Thursday, 13 April 2017

Dates for your Diary: Producer Visits and Tastings

We've got a busy few months coming up, with lots of producers due to visit us, plus an exciting new series of monthly tastings from now until the summer months take hold.

*NEW* Bancroft Spring Snapshot Tasting

When: Wednesday 19th April, 10am - 4:30pm
Theme: ICYMI - bitesized portfolio tasting

We would like to invite you to the first in a series of brand new 'snapshot' tastings, which we will be holding once a month, starting in April - same time, same place, same set-up, different theme. Simple!
This series of tastings will have a different theme each month, and will include some guest appearances from our wonderful winemakers! Each month we will send out a new invitation, detailing the upcoming date and theme - all of the other details will stay the same. Our aim is to bring you a fresh, carefully curated snapshot of our portfolio, perfect for speed-tasting in your break or for mulling over in more detail. 
Stay tuned for more... 
Producer Visits
Tuesday 25th - Thursday 27th - Arnaud Bergasse from Viranel (St Chinian) will be in London for one day, and then will be touring the South West for two days! 
Tuesday 2nd - Friday 5th - Chateau Montelena (Napa). Bo Barrett (GM/Master WInemaker) and Brian Baker (VP Sales & Marketing) will be in London for a few jam-packed days of events celebrating all things California, Napa and, well, Chateau Montelena! Enquire here for event information.
Tuesday 16th - Thursday 18th - Herència Altés (Terra Alta) Official UK Launch. We are delighted to announce the dates for this launch of our incredibly exciting new Spanish agency, from the beautiful Terra Alta in Catalunya. The core team from the winery will be in London for a series of events, including a focused trade tasting and press launch. Watch this space and your inboxes for more details!
w/c 12th - The South Africans are in town! Kevin and Hanli Grant of Ataraxia (Hemel-en-Aarde) and Carl Schultz of Hartenberg Wine Estate (Stellenbosch) are gracing us with a tandem visit. Throughout this week, we will be hosting a number of lunches, dinners and tastings to showcase the diversity of the Western Cape and probably to eat lots of biltong too.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of our upcoming events. Please keep an eye on our events calendar, your inbox (if you are not yet subscribed, email us to do so). Pop us an email to express your interest in getting involved with any of the above events, or to receive more details of our plans.

Recent Producer Visits

Here at Bancroft, we simply love seeing a lot of our wonderful producers. When they are in the UK, we like to make the very most of it with staff training and visits to as many clients as time allows. What this boils down to is tasting oodles of wine and then some committed lunching, wining and dining - it's a hard life for all involved! 

Last month it was all about South America...

Alberto Arizu came to see us for one day only, so we had limited time to take him out and about. We had some staff training at Bancroft HQ before he headed out to a lunch at Lima Covent Garden with the Bancroft sales team and some of London's finest GMs/sommeliers. A flying visit maybe, but we put Alberto through his paces!

Staff training with Alberto

Alberto hosts a lunch at Lima Floral

We welcomed Julio Bouchon for a couple of days of whizzing around London with our on-trade sales team. He popped by to give the team some training on the range, including a couple of new releases which were incredibly exciting, but alas, heartbreaking in their short supply. Firstly, the stunning Granito Semillon 2015 (pictured below), the absolute star of the show, grown on granite soils and the only white wine made from the coastal area in Maule, of which only one barrel is made. Not only did it make the whole Bancroft team 'oo' and 'aah' in rapture, but it also charmed Tim Atkin MW, leading to a score of 96 points and the accolade of 'white wine discovery of the year' in his Chile 2017 Special Report. Secondly, on the new releases front, is a very special Carignan, part of the 'Vigno' D.O.-style collaboration set up by viticulturists of 35-40 year old, dry farmed Carignan in Maule. Only 200 cases of the Bouchon Vigno Carignan 2015 was produced.

The Granito Semillon got the whole team (and social media!) talking!

