Singapore-based wine distributors Taste of Tradition has launched their wine club, a subscription-based service that sends three handpicked bottles of both Old and New World wines— one red, white, or sparkling — to subscribers every month. Two tiers are available: the more approachable Discovery, which will feature wines with recommended retail prices between $35 to $65; and the Deluxe tier, which feature the most well-regarded labels from classic regions and boutique wineries. The Deluxe tier also allows members to request for repeats of previous wines, or choose between an all-red or mixed case. While there are more than a couple of wine subscription plans around, TOT sets themselves apart with an uninterrupted cold chain that starts from the importing of the wines, all to way to when it reaches the drinker — which is important for preserving the integrity of the vino. For the wine club, bottles arrive in an insulated cellar flask that keeps things drinkable. The only thing left to do is probably keep those glasses handy.
Like the mythical beasts they’re named for, unicorn wines are extremely hard to find — even if you have the money to spend — simply because production is so low. In the case of French oneologist-turned-winemaker Meryl Croizier, it’s only five hectares of vines producing syrah, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, viognier, Grenache, Ugni Blanc. Vines are grown in clay-limestone soil, on the eastern and western slopes of Valvignères in the Ardèche mountains, located near the western bank of the Rhone. Croizier tends all the vines organically and sustainably, with some biodynamic practices thrown in for good measure. Vinification happens with wild yeasts, without fining or filtration — which produces brilliant and sometimes unexpected expression of the land. Local distributor/wine event organisers Inflorescence Asia will be bringing in limited bottles of this vino, with orders projected to come in at the end of March.
Macallan seems fond of numbering expression. First with their Editions Series, and more recently, with The Macallan Concept Number 1. The travel retail-exclusive is a single malt that’s the distillery’s first-ever double barreled expression, and has spent equal amounts of time in sherry and bourbon casks, which results in a complex, intriguing tipple. The Concept No 1 is also said to have been crafted to “crafted to explore maturation more imaginatively”. We’re not sure what that means, but the bottle, and the box design explores a whole new realm of options for whisky packaging. Designed as a surrealistic interpretation of the brand’s Six Pillars (the spiritual home, curiously small stills, the finest cut, exceptional oak casks, natural colour and peerless spirit), the packaging looks like a cheery Heronymous Bosch production. Here’s our 30-second review: the dram pours a pretty amber, and noses toffee, spices, an almost burnt-honey character, and floral, lemon peel notes. On the palate, the whisky comes on a little weakly at first, but reveals fresh autumn fruits, ginger, and plenty of zesty citrus. We’re also big fans of the off-dry finish, which is probably thanks to the mixed casks.
The Macallan Concept No. 1 is available Singapore, exclusively via DFS duty free stores in Changi International Airport.