Benchmark launches Ian Botham wines

Benchmark Drinks has unveiled a range of wines named after one of England’s greatest cricketers, Ian Botham.

The wines were unveiled today (July27), appropriately at Lord's Cricket gound in north London - the home of cricket.

Sir Ian Botham OBE, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to reveal my new wines and to have had the opportunity to work with the team at Benchmark Drinks in developing the range. Together, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time working with some of the most renowned winemakers in Australia and New Zealand and I truly believe the wines we’ve brought to market are exceptional varietal examples from their respective regions. 

“My philosophy going into this was simple. I knew the style of wine I was looking for, and I wanted to bring exceptional but fairly priced wines to market. We have focused the first phase of our launch on Australian wines and we are looking forward to presenting new origins and products in the near future.”

The Sir Ian Botham wine collection comprises three sub tiers: Botham All-Rounder, The Botham Series and the Sir Ian Botham collection.

Botham All-Rounder wines are said to be sourced from various premium regions across south eastern Australia. , parcels from multiple regions have been bought together to create ‘all-rounder’ wines designed to appeal to as broader palates as possible.  The Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in this range have an expected retail price of £8.99.

The Botham Series wines are premium regional wines, said to be from some of Sir Ian’s favourite winemaking spots in Australia.  Each one of the wines in the series are given a number that represents a year that is memorable to Botham.

The Barossa 81 Series Shiraz is n memory to the year that Botham singlehandedly took the Ashes from the Australian team. The Margaret River 76 Series Chardonnay is in honour of Sir Ian’s ‘year of 1st’s’ in cricket.  It was the first time he scored 1,000 runs one season, achieved his first century and was first selected to play for England at the age of 20.  It’s also the first time he played grade cricket for the Melbourne Cricket Club.

The Coonawarra 80 Series Cabernet Sauvignon plays homage to an important year in Botham’s cricketing career.  It was in this year that he became the first player in test history to score a century and take 10 wickets in the same match (against India in his 3rd overseas tour). The wines in this range have an expected retail price of £12.

The Sir Ian Botham Collection are positioned as premium: small parcels of exceptional wines that have been made in partnership with respected winemakers in Australia.  The Barossa Valley Single Vineyard Shiraz was crafted together with Nick Badrice, the award winning chief winemaker for Dorrien Estate and Krondorf winery.

The Adelaide Hills Chardonnay was blended with head Vigneron, Marty Edwards, at the boutique The Lane Vineyard and finally, when deciding who to turn to when looking to craft the best Cabernet Sauvignon possible, Sir Ian partnered with his old friend and winemaking legend, Geoff Merrill, to craft the superb Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.  These three wines are the first to be released under this label and will be sold exclusively through Berry Bros & Rudd and via with the expected retail price of £30.