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News Briefs for July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

•The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pennsylvania legislature may approve direct shipping of wine as soon as this fall. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill allowing direct shipping last month, and a prospective bill in the Senate would allow wineries to ship any quantity to Pennsylvania residents over 21. Unlike the fierce battle in the Pennsylvania Congress over potentially privatizing the state’s wine and spirits retail monopoly, direct shipping appears to have wide support. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, unions and other privatization opponents are in favor of direct shipping—provided appropriate taxes are collected and there are proper age controls—as are legislators on both sides of the aisle. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are the largest holdouts to direct shipping among U.S. states.

•The Cognac collection of fashion legend Giorgio Gucci is being offered up in a private sale being handled by Portland, Oregon-based Americas Executive Beverage Consultancy (AEBC). The 5,700-bottle private Cognac collection is being sold as a single lot. It’s valued around $18 million. A range of rare, one-time-bottled Cognacs aged in Limousin oak, the Giorgio G Collection includes three ultra-premium expressions, including Giorgio G XO, Giorgio G Grand Cru and Giorgio G Special Limited Edition Cognac. Each bottle is numbered and incorporates 22-carat gold into its design. AEBC will be accepting bids on the collection for the next 60 days.

•Illinois-based importer and marketer Winesellers Ltd. has launched a new Rhone Valley wine under its Tortoise Creek range, Le Charmel. A blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, Tortoise Creek’s Le Charmel makes its debut with a 2011 vintage, priced at $13 a bottle. In other company news, Winesellers’ Tiamo and Hope Estate brands have unveiled new packaging. A range of Italian wines made with organic grapes, Tiamo is now packaged in a taller bottle with a more simplified label across its Pinot Grigio, Barbera, Chianti ($12) and Prosecco ($15) variants. Australian brand Hope Estate, meanwhile, will now include single vineyard site names on its labels alongside a price adjustment, with the brand’s Hunter Valley range (Chardonnay and Shiraz) now retailing for $15 and its Ripper Shiraz at $20.

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