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

News Briefs for March 29, 2016

March 29, 2016

•Luxury wine and spirits marketer Prodiguer Brands is releasing Champagne Maurice Vendôme exclusively to the U.S. market. Maurice Vendôme is produced in France’s Côte des Blancs region and made with 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay grapes in limited annual production. Champagne Maurice Vendôme Grand Cru Réserve Blanc de Blancs ($220) joins Goût de Diamants—available in a brut, rosé, Blanc de Blancs and vintage—and the U.K.’s Juliet Immaculate Vodka in the company’s portfolio. Goût de Diamants is produced at the family-owned Champagne Chapuy and is packaged in a bottle featuring Swarovski crystals. Noel Shu serves as managing partner for Prodiguer Brands, which says it’s preparing the upcoming release of an SIA Cabernet Sauvignon to the U.S.

•Opus One has terminated Robert Roux, who headed the Napa Valley luxury winery’s sales and marketing efforts for the past five years. Roux joined Opus One as vice president of U.S. sales and marketing in September 2011, following a stint as executive director of sales and marketing at Caymus Vineyards. Opus One, a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild, S.A. and Constellation Brands, had no further comment on Roux’s departure, but did say that it’s currently seeking a replacement.

•Tennessee’s state legislature has approved a measure that would reinstate a cap of two retail liquor licenses per license-holder, the Associated Press reports. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Bill Haslam, who is said to be unlikely to veto it. Tennessee had previously removed the license cap as part of its recent law to allow wine in supermarkets, which goes into effect July 1. The reinstatement of the cap is a blow to chain retailers hoping to enter the market, including Total Wine & More, which had been planning as many as eight Tennessee locations.

•Luxco is launching a second edition of its super-premium Bourbon brand, Blood Oath. The limited release Pact No. 2 is a blend of three Bourbons ranging in aging from seven to 11 years—the first of which is a seven-year rye finished in port barrels, the second is an 11-year wheated Bourbon and the last is an 11-year rye. Blood Oath Pact No. 2 (98.6 proof) is available in limited quantities—7,500 three-packs—for a suggested retail price of $100 a 750-ml. Each bottle is sold in a commemorative fire-branded wooden box. The Pact collection debuted last year, with each subsequent annual release highlighting a different variant.

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