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News Briefs for June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

• The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC), which includes more than 25,000 members throughout North America, has joined with synagogues in Israel and around the globe in calling for a boycott of Scotch whisky from distillers located in West Dunbartonshire Council—including Chivas Brothers and Morrison Bowmore, among others. The FJMC’s move to boycott these products follows a boycott against Israeli products instituted by the West Dunbartonshire Council in response to what councilmen described as “the disproportionate use of force used against Palestinians” during Israel’s Gaza incursion in 2009. Regarding both that boycott and the reaction by the FJMC and other Jewish groups, Kirsteen Beeston, a spokesperson for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, told the Jersualem Post: “Neither Morrison Bowmore Distillery nor Auchentoshan take any political stance, and this policy has been made independently from us, and without our consultation.”

Heaven Hill Distilleries has introduced Hpnotiq Harmonie—a French vodka, Cognac and fruit- and flower-infused liqueur—to the U.S. market. Characterized by a bright violet hue, Harmonie is priced at $22.99 a 750-ml. and is also available in 1-liter, 375-ml. and 50-ml. bottles. Described by brand manager Justin Ames as “a new way to enjoy…any girls’ night out,” the new offering is targeted toward female consumers. Harmonie’s launch follows the recent repositioning and repackaging of parent brand Hpnotiq ($25 a 750-ml.).

• Molson Coors Canada has established the Six Pints Specialty Beer Co, a stand-alone division to represent its craft and specialty beer portfolio. Molson senior executive and industry veteran Ian Freedman will lead the new unit, which focuses on “seeding, nurturing and growing specialty beer brands” and developing price, product, distribution and promotion strategies. Six Pints Specialty Beer’s portfolio currently features the Creemore Springs and Granville Island brands—acquired by Molson Coors Canada in 2005 and 2009, respectively. Additional labels are expected to follow.

• Château Margaux has tapped Thomas Dô-Chi-Nam to replace Philippe Bascaules as technical director. Bascaules left earlier this spring to become estate manager and winemaker at Francis Ford Coppola’s recently renamed Inglenook. Dô-Chi-Nam had been technical director at Pauillac’s second-growth Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande since 1992. He will assume the title of directeur d’exploitation (the equivalent of technical director), and will start at Margaux before year-end, according to Château Margaux general director Paul Pontallier. The move appears to herald change at Pichon-Lalande, where Sylvie Cazes has recently taken over as general director from Gildas d’Ollone.

Beam Global has tapped Patti Stanger—star of Bravo’s reality dating show Millionaire Matchmaker—as spokesperson for Pucker Vodka’s new “Break Up to Match Up” campaign. Starting this month, Stanger will provide tips and advice to Pucker consumers via Facebook, Twitter and media interviews, helping them match their personalities to one of Pucker’s four flavors. Featuring Sour Apple Sass, Grape Gone Wild, Cherry Tease and Citrus Squeeze, the Pucker flavored vodka range launched nationwide last April, priced at $16.99 a 750-ml.

Bacardi-owned Martini, the U.S. market’s second-leading imported sparkling wine brand, has entered one of wine’s hottest categories with its new Martini Moscato d’Asti. The Moscato joins a range that also includes Martini Asti, as well as a Rosé and a Prosecco. Moscato has been among the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. wine market lately, enjoying solid double-digit growth in both volume and value at a time when the overall market is advancing by low- to mid-single digits.

• Manhattan-based importer and distributor Domaine Select Wine Estates (DSWE) has formed an exclusive distribution agreement with American Wines & Spirits of California (AWS), a subsidiary of Southern Wine & Spirits. The agreement encompasses DSWE’s imported wine portfolio and its Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits Collection—both of which will be consolidated under AWS of California. DSWE’s wine portfolio currently features labels from nearly 70 wineries in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Slovenia. The group’s Classic & Vintage division serves as importer and agent for 28 spirits brands from 12 different countries.

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