Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011

•Crown Royal, which helped pioneer spirits brand sponsorship in NASCAR, will end its participation as a Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR team sponsor at the close of the 2011 season. Brand-owner Diageo will now focus more of its resources on the “Your Name Here” program, in which Crown Royal awards naming rights to a Sprint Cup event to an adult fan with recent military experience. Crown Royal has been sponsoring Matt Kenseth’s No. 17 car for the last two years, and it sponsored Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray prior to that. NASCAR has allowed spirits brands to be sponsors since the 2005 season, but Crown Royal is the only brand still in the game as other big names like Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s left the series at the end of the 2009 season.

•Sotheby’s will be featuring a wide selection of Bordeaux Imperials, among other sizes, in their London sale on Wednesday, July 6. The collection, which contains 441 lots of Bordeaux from an unnamed cellar in continental Europe, spans the years 1986-2007 and is expected to sell for more than £1 million ($1.6m). Among the top lots in the bidding will be an Imperial of Château Pétrus 2000 estimated at £20,000-£26,000 ($32,000-$42,000), an Imperial of Château Lafite estimated at £12,000-£16,000 ($19,000-$26,000), and two Imperials of Château Latour estimated at £6,200-£7,200 ($10,000-$12,000) each.

Constellation is rolling out a new Spanish wine brand, Rioja Vega, in the U.S. this month. Retailing at around $11.99 a 750-ml., the new entry is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha. Constellation sees an opportunity for Spain among U.S. millennial consumers, who rank it first among imported wine regions for quality and value, according to a recent Wine Market Council study.

•A new high-speed rail service will cut travel times from Paris to Bordeaux to just two hours and five minutes—down from the current three hours and 10 minutes. French national rail operator Reseau Ferré de France (RFF) has signed a EUR7.8 billion ($11.26b) deal with private-sector French construction firm Vinci, which calls for Vinci to build and maintain the new line. The project will begin early next year, and the new high-speed service is slated to be operational by 2017.

 

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