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

News Briefs for May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013

•New Jersey-based Opici Wines has unveiled a trio of new California wines, including Auspicion Chardonnay, Auspicion Cabernet and Julia James Pinot Noir. Auspicion Chardonnay is 95% Chardonnay and 5% Viognier, while Auspicion Cabernet is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvigion mixed with Petit Verdot, Petit Sirah and Syrah. Julia James Pinot Noir features 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Syrah. Produced by the Opici family, the three wines are accessibly positioned, with both Auspicion labels retailing for $12.99 a 750-ml. and Julia James priced at $14.99. The new offerings are initially slated to rollout across Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. via Opici Family Distributing, with national distribution to follow later this year.

•Golden Equity Investments, a Colorado-based investment firm owned by members of the Coors brewing family, is hoping to strike gold with wine, reports Wine Spectator. The company, which has no association with the brewery, is purchasing Goosecross Cellars, a boutique winery located in the heart of Napa Valley’s wine country, from the Gorsuch family and partners. The sale includes the Yountville winery, tasting room and Tudor-style home, and nine acres of vineyards planted to Bordeaux varieties. The sale price was not disclosed. Gooseneck makes wines from a variety of grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with the majority of the fruit coming from Napa Valley. It sells most of its wines through direct-to-consumer sales and its wine club.

Sazerac Co. has unveiled a new barrel-aged Tequila range under its Corazon Tequila brand. The limited edition series, known as Expresiones del Corazon, features five 100%-agave offerings, each aged in barrels from a different Buffalo Trace whiskey. These offerings include the Buffalo Trace Reposado (aged 10.5 months, 80 proof), George T. Stagg Añejo (aged 22 months, 80 proof), Sazerac Rye Añejo (aged 24 months, 90 proof), Old Rip Van Winkle Añejo (aged 23 months, 80 proof) and a Blanco (80 proof). Just 6,000 bottles of each Expresiones del Corazon Tequila will be available nationwide, priced between $59.99 and $89.99. The Corazon Tequila brand also features core Blanco, Reposado and Añejo variants. It’s handled by Sazerac’s Gemini Spirits & Wine division.

•The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille concept expanded into metro New York this week with a new location in Franklin Square on Long Island. The opening of the 7,100-square-foot venue marks the 37th unit for the Maryland-based chain, and according to the company, another nine units are planned for Long Island, with possible expansion into New York City, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. With 13 company-owned locations, the Greene Turtle also has units in Delaware, Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland. The Greene Turtle bar offers a mix of mainstream beers and featured craft selections, as well as standard and specialty cocktails. Beverages typically account for between 35%-45% of unit sales. Greene Turtle is projecting a total of 150 units to be in operation throughout the East Coast within the next five years.

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