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News Briefs for February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018

•Taub Family Companies has announced plans to reorganize its brand portfolios. Under the new structure, the company’s Palm Bay International unit will comprise the group’s major wine brands—including Cavit, Roscato, Rocca delle Macie, Bodegas Faustino, Bodegas Salentein and Peter Yealands, among others—and all spirits, while The Taub Family Selections-Esprit du Vin portfolio will house the company’s existing Esprit du Vin lineup, as well as select fine wine brands from Italy and other countries. Both units will continue to operate independently. The changes follow Taub Family’s acquisition of the former Pasternak Wine Imports portfolio and the addition of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin and Bribon Tequila in the spirits segment over the past year.

•A buyer at Sotheby’s, Hong Kong paid HK$2,337,000 (approx. $370,000) on January 27th for a bottle of Japanese whisky—and the triumph of purchasing the world’s most expensive standard sized bottle of whisky at auction. The record-breaking bottle was Yamazaki 50-year-old, one of just 150 bottles released in 2011. The hammer price of HK$1.9 million (Sotheby’s adds a 23% buyer’s premium) is a staggering 73% higher than the previous record-breaking bottle, the Karuizawa 1960 52-year-old “The Wanderer,” which sold for HK$1.1million in April 2017. Whisky Advocate has more.

•The Cooper Spirits Co. has aligned with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in 21 new markets, bringing its partnership with the distributor to a total of 41 markets. In many of the new states, the Cooper Spirits portfolio will continue to be handled jointly by SGWS and other distributors. Meanwhile, Cooper Spirits has promoted Rick Scully, who’s currently serving as senior vice president of sales, to the role of president. The Cooper Spirits Co. stable includes bottled cocktail brand Slow & Low; Hochstadter’s, Hochstadter’s Family Reserve and Lock Stock & Barrel rye whiskies; and Crème Yvette berry liqueur.

•Pacific Northwest beer distribution giant Columbia Distributing has taken a majority stake in Washington’s Marine View Beverage in a deal set to close on April 30. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Marine View Beverage, whose portfolio includes more than 120 international, national and local beer, energy and water suppliers, operates three distribution centers and serves seven counties across western Washington. Columbia Distributing has over 20,000 retail customers across the states of Oregon, Washington and California.

•Florida-based importer Enovation Brands is launching a new Pinot Grigio under its Gemma di Luna brand. Sourced from northeastern Italy’s delle Venezie DOC, Gemma di Luna Pinot Grigio will be available nationwide, retailing at $14.99 a 750-ml. The new entry will also be offered in two limited edition packs, including a six-pack packaged in a vintage-inspired collectible hatbox and a single bottle wrapped in a gift tube. The launch follows the debut of Gemma di Luna’s core sparkling Moscato early last year. In addition to Gemma di Luna, Enovation’s import portfolio includes Voga Italia, Luna Di Luna and Ca’ Montini, among other wine brands.

•Veuve Ambal, known for Crémant de Bourgogne, is introducing a new sparkling rosé from Provence in the U.S. The newcomer, Rivarose Sparkling Brut Rosé ($18), carries an IGP Mediterranée appellation and is rolling out nationwide through importer USA Wine West. With Rivarose, Veuve Ambal is looking to capitalize on the burgeoning popularity of sparkling rosé in the U.S., where the category has been rising by double-digits in recent years.

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