FRANCE. The Rugby World Cup this weekend moves into the knock-out phases, with semi-final places at stake for the eight quarter-finalists.
As reported, The Moodie Davitt Report is celebrating this great sporting occasion with a series of reader competitions throughout the tournament. Today we bring you the next round of contests and also reveal the winners from last week (scroll down for details on both).
Saturday sees unbeaten Wales v Argentina and world number ones Ireland v the All Blacks of New Zealand.
The following day sees England line up v Fiji and in a powerhouse clash hosts France play the reigning champions South Africa.
For England v Fiji, Cotswolds Distillery International Sales and Global Travel Retail Director Lynsey Eades has kindly put up a 1-litre bottle of the fabulous new Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky, a great English spirit (something the men in white will need to summon at the weekend against the flying Fijians).
The first whisky ever made in the Cotswolds, the award-winning expression is crafted using the finest locally grown, traditionally floor-malted Cotswold barley.
It features, rich, bold and fruity notes resulting from maturation in STR (Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred) ex-red wine barriques. Blended with whisky matured in premium first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels, this single malt has notes of honey, red fruits and a hint of treacle.
Bernard Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of Irish company Walsh Whiskey, is so confident of an Ireland victory that he is offering a bottle of the superb Writers’ Tears to our winning pundit.
A marriage of inspiration and art, Writers’ Tears evokes the golden era of Irish Whiskey, made from pot still distillation and embracing a deep, lasting bond with creative thinkers and artists.
What’s more, Bernard reckons he knows a certain travel retail publisher who will be shedding plenty of writer’s tears after the match.
“But so do I,” retorted The Moodie Davitt Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie. “His name is Dermot Davitt.”
The All Blacks have great Kiwi spirit, just like New Zealand gin producer Strange Nature Distilling. General Manager & Part Owner Rhys Julian, a rugby aficionado, is offering a bottle of the brand’s superb new Barrel-Aged Gin expression to our winner.
In the latest breakthrough for the fast-growing New Zealand gin, Lotte Duty Free is to be the exclusive Australian duty free partner for the launch of the new line.
Strange Nature Barrel Aged-Gin is a limited release with just 1,200 bottles produced for the Australian market, only available via Lotte Duty Free in Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin.
For the Wales v Argentina showdown, Penderyn Distillery (The Welsh Whisky Company) Director, Business Development Simon Roffe is offering the perfect prize, the acclaimed Penderyn Patagonia limited-edition blended malt whisky.
Why perfect? Because Penderyn Patagonia is produced by marrying Penderyn single malt with that of La Alazana Distillery in Patagonia. This is #11 in the Icons of Wales series of bottlings, celebrating a significant person, milestone or event from Wales.
What a fascinating back story it has too. On 28 July 1865, 153 people embarked on the Mimosa, sailing for Patagonia (a region at the base of South America divided between Argentina, 90%, and Chile, 10%) to establish a Welsh colony and preserve their language and culture. Times were difficult, but today Patagonia has 50,000 Welsh descendants, 5,000 Welsh speakers and holds the annual Eisteddfodau festival of music and poetry. ‘Little Wales beyond Wales.’
In November 2011, Argentina’s first single malt was produced at La Alazana Distillery, a farm producer, with copper pot stills designed and built locally. It is owned and run by the pioneering Serenelli family, who produce Patagonia’s first single malt whisky from the fields to the bottle.
For France v South Africa, we have more fabulous prizes. From Diverse Flavours in South Africa, Managing Director Anthony Budd has donated a bottle of the first-rate Cape Diversity Gin.
The expression is inspired by the Cape Floral Kingdom, located in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the smallest of the six floral kingdoms in the world.
Though the smallest, it has the largest plant variety of all the floral kingdoms with 9,000 plant species, 70% of which only grow in this region. The majority are native ‘fynbos’ vegetation, an Afrikaans word meaning ‘fine-leaved plants’, which covers the region’s magnificent mountains, lowland valleys and coastal plains.
The purity of the region – the nature, diversity, beauty and uniqueness – is captured in this limited-batch (just 2,400 bottles, each numbered) Cape Diversity Gin.
