Thursday, 22 June 2017

Westwell Wines - Trophy Champions!

Last month we joined our English wine producer, Westwell Wines, in celebrating their International Wine Challenge success at the London Wine Fair. They were awarded not one but TWO trophies for their Special Cuvée 2014: one regional trophy, for the best English Sparkling Vintage Classic Blend; and one national - the English Sparkling Trophy.  

This beautiful vintage wine is a classic 'Champagne' blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, sourced from the estate's own 9 hectare plantings of the three varieties. It undergoes a minimum of 36 months ageing prior to disgorgement. 

This wine is no stranger to the awards circuit, with previous vintages picking up gold and silver medals in the IWC, and a silver in the IWSC, showing not only its consistent quality, but the increasing impact that this small, Kent-based family business is making in the wider English and Sparkling wine Worlds. We know how incredibly hard they have worked to get here, they take no shortcuts, and their vision for the quality and firm provenance of their wines is unwavering. 

In their own words: "Our sparkling wines are made with a lot of love and that is also what they are meant to be drunk for!"

We are immensely proud to be working with John and Rids and their stunning wines, and we are very excited for what the future may hold for this great partnership - Cheers!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bancroft Wines Ltd. acquires Mason and Mason Wines Ltd.

Bancroft Wines is delighted to announce its acquisition of Mason and Mason Wines Ltd, effective from the 31st May 2017.

Mason & Mason was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Nick Mason and Laura Mason.  Mason & Mason Wines are specialists in distinct ‘farm not factory’ organic wines. They distribute wines into the on-trade, independent off-trade and national channels.

Nick Mason has a long-standing career of over 30 years in the wine trade, having worked as a Buyer (Harrods, Groupe Chez Gerard), Salesman (Ehrmanns, Bibendum, Richards Walford), Cellar-hand (New Zealand and the Rhone), and journalist (Slow Food).

The Mason & Mason portfolio is innovative and diverse. This perfectly dovetails into the Bancroft Wines extensive portfolio, bringing wines which Nick Mason describes as having “exceptional purity, ping and brightness”. They are wines that tie in with the consumer’s ever increasing awareness and hunger for provenance, ethics and identity, whilst offering exceptional value and drinkability.

This acquisition represents a clear opportunity for both businesses to create an enhanced, potent and dynamic portfolio of customers and suppliers.

Managing Director of Bancroft Wines, Neil McAndrew comments:
“This is an exciting development in the history of Bancroft Wines and reflects the commitment of both the Chairman and the board to long term investment and growth within this fast-moving market.”

Owner and co-founder of Mason & Mason Wines, Nick Mason comments:
“We are very excited about creating a successful new partnership with Bancroft Wines. We believe both portfolios complement each other beautifully, echoing our shared philosophy on excellence of product and customer service. Represented together, they will take our combined businesses to the next level.”

Sales and Marketing Director of Bancroft Wines, Susan Harper comments:

Information on Bancroft Wines

Bancroft Wines is an award-winning London-based specialist wine distributor offering a complete and competitive range of exceptional wines. We are dedicated to delivering excellent advice and service and forming long-term relationships with our clients and producers alike.

Wherever possible, Bancroft Wines aims to build exclusive relationships with suppliers. In our 25th year of business, these relationships have been built up over many vintages, making our selection of wines unique. Our suppliers are mostly small, family-owned domaines with an unwavering passion to produce the very best wine they can from the land they own.

Bancroft Wines supplies the on-trade, independent off-trade, private clients and a number of select national accounts.

Bancroft Wines appointed Susan Harper as Sales and Marketing Director in December 2016. 

In 2015 Bancroft Wines was awarded Best Overall Agent/Distributor (small) of the Year in the Annual Harpers Awards: “The award for small agent of the year has been awarded to Bancroft Wines for the excellent work it has conducted in enhancing customer service and diversifying its range, which it has showcased through masterclasses and innovative tastings.”

Friday, 2 June 2017

Mariette's Champagne Mission

In May, Mariette Abovici from our London on-trade sales team took some lucky clients out to Champagne, to meet all of our growers and taste their glorious wines! She kindly wrote this report for us:

The trip was very educational, for my customers and for myself. We received a very warm welcome from all our growers, we have seen Gratiot-Pillière vineyards and had a food and champagne matching organized at Christelle and Olivier beautiful house with a caterer. 

The second day, we went to Epernay in the morning, visited the Avenue de Champagne (most expensive avenue of the world with the billions of bottles in the cellars) which is always impressive, spent the afternoon visiting the cellars and tasting Moncuit champagne with Nicole and Yves. Before driving to Reims, we did a quick stop in Hautvillers, to see the abbaye of Dom Perignon (monk who created the champagne) and the beautiful view on the valley from the picnic area. If you open a bottle of champagne there that’s a bonus!

Just time to check in at the hotel in Reims and we headed to Le Petit Comptoir for having a very nice dinner with Jean-Claude who was a bit sick but still very enthusiastic.

The last morning, we drove to Paillard, visited the cellars, tasted the champagnes and had lunch back in Reims at the Boulingrin. Time to go back to London then! Everybody (except the driver obviously) was sleeping in the car.

The chardonnay vineyards have been touched by the frost (Moncuit and Gratiot Pillière). Not the Pinot Meunier because it was late so not out yet. Paillard has been very lucky.

My impressions: if you want to impress your customers, take them to Paillard (special room to receive and taste, big cellars, long history and tradition showcased). If you want to have a more bespoke experience, go to Gratiot-Pillière, where we have been received at their house and had a special champagne & food dinner with a caterer just for us. If you want a very French authentic experience, go to Moncuit (they do not really speak English) but their champagnes are lovely, low dosage.

We did not visit Joseph Perrier (only champagne house in Châlons-en-Champagne) but we had dinner with Jean-Claude Fourmon, the CEO.

Mariette Abovici, London On-Trade Sales