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Product news

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sweeter way to pop
Champagne Pommery Elixir NV is the latest addition to the UK from the second-largest Champagne house. It's a sweeter style (Sec) than the Brut Royal NV and is primarily on-trade focused. Sara Hicks of Vranken Pommery Monopole comments: By introducing the Elixir Sec to the UK market, we feel we can truly say that Pommery has the right Champagne for every occasion.' Percy Fox and Justerini & Brooks represent Pommery in the UK.

Fairtrade doubles up

Co-op welcomes 2005 Thandi Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot - the first dual-varietal wine in the Thandi Fairtrade range to be available in the UK. Maria Gallup, the Co-op category buyer, says: Thandi stands out in consumers' minds as a high-quality brand with a conscience. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot will build on their interest and offers great value.' Thandi is distributed in the UK by Omnia Wines, and this latest export will be available for 4.99 in Co-op stores.

G for Grner Veltliner

Grner Veltliner takes centre stage as Laurenz Lenz' Moser keeps the winemaking tradition in the family and launches his own range of three Austrian Grner Veltliners under the Laurenz V label. All three wines are bottled under Stelvin closure, and the styles vary from the charming' Laurenz V to the friendly' L Sophie - exclusive to the on-trade - and Laurenz und Sophie, which sings' on the palate and is specifically for the off-trade. The wines will be distributed by Bibendum, and buying manager Iain Muggoch remarks: There have been whispers about fine Austrian wines in the UK market for some time. Having offered some top-end wines to the prestige on-trade, it seemed right to take a more commercial stance now and take a great offer to a broader market.'

The 2005 vintage of the three wines will be shown for the first time at Bibendum's Annual Tasting at the Royal Academy of Arts in London on 23 January.

Rum's the word

A positive reception in the UK has led the Patron Spirits Company to announce the relaunch of Pyrat XO reserve rum and its sister product, the Cask 23. The allocation has also been increased, and John Coe, owner of Coe Vintners, comments: I am delighted that Pyrat XO will be available to more outlets and at a fantastic price.' The initial focus will be on the Pyrat XO, which retails at 39.99 in Selfridges.

The Aldi fix

New from Aldi are three Italians that promise to banish the winter blues'. 2004 Frascati DOC Superiore, 2003 Sangiovese DOC Romagna Superiore Riserva and 2004 Primitivo di Manduria DOC. Each of the three retails at 3.49. Alternatively, there's also the Bonzer Bushlands wine range - five easy-going Australians coming soon: 2003 Bushland Reserve Shiraz (3.99), 2004 Bushland Cabernet/Merlot (3.79), 2004 Bushland Cabernet/Shiraz (3.79), 2004 Bushland Reserve Chardonnay (3.99) and 2004 Bushland Semillon/Chardonnay (3.79).

Lurton update

It's a brand-new look for the Lurton brothers following the repackaging of their Les Salices and Les Bateaux Vin de Pays d'Oc ranges. The labels have been designed by London design agency Stranger and Stranger, and both ranges have been bottled under Stelvin screwcap closures instead of the traditional cork. Franois Lurton reports: Our packaging has to keep pace with enhancements we've made in the winemaking and also with international demand. We feel that consumers will better understand what we are trying to accomplish when they see the fusion of classic and modern design.' The new packaging and latest vintages of these two ranges will be on show for the first time at Vinisud 2006.

Jim Barry Riesling

Jim Barry Wines has launched The Florita Riesling from the Clare Valley. Mark Barry comments: Absolute attention to detail is essential with Riesling, and in this case, our selected slice of The Florita says everything.' There is limited stock in the UK, but it is currently available in Handford Holland Park (London), Philglas & Swiggot (London), Roberson's Wine Merchants (London), Eagle Wines (London) and Veritas Wines (Cambridge). The wine is priced at 14.99 per bottle, although some retailers are selling by three-pack only.

A toffee to watch

A new toffee-flavoured vodka, Toffoc, from Wales is being launched across the UK market. It is currently available in 300 Wetherspoons pubs across England and Wales and in Spar supermarkets across north and mid-Wales. The cocktail-friendly drink was the idea of Dewi Roberts and Padrig Huws, following their discovery of a similar aprs-ski drink that was not available in the UK. Roberts says: It has gone down a storm in Wales, and we are confident it will prove just as successful across the whole of the UK.' Bottles are priced at 14.99 each.

Fruity, fizzy fun

GI Fruitades - a healthy fizzy drink' - has been launched by Radnor Hills Mineral Water Company. The ingredients are carbonated Welsh mineral water and natural fruit juice, and it's classified as a low GI product due to its under 55' status on the glycaemic scale. GI Fruitades satisfies the body for longer, since the carbohydrate from the 100% natural fruit sweetener releases more slowly into the blood stream than added sugar or glucose.' The new range of drinks will retail at 49p per bottle.