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

News Briefs for May 20, 2014

May 20, 2014

William Grant & Sons is releasing the second offering in The Balvenie’s series of Single Barrel Scotch whiskies, a 15-year-old Single Barrel Sherry Cask. The new Balvenie entry has been matured exclusively in a single European oak Sherry butt for at least 15 years. No more than 650 hand-numbered bottles are drawn from each cask, and each bottle carries the number of the cask in which it was matured. Launching to select U.S. markets this month, Balvenie 15-year-old Single Barrel Sherry Cask is 47.8% abv and retails at $100 a bottle. The newcomer joins 12-year-old Single Barrel First Fill (launched early last year) in the Single Barrel series, which will add its final installment, a 25-year-old Balvenie matured in refill American oak barrels, this fall.

•In an unusual auction limited only to Burgundy wines, Hart Davis Hart in Chicago grossed $4.1 million in a May 17 sale, against a pre-auction estimate of $2.6 to $3.9 million. The lots were 100% sold, with one of the most notable sales of the day featuring a single magnum of 1971 Domaine de la Romanée Conti for $35,850, against a pre-sale estimate of $16,000 to $24,000. Four 750-ml. bottles of 1990 DRC La Tache fetched $21,510 against an estimate of $11,000 to $17,000. A full 12-bottle case of 2009 DRC sold for $155,350, nearly $13,000 a bottle. “Demand for Burgundy is at all-time high, and buyers from around the globe proved today that they are clearly willing to pay remarkable prices for the region’s top wines,” said Hart Davis Hart CEO Paul Hart.

•Symington Family Estates will re-release 2000 vintage Ports from its Graham’s and Dow’s brands to select restaurants and retail shops in the U.S. next month. Graham’s 2000 Vintage Port retails at $110 a bottle, while Dow’s 2000 Vintage Port is at $99. Symington’s Port stable also includes the Cockburn’s and Warre’s brands. The company is the leading vineyard owner in Portugal’s Douro Valley with 2,385 acres of vines.

•Pernod Ricard has unveiled a new summer cocktail-inspired campaign in support of Kahlúa liqueur. Focused around digital content and interactive experiences, the “Kahlúa Summer Shake-Up” campaign’s primary component is a multi-city movie screening series hosted by New York magazine and Vulture. Kicking off in New York City, the debut Kahlúa Summer Shake-Up Movie Blend Series event will include a movie screening with actress Jes Macallan, as well as themed frozen and iced cocktails. Additionally, Kahlúa’s social media platforms will feature ideas for summer entertaining and cocktails.

•Sapporo is backing its flagship brand with a first-ever U.S. television ad campaign under the “Legendary Biru” banner. The effort seeks to “fuse traditional Japanese iconography with a modern, cosmopolitan sensibility.” Launching now, the new ad, titled “After Dark,” will run on Comedy Central, Discovery, FX, ESPN, A&E, AMC, History and Spike in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The campaign also includes digital, out-of-home and social media elements. Sapporo USA president Tsukasa “Louis” Orui said, “Sapporo’s share of the Japanese beer market in the U.S. now exceeds 50%, and the time is right to invest in building a new level of brand awareness, volume and market share.”

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