Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.
• The 68th annual Cannes International Film Festival kicked off in the south of France this past Wednesday and has been a whirlwind of film screenings, celebrity sightings and, of course, wine. Piper-Heidsieck is serving the festival’s official Champagne for the 22nd year (and in February it added the crown jewel of awards ceremonies, the Academy Awards, to its stable). The Champagne house has been pouring its Grand Cinema Cuvée Brut at various film parties and events, including the Heart Fund Party, where Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton were among the celebrities on hand who helped raise more than $550,000 to fight cardiovascular diseases. Baron Philippe de Rothschild Mouton Cadet also returns as the official still wine of the festival for the 23rd year, this time debuting a limited-edition Cannes Rosé, packaged in a cinema-inspired bottle. The Rothschild family's most accessible Bordeaux brand has been filling glasses for the rich and famous at the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar atop the Palais des Festival.
Not wanting to neglect the wine-loving fashion set unable to make the trip to Cannes, Mouton Cadet partnered with high-fashion rental outfit Rent the Runway to give the new bottling a proper New York launch party at Pier 59 Studios. Designers Tracy Reese and Bibhu Mohapatra were on hand at the Manhattan event, and Unfiltered spoke to Laëtitia March-Nulton, U.S. export manager for Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A., who divulged that Eva Longoria was hosting the Global Gift Gala fund-raiser at the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar in Cannes the same night. The Global Gift Gala is a series of philanthropic dinners held to raise money for various charitable foundations dedicated to benefitting the lives of women and children. March-Nulton noted that the late Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, a professional actress before taking over her family’s wine business, was especially fond of the Cannes festival and its celebration of the performing arts. Mouton Cadet is “so happy to carry on her legacy” at Cannes, she told Unfiltered.
• Fashion designer Zac Posen knows that spring is all about florals—both in clothing and in wine. Naturally, he's brought the two together in a partnership with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. Posen is known for his feminine designs and, lately, for his successful social media hashtag #CookingWithZac. "As a designer who loves to cook and entertain, I wanted to incorporate the fresh, bright floral qualities of the wine in a playful way that would look pretty on the table," Posen said in a statement. "I loved the idea of refreshing a classic print for a light, carefree look that is meant to be both timeless and whimsical—the perfect accessory for a summer table." This isn't the first time that Posen and Ecco Domani have collaborated: The wine company sponsored an early Posen runway show, and awarded him with the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award in 2002, a prize that supports young designers. The Posen-branded wine bottle, now available in U.S. retail shops for around $14, features graphically styled flowers in a black, white and green palette.
• Some teens in Jerusalem seem to have a different idea of getting up to no good from what we've come to expect from wayward kids here in the States. After stumbling upon what they no doubt recognized as a 1,400-year-old unexcavated wine press, a few of them decided to properly excavate, analyze and preserve this part of their vinicultural heritage. A local jogger stumbled on the ruins and reported them to the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Our team was shocked,” an IAA spokesperson told the Tazpit News Agency, “They saw a carefully exposed ancient wine press where none existed before, where not a single archaeologist has ever even been digging.” A single adult archaeologist, perhaps. But the mystery of the meticulously excavated 16-by-16-foot wine press was solved when a 13-year-old showed up one day and explained that he and his team of specialists had taken on the job. While the IAA warned of the dangers of unauthorized excavations because they kind of have to, the kid-archaeologists were commended for their enthusiasm and actually doing a pretty good job, and have since been invited to ride along on official digs.
• Three Palms Vineyard in Napa, a reliable Merlot source for brands like Duckhorn, Provenance and Sterling for decades, has been purchased from founders Sloan and John Upton by Duckhorn Wine Co. for an undisclosed price. Duckhorn, which became the sole buyer of the vineyard’s grapes in 2011, has been making a Three Palms Merlot since 1978. “Three Palms is the crown jewel of our estate program,” said Duckhorn president and CEO Alex Ryan in a statement. The Three Palms story starts in the late 1800s, when it was the residence of San Francisco socialite Lillie Coit (the city’s landmark Coit Tower was built in her honor). Coit planted the iconic palm trees along Silverado Trail in Calistoga that give the vineyard its name. In 1967, the Uptons purchased the land and planted their first vines there the following year. Three Palms currently has 73 acres planted to vines, with 50 of those dedicated to Merlot. The acquisition expands Duckhorn’s Napa holdings to seven vineyards both in the surrounding mountains and the valley floor, with 223 acres of vines.