Release Radar: Hickson House unveils 8-year gin series, St Hugo’s 2023 vintage collection, and more

May 3, 2024
By Cody Profaca

St Hugo 2023 Vintage Collection

St Hugo has released its 2023 vintage collection, which includes its Eden Valley Riesling, Eden Valley Chardonnay, and Barossa GSM. 

First in the line-up, the 2023 St Hugo Eden Valley Riesling is showing great regional typicity, high in both vibrancy and elegance. It is a wine that is drinking beautifully now but also has great potential to age. 

The 2023 Eden Valley Chardonnay has been made using 60% whole-bunch grapes fermented in a mix of new and used French oak barrels. Expect peach and hazelnut aromas before a palate of yellow stone fruit and sweet spice. 

The 2023 St Hugo GSM is a blend of Grenache (64%), Shiraz (30%), and Mataro (6%), sourced from three separate Barossa Valley plots. Cold soaked in open fermenters prior to extended ferment macertation, expect elegant and perfumed wines with detailed structure. 

“There is no denying the 2023 vintage in both the Barossa and Eden Valley was challenging, with cool temperatures resulting in harvest being pushed out 3-4 weeks later than usual,” said Peter Munro, Chief Winemaker.

“However, the Spring rains supported a strong budburst and healthy canopy, as well as a full moisture soil profile as the Summer temperatures kicked in.”

The two white wines will retail at $39.99 per bottle and the GSM will retail at $54.99.

St Hugo is owned and distributed by Pernod Ricard. For more information, visit the St Hugo website here.

Hickson House announces Harbour Bridge gin series 

Hickson House Distilling Co has announced a new gin series dedicated to Sydney’s Harbour Bridge that will see it release one gin every year up until 2032, the 100th anniversary of the Bridge’s completion. 

Each limited-edition gin will strive to capture a unique chapter of the bridge’s story. The inaugural release, Breaking Ground, commemorates the historic moment of the turning of the first sod in 1923, marking the beginning of construction. Each individually numbered bottle includes an image capturing this moment in time. 

Breaking Ground has been made using locally sourced lemon aspen and lilly pilly botanicals along with juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, orris root and aniseed myrtle. The limited-edition gin will be exclusively available at the Hickson House Distillery Store, located in the heritage-listed Metcalfe Bond Store in the heart of Sydney, at its online shop, or at the Barrelhouse Cellars Bottleshop located in The Rocks. It will also feature on a special launch menu at the Hickson House cocktail bar, The Duke of Clarence, and the Barber Shop.

The Metcalfe Bond Store that now hosts Hickson House Distilling Co stored the timber and steel beams used for the construction of the Harbour Bridge throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Some of these beams are still present on-site, reinforcing the heritage that has inspired the series. 

Hickson House is also offering consumers the chance to win one of three Ultimate Sydney Harbour Experiences with every purchase of Harbour Bridge Gin online or in-store. For more information and to enter, click here.

The Hickson House Harbour Bridge Gin – Breaking Ground has been bottled at 42% abv and will retail for $85.

SPRIO Spritz is “possibly the world’s first carbonated beverage made specifically to pair with food”

A new addition to the Australian-made premium non-alc category, SPRIO’s three flavours of spritzes have been specifically designed to fulfil a role on drinks lists as a food-friendly non-alcoholic option. 

The brand, which has been established by a wine-educator and an on-premise venue operator, will compete with offerings from brands such as San Pellegrino and Strangelove, only with a reduced sugar content. 

“What started as an idea for a brand name in early 2014 while I was staying at a friend’s winery in Castel San Pietro, became a 10-year concept,” said Anthony Nania, International Wine Expert and Educator.

Nania founded SPRIO alongside Fabbio Navarroli, founder and owner of venues Tuscan Bar and Vinorium and wine distributor The Drop Cellars.

“In 2022 Fabbio and I decided to embark on our journey to produce an excellent quality ‘all-natural,’ low to zero sugar spritz-style soft drink range, with fine, elegant champagne-style bubbles, and a fresh lasting taste and flavour like no other. 

“We wanted to develop a drink for the discerning health-conscious individual – that would only contain high-quality natural ingredients, be highly enjoyable and become the drink of choice that would pair exceptionally with or without food. All this without any fanfare or plethora of broken promises of so many products.”

Included in the SPRIO range are the Blood Orange, Sicilian Lemon and Chinotto flavour options. All products are made from 100% naturally devised fruit extracts sourced from southern Italy. 

For more information visit the SPRIO Spritz website.

Yellowstone bourbon arrives to Aus

Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is now available in Australia. The brand, which is named after America’s first national park, brings with it a history that dates back to 1872. Yellowstone bourbon is currently owned by Luxco in the US. 

“The growth of premium bourbon in Australia has been on the cards for a long time… In fact, American Premium Bourbon exports to Australia have increased by 55% in the last five years.,” said Greg Mefford, Luxco’s International Managing Director.

The Yellowstone Select bourbon that has been introduced to Australia is a high-rye blend of two Kentucky Straight bourbons, a four year-old and a seven year-old, bottled at 46.5% abv.

“I believe Australian consumers want to savour bourbon and rye whiskeys as they are looking for more depth of flavour. Higher proof premium bourbon delivers on this and it’s why we are moving away from producing ‘standard’ 80 proof/40% ABV bottlings,” said Mefford.

“In a rapidly growing premium alcohol market, we knew the next step for Yellowstone would be to introduce the product to Australia. 

“Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a traditional, warming whiskey that makes the most sense to be the first product we bring down under for bourbon lovers to finally get their hands on.”

Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is available now from Dan Murphy’s at an RRP of $107.99.

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