Five Big Releases Coming Soon

With the European summer break now drawing to a close, the wine trade is very much ‘back to school’. A deluge of significant wine and spirits releases are scheduled for September, keeping merchants and collectors alike very much on their toes…

The Last Drop Whisky Scotch 1071 Triple Blended

At the time of writing, 2015 Almaviva, 2014 Solaia, 2014 Vérité, 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage Jecques Perrin and 2015 Seña are all expected this September, to name just a few of the exceptional releases to come. However, below we’ve rounded up the five biggest releases that particularly deserve your attention…

The Last Drop Vintage Blended Scotch Whisky, Distilled 1971

Releases from Luxury Spirit hunters The Last Drop are always eagerly-awaited moments in the FINE+RARE calendar. This latest offering is nothing short of spectacular. It was awarded 97 points by Jim Murray, who exclaimed: “I am not entirely sure how the people at The Last Drop continue to unearth whiskies which are truly staggering; absolute marvels of their type”. It is a ‘triple matured’ blend, which spent 12 years in Ex-Bourbon Casks, 9 years in Ex-Oloroso Sherry Butts and another 24 years in Ex-Bourbon Casks. Murray has called it “mesmerically beautiful” and named it Scotch Blend of the Year and Blend of the Year (26-50 Years) in his 2017 Whisky Bible. 1352 bottles were produced, a relatively minute number given the demand Last Drop releases always generate. Our allocation will be going on sale this September and we expect competition to be extremely fierce. Register your interest to be one of the first to hear about this unmissable whisky.

2014 Opus One

Launching on Monday 4th September, the new vintage of Opus One will be one of the most highly-anticipated wines of the month. Opus One is perhaps Napa’s most famous winery. It was established in 1979 as a joint venture between Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi to show off Napa power with French elan. It has since gained superstar status, and each vintage sells out almost on release. The 2014 looks set to follow this pattern; Antonio Galloni has given it 95+ points and called it “a gorgeous wine… that will handsomely repay several decades of cellaring”. In fact, Galloni implied that the 2014 could well improve noticeably with age, writing: “The 2014 is not an obvious Opus One, like the 2010, 2012 or 2013, but over time, I will not be surprised if it challenges or even surpasses some of those vintages.” This is significant, given that the 2010 and 2013 have both received 97 points from Galloni. James Suckling went one step further, awarding the 2014 97 points off the bat and calling it “Mezmerizing… almost Burgundian in texture, yet it’s Napa in its soul”. Given this praise and the incredible cache of Opus One, we predict that the 2014 vintage will sell fast. On your marks…

2014 Masseto

2014 Tuscany was a dramatic vintage, and Antonio Galloni has advised seeking out “the very best properties and wines” among its releases. Given that Masseto is widely acknowledged to be one of the best wines on the planet (it has been called “one of the world’s truly great wines” by Antonio Galloni), the 2014 is a no-brainer. The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner has already called it “a very distinctive edition of the iconic Italian Merlot”, and comments on its relative delicacy and lightness compared to many previous vintages. She writes: “if you are hankering for a less massive and less muscular Masseto, this vintage is for you”. We don’t have a firm arrival date yet, but we do know that it will be released sometime in September. Keep your eyes peeled…

2014 Paul Hobbs

One of the most-anticipated releases this September is the 2014 Beckstoffer to Kalon from Paul Hobbs. With 96-100 points from Robert Parker and 99 points from James Suckling, this has all the makings of a legendary wine. Parker has called it “an amazing wine” that “flirts with a potential perfect score”, while Suckling pronounced it “entrancing…already a dream to drink but will improve magnificently”. With Parker predicting a drinking window of close to two decades, this is one to buy now and enjoy for many years to come. The Beckstoffer To Kalon joins the 2014 Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard, which was released earlier this year to a stunning 98-100 point Parker score, and of which very few cases remain. We will also see the release of the 2014 Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard, “one of the highlights in this range” according to Antonio Galloni. Due to the intense popularity of Paul Hobbs, we will likely be offering Beckstoffer To Kalon as part of a parcel with other releases. Stay tuned for more information…

Cloudburst

The last week of September will see the release of Cloudburst’s 2015 Chardonnay and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Cloudburst is a boutique producer from the Margaret River whose wines have taken the world by storm and are coveted by top restaurants and collectors alike. As the exclusive distributor of Cloudburst in the UK, we are delighted to be hosting Will Berliner at our London office later this month for a tasting of the new vintages. Cloudburst’s Margaret River site has been described by the Wine Advocate as “a little piece of heaven” which “continues to yield stunning results”. This is true of the new vintages: both the the 2015 Chardonnay and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon received 95 points from James Halliday, while the 2014 Malbec followed hot on their heels with 94 points. If the success of this vintage is anything to go by, Cloudburst shows no sign of slowing down.

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