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

News Briefs for December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

•As part of its ongoing Top 100 Wines of 2016 celebration, Wine Spectator has unveiled its number-six and number-five wines of the year. Number-six is a gem from one of California’s most influential and innovative winemakers, while number-five is a top-flight Barbaresco from the 2011 vintage. Wine Spectator’s Top 10 wines of 2016 are being revealed over the course of this week at http://top100.winespectator.com/ and the full Top 100 list will be released on Monday, December 5.

•A class-action lawsuit was quietly filed on November 18th alleging that Buffalo Trace Distillery, Old Charter Distillery Co. and parent company Sazerac Co. have deliberately misrepresented Old Charter 8 as an 8-year-old Bourbon. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by Nicholas Parker on behalf of himself and others who have purchased Old Charter 8. It alleges seven counts of deceptive acts or practices, false advertising, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation and seeks compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages, as well as to put a stop to the “illegal practices.” Whisky Advocate has more.

•Riboli Family Wine Estates has extended its San Simeon wine brand with Stormwatch, a super-premium red Bordeaux blend. Sourced from Paso Robles, California, Stormwatch ($70) is comprised of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 16% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc and is matured in French oak barrels. It marks San Simeon’s first Bordeaux blend and joins the brand’s existing lineup of Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir and Merlot offerings.

•Los Angeles-based alcohol delivery company Saucey has partnered with retailer BevMo for expanded service in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento areas. The partnership gives Saucey’s customers an expanded selection of products, increasing from an average of 950 products in a delivery area to more than 9,500, the delivery company says. Launched in 2014, Saucey offers its own app for ordering and enlists retail partners to supply product, but unlike rivals Drizly and DrinkFly, Saucey maintains its own fleet of 1,500 delivery couriers. Meanwhile, Saucey has brought on former BevMo CEO Alan Johnson and former Albertsons CIO Patrick Steele to its board of directors. In addition to California, Saucey is also present in the Chicago market.

•Pabst Brewing Co. has named veteran beer executive Simon Thorpe as CEO. Thorpe was most recently president of Duvel Moortgat USA, and also headed InBev USA from 2002–2007. Eugene Kashper, who partnered with TSG Consumer Partners to acquire Pabst in 2014 and has served as chief executive, will remain chairman and continue to be actively involved in the business.

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