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

News Briefs for November 15, 2016

November 15, 2016

•For many Napa Valley vintners, 2016 extends a run of exceptional years for Cabernet Sauvignon to five in a row. Their only regret is that there wasn’t more fruit. Almost every year from 2013 on has seen lower yields for Cabernet, and many believe drought is a factor, impacting the overall health of the vines. “Some lots taste so good they could be enjoyed without barrel aging,” said Caymus Vineyards owner Chuck Wagner, who’s been making Cabernet in Napa since the 1970s. The even temperatures throughout the growing season pleased him. “For the entire 2016 season Napa had none of the terrific heat spikes our valley is known for—this held back vine stress.” Wine Spectator has a full report on Napa’s 2016 harvest.

•Frederick Wildman & Sons has been named the U.S. importer for the Rhône’s Vidal-Fleury. Owned by the Guigal family since 1984, Vidal-Fleury was previously imported by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. Vidal-Fleury managing director Guy Sarton du Jonchay said that coinciding with Wildman’s appointment the winery has reviewed the quality and style of its wines with an eye toward re-energizing the brand in the U.S. market.

•Iowa-based Templeton Rye, part of the Infinium Spirits portfolio, is set to launch a new Special Reserve label this December. A 10-year-old offering made with liquid from 34 barrels, Templeton Rye Special Reserve will be packaged in a commemorative box and limited to 6,080 bottles ($150 each). The launch comes on the heels of Templeton’s rollout of a 6-year-old limited edition rye (around $50) earlier this year, with both expressions joining the brand’s core rye offering (around $40).

•Excelsior Wines’ Little Black Dress has partnered with country musician Jana Kramer in a collaboration that will include promotional appearances, exclusive concerts and social media initiatives. Kramer, who is currently featured on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars,” begins her alliance with Little Black Dress in February 2017. Little Black Dress, which generally retails for around $10-$12 a 750-ml., sold 116,000 cases in the U.S. in 2015, according to Impact Databank—a 10.8% decline from the previous year.

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