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

News Briefs for December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

•Diageo is adding to its single malt stable in the U.S. market this month with an extension to its Oban brand called Little Bay. Oban Little Bay is made from small batches of Oban that are married in small casks to allow the whisky more contact with the wood. Western Highland malt Oban is known for its use of tiny, lantern-shaped copper pot stills which are among the smallest in Scotland. The new Little Bay offering is at 43% abv and retails at $75 a 750-ml.

•New York-based importer Biagio Cru and Estate Wines has partnered with Chilean vintner Rafael Prieto to launch 5×20, a new pair of collaborative red blends. Packaged as a 2-bottle set, 5×20 features one Cabernet, Syrah and Carignan blend created by five of Chile’s leading female winemakers and a Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cinsault blend made by five of the country’s top male winemakers. Each producer accounts for 20% of his or her blend, with the female-crafted offering featuring wine from Cecilia Guzmàn, Irene Paiva, Cecelia Torres, Ana Maria Cumsille and Macarena Morandé, and the male-crafted entry made by Felipe Müller, Francisco Baettig, Rafael Urrejola, Marcelo Retamal and Rafael Tirado. Limited to an initial rollout of 1,200 sets, the 5×20 blends are currently available in select U.S. markets, priced at around $200 a 2-bottle package.

•Wine e-commerce mobile app Drync has launched a new “Infinite Shelf” platform, allowing consumers to order online and pick up from local retailers. According to the company, Drync’s Infinite Shelf allows consumers to purchase wine online from the app’s 30,000-label selection, then pick up their order at a nearby store within one to three days without incurring shipping charges. The new Infinite Shelf platform has officially debuted in Boston this month, available for iPhone and iPad users, and is set to expand nationwide throughout 2015. Founded in 2008, Drync specializes in helping consumers scan, track, share and purchase wine.

•Ireland’s Teeling Whiskey Co. has acquired three handcrafted copper pot stills for its new 500,000-liter distillery in Dublin’s Liberties section. Crafted in Italy by Frilli Impianti, the new equipment includes a 15,000-liter wash still, 10,000-liter intermediate still and 9,000-liter spirit still. Teeling, which is already marketing whisky in more than 30 countries—its current offerings were sourced from the Teeling family’s former Cooley Distillery, now owned by Beam Suntory—expects to commission its new distillery early next year, with the facility opening to visitors soon after.

•Moscato-based cocktail brand Myx Fusions has unveiled Myx Myxotica, a limited-edition offshoot targeted toward the holiday gifting occasion. Featuring a premium blend of Moscato and natural fruit flavors, Myxotica is bottled in a pink 375-ml. package and topped with a white Champagne-style capsule, and retails at $9.99. The new addition joins Myx’s core flagship offering, as well as the brand’s Mango, Coconut and Peach extensions. Launched in partnership with hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj in mid-2013, Myx Fusions sold 60,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

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