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

News Briefs for July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

•Moët & Chandon has introduced Moët Ice Imperial Rosé, a new rosé Champagne intended to be consumed over ice. According to the Los Angeles Times, the new product is composed of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, and will begin by targeting select accounts in Los Angeles, Miami and other key markets. It joins Moët’s existing Ice Imperial Champagne, which has been showing strong growth in outdoor spring and summer on-premise venues, according to Moët Hennessy USA CMO and EVP, brands, Rodney Williams.

•Mendocino Wine Company, known for its Parducci Wine Cellars brand, has acquired the wine portfolio of Offbeat Brands for an undisclosed sum. The purchase includes the Zin-Phomaniac, Tie-Dye, Jellybean and Slices Sangria labels. Offbeat founder Mike Kenton, a former Artesa Winery and Gallo executive, will join Mendocino Wine Company, taking a “senior leadership role…to drive new innovation and lead strategic channel management.” In addition to Parducci, Mendocino’s brands include Paul Dolan Vineyards and Moniker Wine Estates.

•Frederick Wildman & Sons is adding to its import roster with the Barossa Valley’s Hewitson winery. Made almost exclusively from single vineyard sites, Hewitson’s premium lineup includes Baby Bush Mourvedre, Falkenberg Shiraz, Gun Metal Riesling, Lu Lu Sauvignon Blanc, Miss Harry Rhone Style Blend, Ned and Henry’s Shiraz and Old Garden Mourvedre. Wildman president John Sellar said the addition of family-owned Hewitson bolsters the company’s position as “the Australian category at the premium level is showing the beginning of a trend up.”

•William Grant & Sons’ Drambuie whisky liqueur has partnered with Austin-based Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee for the launch of Drambuie X Chameleon cocktail kits. The collaborative recipes include the Java Royale, Highland Sour, Sand and Smoke, Spark & Stormy and Great Pretender cocktails. The collaboration’s signature Java Royale ready-to-make kit is available now from delivery service Cocktail Courier through September. William Grant & Sons acquired Drambuie from Scotland’s MacKinnon family for an undisclosed sum in 2014.

•Provence rosé star Chateau d’Esclans is debuting new packaging for the 2015 vintage of its Rock Angel estate-bottled rosé. The new design is meant to present an edgier alternative to popular portfoliomate Whispering Angel, with a smaller Chateau d’Esclans icon and more prominent Rock Angel imagery. Previously known as Chateau d’Esclans rosé, the estate-bottled wine was rebranded Rock Angel just over a year ago. Rock Angel ($35) is part of a portfolio that includes Whispering Angel ($22), as well as prestige cuvees Les Clans ($60) and Garrus ($100). Imported by Shaw-Ross, the Chateau d’Esclans range currently sells about half its 415,000-case volume in the U.S. market, accounting for roughly 20% of overall Côtes du Provence rosé sold in the U.S.

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