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News Briefs for June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013

•Upscale California winery Moone-Tsai, a brand known for its China-California connection, says its 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was specifically requested to be among the wines served at last week’s two-day summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Moone-Tsai, a limited-production Napa winery founded by industry veterans Mike Moone and Larry Tsai (an American of Chinese descent), said its own East-West heritage made its 2008 Napa Cab—which retailed around $65 at its release and received 90 points from Wine Spectator—a natural choice for the historic meeting between the Chinese and American premiers. In addition to its Napa Cab, Moone-Tsai’s other wines include flagship Cor Leonis Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain Hillside Blend, Napa Valley Chardonnay and Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

Campari America is reintroducing its premium Sagatiba cachaça brand to the U.S. market. Rolling out this month, Campari will offer a pair of Sagatiba expressions, including Sagatiba Pura ($24.99 a 750-ml.), an unaged entry, and Sagatiba Velha ($29.99), which is aged for two to three years. Both offerings will initially be available throughout New York, Florida, Southern and Northern California and Nevada. Sagatiba, which ceased its U.S. operations in February 2011, was purchased by Campari for $26 million later that same year.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) must sell its stake in its biggest Chicago-area distributor, City Beverage LLC, after Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed HB 2606 into law yesterday. The law reinforces the state’s three-tier system by preventing suppliers, distributors and retailers from encroaching on each others’ turf. As a result of the new law, ABI is required to sell its 30% interest in City Beverage by January 1, 2015. The other 70% of City is owned by Byron Trott’s BDT Capital Partners firm.

MillerCoors CEO Tom Long reports that the company’s new Redd’s Apple Ale beer brand, launched in January, has enjoyed strong sales in the early going, and that its line will be extended with a strawberry-flavored offering this fall. Commenting on Redd’s during a recent interview with Bloomberg, Long added that he saw fruit-flavored beers like Redd’s as a possible bridge into the U.S. female demographic, of whom only around 20% are beer drinkers.

•Napa-based importer Quintessential has partnered with Spain’s Vallformosa to bring the winery’s Cava range to the U.S. Based in Vilobí del Penedès, within the Cava D.O. appellation, Vallformosa is a family-owned estate dating back to the late 1880s. Starting in August, Quintessential will initially import five Vallformosa Cavas, including its Florinda Brut, Clasic Brut, Origen Brut, Col.leccio Pinot Noir Brut Rose and Origen Brut Rose. The range varies in price from around $17 a 750-ml. for Florinda to $35 for the Col.leccio Brut Rose. Vallformosa marks the ninth brand in Quintessential’s Spanish wine import portfolio.

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