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News Briefs for September 13, 2017

September 13, 2017

•Edrington is extending its Highland Park single malt Scotch brand with the launch of Magnus, a new accessibly-priced core expression. Named for brand founder Magnus Eunson, the 40%-abv whisky is crafted using a high proportion of Sherry-seasoned American oak casks, along with refill casks. The result is a sweeter and more vanilla-centric flavor profile, with additional notes of citrus and smoke. Magnus, which retails at $39.99 a 750-ml., will be exclusively available in the U.S. and Canada and joins recently repackaged 12- and 18-year-old offerings in Highland Park’s existing North America portfolio. Last year, Highland Park was up 2% to 125,000 cases globally, according to Impact Databank.

•Concha y Toro’s Fetzer Vineyards is getting into the whiskey category with a deal to distribute Peerless Rye Whiskey in 27 states, beginning next month.The Louisville-based distillery and Fetzer will initially target major cities—including New York City, Chicago and Dallas—but will reach each state in the brand’s new distribution footprint by the end of the month. Peerless, which began distilling in 2015, has released a small-batch, barrel proof rye and is in the process of aging Bourbon and other rye expressions for release.

•Crimson Wine Group’s Double Canyon Vineyards has opened a new winemaking facility near Washington’s Heaven Horse Hills appellation. Located in West Richland, Washington, the new winery has an initial production capacity of approximately 50,000 cases, with significant space allotted for future growth. All winemaking for the Double Canyon 2017 harvest will take place at the new facility. Eventually, a new tasting room will open within the winery as well. Double Canyon is luxury Cabernet Sauvignon–focused, with wines retailing from $25-$65 a bottle.

•Beam Suntory will release a special edition Yamazaki Mizunara Cask Whisky in October. The luxury Japanese single malt whisky aged for at least 18 years in Mizunara oak, a variety native to Japan. Mizunara oak is said to impart aloe and sandalwood notes to the whisky, and the porous wood is notoriously difficult to manage for long-term aging. The 48%-abv whisky is presented with a handmade label and in a box made from casks used to age other Suntory whiskies. The Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition will retail at $1,000 and will be available in luxury retailers.

•Excelsior Wines’ Trivento label from Argentina has inked a new three-year sponsorship deal to become the official wine brand of Major League Soccer. Taking effect January 1, the agreement covers Trivento Reserve varietal wines, Amado Sur blends, Golden Reserve Malbec and the single-vineyard prestige cuvée Eolo Malbec. Marc Goodrich, president of Excelsior, said the MLS deal will help Trivento sustain the momentum that made it an Impact “Hot Prospect,” up 29% to 120,000 cases last year. Led by its Malbec retailing in the $10-$15 range, Trivento has continued to rise so far in 2017, with sales up 27% over the first half of the year.

•MillerCoors’ Redd’s brand of fruit-flavored beers is launching a Black Cherry Ale in early 2018. The 5%-abv beer is the second limited-edition flavor in the Redd’s lineup. Redd’s Black Cherry Ale will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles, individual 16-ounce cans and in Redd’s variety pack. Along with the new black cherry flavored ale, Redd’s is available in Apple and Blueberry at 5% abv and in apple, mango and black cherry at 8% abv under the Redd’s Wicked label.

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