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News Briefs for October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

•Patrick Bize, the fourth generation owner and winemaker at Domaine Simon Bize in Burgundy’s Savigny-lès-Beaune appellation, died Oct. 20, Wine Spectator reports. He was 61. In early October, Bize suffered a heart attack while driving. The resulting car accident left him in a coma, from which he never recovered. Bize’s great-grandfather started the domaine in the 19th century. Over the decades, it has grown to 54 acres, largely in Savigny-lès-Beaune, but also in Aloxe-Corton, Corton-Charlemagne and Latricières-Chambertin. When Patrick took over the cellars in the 1980s, he began innovating in both the winery and especially the vineyards, using a mix of modern and traditional techniques. Bize is survived by his wife and two children.

•Total Wine & More is slated to open a new location in Spokane, Washington, on November 21. Located at 13802 E. Indiana Ave., the 25,000-square-foot store will offer more than 13,500 wines, spirits and beers, including more than 1,500 Washington wines, 80 regional spirits and 500 beers from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The new outpost marks Total Wine’s second location in Spokane and seventh in the state, bringing the retailer’s national count to more than 95 stores across 15 states.

•Aveníu Brands has debuted two new wines from Rioja’s Bodegas Bilbainas, Viña Pomal Reserva and Zaco. Both are 100% Tempranillo. Viña Pomal Reserva, aged in new American oak for 18 months, retails at $21. Zaco, billed as a modern expression of Rioja, was aged in French and American oak for 9 months, and retails at $15. Bodegas Bilbainas controls 600 acres of vines, making it the largest vineyard owner in Haro, the capital of the Rioja Alta region.

•Brown-Forman’s Tequila Herradura has introduced the latest entry in its small-batch Coleccion de la Casa range, Reserva 2013 Cognac Cask Finish Reposado. The limited edition offering is initially aged in American oak for 11 months, then transferred to French oak casks from the Cognac region for an additional three months. Rolling out next month, Coleccion de la Casa, Reserva 2013 Cognac Cask Finish Reposado will be available at select retail outlets, priced at $89.99 a 750-ml. The entry follows the April launch of Herradura’s first Coleccion de la Casa expression, Reserva 2012 Port Cask Finish.

•Mexican beer brand Modelo Especial has released Modelo Especial Chelada, a new brew blended with traditional Mexican ingredients. Packaged in a 24-ounce can, the ready-to-drink offering features the flavors of tomato, salt and lime, recreating the taste of a Chelada beer cocktail. Modelo Especial Chelada is initially launching across the California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago markets this month, with a national rollout slated for the first quarter of 2014. Handled in the U.S. by Crown Imports, Modelo’s portfolio also includes the Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Pacifico and Victoria beer brands.

•The Washington State Wine Commission has unveiled a new national marketing campaign based around a free iPad app that seeks to educate “wine influencers” about the state’s wine industry. Titled “The Recommendeuer,” the app features comedian Greg Proops as a self-styled expert on Washington wine. Content includes a video series, extensive information on Washington state’s 13 wine appellations, wine and grape profiles, photos, maps, visitor info and other features. Aimed at wine buyers, sommeliers, journalists and other groups that influence wine purchasing decisions, The Recommendeuer is intended to help increase the category’s visibility within the increasingly crowded U.S. wine market.

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