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News Briefs for March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

•Poderi Colla, a family winery in Italy’s Piedmont that produces Barolo, Barbaresco and the flagship blend Bricco del Drago, has purchased the Boroli family’s Cascina Bompè winery and their surrounding 5 acres of vineyards planted to Barbera in Alba. The purchase price has not been disclosed. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Portugal’s Esporão is debuting three new Douro wines from its Quinta dos Murças estate—Minas, Margem and VV47. Purchased by Esporão in 2008, the 123-acre Murças estate borders the Douro sub-regions of Baixo Corgo and Cima Corgo. Created by winemakers David Baverstock and José Luis Moreira da Silva, the Quinta dos Murças Minas 2015 retails at about $25, Quinta dos Murças Margem 2015 retails at $65 and Quinta dos Murças VV47 2012 is at $100. Esporão’s wines are handled stateside by Aidil Wines.

•Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA has partnered with the Americas Cup to launch a Mouton Cadet 35th America’s Cup Special Cuvée series of wines. The limited edition red, white and rosé bottles feature a glass-etched design depicting the forces of nature on land and at sea. The Mouton Cadet 35th America’s Cup Special Cuvée wines will be available beginning in May at select retail outlets.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S. business posted a 2.2% rise in EBITDA, to $5.5 billion, in its full fiscal year through December, even as sales continued to slide due to tough conditions for mainstream brands like Bud and Bud Light. ABI acknowledged that Bud Light’s performance was “not yet up to our expectations,” but added that its share trends have been improving lately. Bud Light’s sales to retailers were down mid single digits last year, as were Budweiser’s. On the other hand, above-premium labels like Michelob Ultra, Stella Artois and Goose Island continue to provide strong growth. Overall, ABI’s U.S. sales to retailers were down 2% last year, compared with industry sales to retailers down about 1%.

•Global Spirits USA has signed on with suburban Chicago-based Heritage Wine Cellars to distribute brands including LEAF Organic Vodka, Khortytsa Vodka and Odessa VSOP brandy in the state of Illinois. LEAF is sourced from unique waters around the U.S., ranging from glacial waters in Alaska to mineral waters in the Rocky Mountains, and is USDA certified organic, carrying a retail price of $18.99 a 750-ml. The four vodkas in the Khortytsa line are made in the Ukraine at a distillery built in 2003 and priced from $10.99 to $25.99 for a super-premium expression. Odessa brandy is made at the Shustov Distillery in the Ukraine from the ancient grape Rkatsiteli, among other grape varieties, and is double-distilled in copper pot stills. It retails at $10.99. Global Spirits, with offices in New York, Moscow and Kiev, has annual volume of 10 million cases with distribution in 80 countries.

•Napa Valley’s Stewart Cellars is transitioning to its second generation, with siblings James and Caroline Stewart—as well as Blair Guthrie, Caroline’s husband and Stewart Cellars’ winemaker—taking over management of the Yountville, California-based winery. Michael Stewart, who founded the winery in 2000, previously managed operations. Meanwhile, Stewart is launching a new Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Sonoma Mountain rosé, which join its existing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot.

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