Toast of the states

14 May, 2010

Off Licence News has teamed up with the Wine Institute of California to promote this year’s Benchmark Wines selection. The initiative features a line-up of wines chosen as shining

examples of their kind in three price brackets, £5-£7, £7-£10 and £10-£15.

The 2010 Benchmark wines have been selected by an independent tasting panel including MWs and retail buyers, and will be available to taste on the institute’s stand throughout the fair.

“Now we have the results of the seventh annual tasting, we can see some remarkable successes and consistency from some of the wineries, as well as some trends and changes across the years,” says UK director John McLaren.

And don’t forget to pick up a copy of OLN’s full-colour supplement featuring all you need to know about the competition and its very worthy winners. Stand P25?Californian producer Delicato will launch two new brands on the Bibendum stand. The Stone Barn brand comprises three varietal wines, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, sourced from Central Coast and Lodi, with an rrp of £5.99-£6.99. The First Press range represents “the best of Napa Valley at affordable price points”, according to Delicato, and includes a Chardonnay priced at £12.99 and a Cabernet Sauvignon at £14.99. Stand L30? Come and taste wines from family-owned Wente Vineyards, a new addition to Fells’ port­folio. New vintages from Sonoma Coast winery Jackson Family Wines will also be on show, including La Crema, known for its premium Burg­undian-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Stand P15?Visitors to the Hatch Mansfield stand can sample a range of sparkling wines and still Pinot Noirs from Taittinger’s Carneros venture. Stand P35?

Brown-Forman will be showcasing wines from three different Californ-ian brands. Sonoma-Cutrer will be showing its 2007 Pinot Noir, which has recently been upgraded from Sonoma Coast to Russian River Valley AVA. Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2008 and the Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay 2008 will also make their debuts.

Organic producer Bonterra will unveil new-look packaging, giving the brand a cleaner, more premium appearance. It will also be showcasing biodynamic wine McNab and the Bonterra Wine and Green & Black’s gift pack, combining the organic rosé with a selection of Green & Black’s organic chocolates. In line with its sustainable credentials, Fetzer will also unveil revamped labels which are printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper. Stand P25? Percy Fox will unveil limited edition tennis-themed packaging for Blossom Hill to highlight the brand’s postion as official wine of Wimbledon tennis tournament. Blossom Hill’s recently launched Pinot Grigio will be on taste alongside its new Signature Reserve White Zinfandel. Visit­ors will be offered the chance to enter an on-stand business card draw to win a pair of tickets to Wimbledon. Stand L62 ?UK newcomer Lan-der-Jenkins Vineyards,

which is part of the Rutherford Wine Company, will be showing its inaugural vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced primarily from Paso Robles, plus Chardonnay from Lodi and Monterey County. Fruit for all its wines is produced with eco-friendly viticultural practices. Stand P25??Among PLB’s offering will be Sutter Home from Napa Valley producer Trinchero Family Estates. Also on show will be wines from Kautz Family Vineyards, including brands Ironstone, Ironstone Reserve, Sonoma Creek and Leaping Horse Vineyards. Stand N60

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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