Julio enjoys lunch at Gordon's Wine Bar

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Ataraxia Chardonnay Top of the Class - Decanter Panel Tasting

We are delighted to announce that the Ataraxia Chardonnay 2015 leads the field in Decanter's rather impressive South African Chardonnay Panel Tasting, published yesterday in Decanter Magazine. Across a panel of three MWs, Kevin Grant's fabulous Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnay garnered a score of 96 points meaning that it is officially Outstanding!

Huge congratulations to Kevin Grant and the team at Ataraxia! The tasting very much encompassed the who's who of South African Chardonnay, so this is no mean feat. This wine is no stranger to great press scores, with previous vintages receiving high praise as well, but we are delighted to see the 2015 being recognised so decisively as a result of a blind tasting by an expert panel.

Bancroft Wines at SITT Spring Tastings 2017

We sent teams to both SITT Spring events, in Manchester on Monday 27th February and London on Wednesday 1st March, and had a marvelous time showcasing our selected wines to visitors, both familiar and new. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to taste with us - we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Some members of the Bancroft team at SITT London

Below is a list of all of the bottles that made an appearance on our table at both events, including some new listings:

Champagne Gratiot-Pillière Tradition Brut NV
Lambrusco di Modena, Cantina della Volta 2009

Grillo, Il Folle 2015
Hartenberg Riesling 2014
Cheninsolite, Alex Cady 2014
Sin Palabras Albariño, Adegas Castro Brey 2015
Garnatxa Blanca, Herència Altés
Sa Fita, Es Fangar 2015
Ribolla, Marjan Simčič 2015
Ataraxia Chardonnay 2015

Saumur Champigny Tuffe, Chateau du Hureau 2012
Elena Walch Pinot Nero 2015
Garnatxa Negra, Herència Altés 2015
Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, Hartenberg 2013
Cotes-du-Rhone Reserve Rouge, Domaine de Grand Veneur 2015

The tempting line-up

Friday, 24 February 2017

Bancroft Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017

We held our annual portfolio tasting on Wednesday 15th February, at the wonderful Glaziers Hall, London Bridge; a new year and a brand new venue for Bancroft! Guests enjoyed views of the (albeit slightly grey and gloomy) Thames as they sipped and slurped their way through our portfolio selection.

The atmospheric River Room at Glaziers Hall, illuminated in Bancroft blue!

The more eagle-eyed attendees may have noticed a couple of new names nestled amidst the usual suspects. These included Raf and Nuria De Haan of Herència Altés, from Spain’s Terra Alta region, whose official UK launch will be coming soon – watch this space! They have already been making waves in the wine community, with 7 of their wines being awarded 90 points and over by the Wine Advocate’s Luis Guttiérez. Another debut that drew much attention was Mallorquin winery Es Fangar, presented by Oria Palma, and with wines made by Daniel Morales of Priorat and South African fame. In the snapshot selection, a clutch of new labels could be seen among the ranks, namely Mas des Combes (Gaillac), Domaine de l’Alba (Corbières), Domaine Guisset (Roussillon) and Château Mazetier (Bordeaux).  Anyone interested in learning more about our new additions will be able to read all about them in our new list, to be released in April, or by contacting us directly at marketing@bancroftwines.com.

Oria Palmer of Es Fangar pouring her wines

Raf and Nuria De Haan

We were lucky enough to be joined by representatives for 27 of our wonderful producers, and tasters were able to sample over 250 wines from our portfolio. Alongside the individual producer tables, we featured two Snapshot selections – one general and one focusing on Burgundy – to give a flavour of what else we have to offer.

Ever generous, we featured a prize draw to win a magnum of Gratiot-Pillière Tradition Brut to those who took the time to fill out our feedback form at the back of the booklet. Congratulations to Justin Waples, the lucky winner – party at his place, everyone!

Oria Palma was also kind (and brave!) enough to treat a few guests to a Masterclass on Es Fangar and the wines of Mallorca. A learning curve for many in attendance, her insight was fascinating – so fascinating, in fact, that I am going to write a separate blog post about it! 
Stay tuned for more...