Not to be outdone, Sylvain Combe, CEO of French wine specialist Peuch & Besse, is offering an outstandingly appropriate duo of wines from the company’s successful Wines of Golf Legends collection. As reported, the collection features a series of collaborations between golf champions and top winemakers from around the world.
To reflect what promises to be an epic showdown, Sylvain is offering a bottle of the Château Fourney Le Clos Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, a collaboration between French golfing ace Jean van de Velde and winemaker Hélène Rollet.
Van de Welde will forever be remembered for his gut-wrenching defeat at the 1999 Open held at Carnoustie, when he famously lost a three-shot lead on the final hole, at one point removing his shoes and socks to contemplate playing a shot out of the Barry Burn water hazard. Will the French team have to resort to similarly desperate measures this weekend to hold off the mighty Boks?
Sylvain’s second offering is also mighty and also South African, a Koelenbosch Pinotage as full-bodied as the South African forward pack from winemaker Andrew de Vries, produced in association with golf star David Frost.
Scroll down for details on how to enter.
Last week’s winners
So to last week’s prizes. The All Blacks turned in a dazzling performance to trounce Italy by an extraordinary 96 points to 17, while Japan narrowly headed off Samoa by 28-22.
For the All Blacks v Italy game, Scapegrace Distilling Co kindly offered a bottle of Scapegrace Fortitude V, a fabulous New Zealand mānuka-smoked single malt whisky aged for three years in virgin French oak. Fortitude V claimed the Master Medal (the highest honour) at the 2023 Global Spirit Whisky Masters, held recently in London.
From Italy, Masi Agricola, one of Italy and the world’s greatest winemakers, generously donated a bottle of outstanding Masi Nectar Costasera Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG (below left), a travel retail-exclusive that was on show at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes last week.
The 2019 vintage of Nectar Costasera has a smooth and cherry flavour. Its lovely packaging has been modified to refresh its image while keeping the original concept.
For Japan v Samoa, we were thrilled to offer a fine bottle of The CHOYA from the Barrel (above right) from Japan’s leading Umeshu producer Choya, courtesy of Choya CEO Shigehiro Kondo and General Manager Masahiko Kondo, both keen rugby fans.
This unique Umeshu is aged for three years in tank before further maturation in French oak casks for another two years. It offers rich and complex flavours, with notes of almond from the pit and flesh of the Ume fruit, and a smoky and luxurious bouquet from the cask.
And so to our winners. Perhaps not surprisingly given most pre-match predictions of a close match, the All Blacks’ 96 point tally threw off all our pundits, though all correctly picked the winner. Veteran travel retail agent & distributor Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland got the closest, plumping for a 64-9 win to the All Blacks, so the Singapore-based Englishman (currently in France to watch his beloved men in white) takes the spoils.
For Japan v Samoa, our travel retail pundits did much better. Ex-Diageo Travel executive Peter Jacobson was very nearly on the money with his 26-23 prediction for a margin of just 3 points but he was outdone by the outstanding 28-23 prediction from Middle East travel retail veteran and consultant John Reynolds (already a winner in this competition), who opted for 28-23, just a one-point differential – the closest margin yet in our series.
Prizes will be sent out at the end of the tournament.
The competition continues…
The rules are simple:
- You must be directly connected to the aviation or travel retail industry to enter
- Pick the winning team (or draw) and predict a score
- The winner will have chosen the correct result (i.e. All Blacks win, Ireland win, or draw; England win, Fiji win, or draw etc.) and be the closest entrant on total points differential (i.e. if the former match ends 29-18 to the All Blacks, and you picked them to win 25-16 you would have a differential of 6; if Ireland win 33-12 (in which case this website will forever be known as The Davitt Report) and you said 23-10 in their favour, your differential would be 12; if you accurately predicted a draw… well you may be a very good pundit indeed but as the match would then go to extra time you cannot win. The extra time score will count.
- In the event of a tied prediction, the winner will be decided on who gets closest to the winning team’s score. If still tied, our sponsors do a random draw.
- Send your exact score predictions (one only per match please) to Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com headed All Blacks v Ireland showdown and Wales v Argentina showdown by one hour pre-kick-off on 14 October and England v Fiji showdown and France v South Africa showdown by one hour pre-kick off on 15 October.
- Judges’ decision is final. ✈