006 vintages are available.

The 2007 vintage of Leeuwin Estate's Art Series Margaret River Shiraz is now available in the UK.
David Winstanley, Leeuwin's viticulturist, says berries from 2007 are showing exceptional intensity and ripe tannins. The Leeuwin Estate wines are imported into the UK by Domaine Direct (, and the the 2007 has an rsp of £17.99-£19.99.

Hine Cognac is busy with various activities aimed at pushing the brand in top-end bars and restaurants.
For the first time, vintage Hine will be offered by the bottle by Pol Roger, the brand's new UK distributor, enabling bars to offer flights or comparisons.
Hine has also joined forces with the Coburg Bar, at the Connaught Hotel in London, to devise a cocktail list and offer a range of rare vintage cognacs. The cocktails were devised by bar manager Mark Jenner, using H by Hine which is a lighter, more floral style of cognac suitable for mixing.

Just in case your business has a spare 10 grand floating around, The Dalmore is releasing a 1951 single malt with that very price tag attached.
Only 12 decanters of the Sirius expression will be produced. The distiller said the time was right, with a buoyant international market for high-end luxury products with investment value.

Roussillon producer Cazes, part of the Jeanjean Group, has released a Muscat de Rivesaltes 2005 in time for Christmas.
Made from 50% Alexandria Muscat and 50% Petit Grain Muscat, the organic and biodynamic wine - the only one on the market - the production methods are aimed at preserving spicy fruit aromas and fresh acidity. The rsp is £12.59 for 75cl and £6.96 for 37.5cl.

A flurry of activity from Armagnac. Maison Gélas is launching a new 12-year-old, a Bas Armagnac (rsp: £36, Laytons), and the producer has also come up with the most expensive Armagnac cocktail in the world.
The Original 1865, served at the Artesian bar in the Lanham Hotel, London, comprises
Louis Roederer Cristal 2000 poured over a sugar cube, Angostura bitters and a generous measure of 100 year old Bas-Armagnac from Maison Gélas. The price? £1,865.
Meanwhile, Armagnac Dupeyron is launching a limited edition 1979 Sauternes Cask Finish, available in 50cl (rsp: £55) bottles on

The low alcohol trend is gathering pace with a new lower alcohol range from Arniston Bay called the Lighthouse Collection.
With an abv of 10-11%, and packaged in environmentally friendly lightweight bottles, the range is available from the Company of Wine People in a red, rosé and white with an rsp of £4.99.