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

News Briefs for November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012

•Wine Spectator reports that financial executive and vintner Bill Foley is closing a deal to purchase Lancaster Estate in Alexander Valley. The sale includes the winery, the label, 42 acres of vineyards and Lancaster’s sister brand, Roth. Terms of the offer weren’t disclosed. Lancaster Estate’s owner, Young’s Market Co. executive vice president Ted Simpkins, approached Foley with an offer to sell because he couldn’t find enough time to manage the winery. Until 2010, Simpkins was executive vice president for Southern Wine & Spirits’ California operation. Following the advice of the late Jess Jackson, he purchased the Maacama Creek Winery and changed the name to Lancaster, releasing his first wine in 1995. Lancaster produces around 12,000 cases of wine a year, while the 35,000-case Roth brand makes wines from Alexander Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Foley says Lancaster will complement his other Sonoma wineries, Chalk Hill and Sebastiani, and provide increased access to Sonoma grapes.

•DeLeón Tequila has unveiled its new upscale reserva extension, Leóna. Available beginning December 21, Leóna will sell for $825 a 750-ml. bottle. Packaged in a limited edition black box with a python flask, the new offering is 100% blue agave and aged for 34 months in Sauternes barrels. There will be 5,000 bottles made available in the U.S., across all states. DeLeón Tequila also recently opened a Los Angeles showroom, which serves as an event space for parties, musical performances and private Tequila tastings. DeLeón’s range of Tequilas also includes Diamante, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.

Bacardi has debuted a number of premium holiday gift packs to its global portfolio. In the U.S., Bacardi rum is releasing a limited-edition heritage pack that recreates one of the earliest Bacardi Superior bottle designs and labels, retailing at $19.99. The company is also releasing a U.S. gift-pack for Dewar’s 18-year-old ($79.99 a 750-ml.), which can be paired with a custom flask and a multi-functional travel bag designed by menswear fashion house Freemans Sporting Club ($150). Grey Goose, Martini, Dewar’s and Bombay Sapphire are also getting holiday packs devoted to various international markets.

•Domaine Clarence Dillon, which includes Bordeaux first-growth Haut-Brion, recently completed its purchase of Domaine Allary Haut-Brion from the Allary family, reports Wine Spectator. The 3.3-acre parcel, which borders Haut-Brion, had been owned by the Allary family since 1919. The purchase price was not disclosed. The land had been appraised and valued at roughly $1.4 million in March 2008.


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