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News Briefs for March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017

•Taiwanese whisky distiller Kavalan is expanding with a series of Sherry and Port cask-matured single malt whiskies. They include Amontillado Sherry Cask Single Malt Whisky ($599 a 750-ml.), Manzanilla Sherry Cask ($599), Moscatel Sherry Cask ($599), PX Sherry Cask ($699) and Port Cask ($299). Rolling out across the U.S. this April, all five are single-cask expressions, which are hand-bottled at cask strength. Kavalan is imported by San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling Co.

•The Winebow Group’s MundoVino division is launching a new release to the Catena wines portfolio, D.V. Catena Tinto Histórico. Named for Domingo Vicente Catena, grandfather of fourth-generation vintner and current Bodega Catena Zapata managing director Dr. Laura Catena, Tinto Histórico is a blend of 92% Malbec and 8% Verdot from four high-altitude estate vineyards owned by the Catena family in Argentina: Adrianna, Angélica, El Cepillo, and La Pirámide. D.V. Catena Tinto Histórico is debuting nationally next month, retailing at $21 a bottle.

•Robert Mondavi Private Selection, part of the Constellation portfolio, is in innovation mode with the launch of a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chardonnay. Sourced from coastal vineyards in Monterey County, the new offering was 100% American oak aged for nine months, with a portion of the blend seeing an additional two months in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. Retailing at $14 a bottle, the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chardonnay joins Robert Mondavi Private Selection’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, which debuted last year.

•Cape Classics is adding to its Burgundy portfolio, with Domaine Auvigue joining the fold. Marking the 15th French producer in the Cape Classics lineup, Domaine Auvigue is based in the village of Solutré, where its 16.25-acre estate is run by the sixth generation of the winemaking family, Jean-Pierre and Michel Auvigue, and their nephew, Sylvain Brenas-Auvigue. Cape Classics will import Auvigue’s Pouilly Fuisse ($40) and Saint Veran Moulin du Point ($30), with a Pouilly-Fuisse Vieilles Vignes to be added looking ahead. Auvigue was previously handled in the U.S. by Treasury Wine Estates.

•Constellation has signed a three-year deal with the Chicago White Sox baseball team to launch its Modelo Especial beer brand as the “official import” sponsor of the team. The new arrangement, which will feature the Modelo logo on the outfield wall and video boards at the team’s home stadium comes as the White Sox dropped Miller Brewing as its beverage partner after 30 years. The White Sox will also be announcing marketing partnerships with several smaller regional breweries for the coming season, with such local craft labels as Baderbrau and Polyanna Brewing identified so far.

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