FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

<< Back to Robb Report, May 2008
  • The Editors

Life’s finer things sometimes have dubious origins. Such is the case with Springbank Distillery’s whiskies, originally produced from an illicit still run in Campbeltown, on the southwest coast of Scotland. The enterprise begun by Archibald Mitchell achieved legitimacy in 1828 and has remained in the family since.

The distillery’s medium-peated, honey-colored whiskies have delighted both collectors and casual imbibers for nearly two centuries with their strength, clarity, and complexity. The Springbank 1967 40-Year-Old Malt Whisky showcases these qualities in excelsis. The texture is luxuriously thick, even oily, and the nose erupts with a tropical effusion of coconut, mango, and pineapple tempered by soft nutmeg spice and a hint of smoke. The lush fruitiness enlivens the palate, yet dissolves in a mist of soft, smoky brine.

Duncan Taylor & Co. will offer only 15 bottles to the U.S. market. Each comes in a collector’s box with a miniature tasting bottle of the spirit and an engraved glass. ($2,500) www.preissimports.com

 

When Antoine Jaboulet established himself as a wine grower and merchant in 1834, he founded one of France’s great viticultural dynasties. The firm became Paul Jaboulet Aîné when one of Antoine’s twin sons succeeded him, naming the firm for himself.

The long chain of family succession ended in 2005, when the family, confronted with heavy inheritance taxes, sold the company to Jean-Jacques Frey, owner of Château la Lagune in Bordeaux. Nevertheless, the Jaboulets remain involved, and the tradition of powerfully elegant wines persists. The Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine Raymond Roure 2005, for instance, is a graceful orchestration of depth and detail. Added to the Jaboulet portfolio in 1996, the Raymond Roure vineyard is planted with Syrah vines that range in age from 40 to 60 years. The excellent growing conditions of the 2005 vintage have coaxed from these vines an elixir redolent of black cherry, lavender, leather, and licorice. And the finish, long and sweet, is reminiscent of dried herbes de provence. ($60) www.frederickwildman.com

From Around the Web...
From rum to craft beer, these luxury destinations are the only place you can sip
Only 2,333 bottles will be released of the new expression combining three vintages of 100-percent...
With similar soil to Cuba, Honduras produces some of the world’s finest cigars…
Sommelier Erik Johnson has been on an enviable spree. Restocking the wine cellar of the French...
The four-sided box-pressed Nicaraguan puro concentrates the flavor in every puff…
These lesser-known bottles from Italy’s most innovative winemaker will surprise you…
Generations of Cognac expertise went into this extravagant tribute to Hennessy’s history…
If you love fine Cognac and rare cigars, join us for a connoisseur’s tour…
Americans have joined the hunt for Japan’s rarest whiskies—and are helping push prices sky-high…
We raise a toast to Frank Sinatra’s best drinking buddy…