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News Briefs for April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

•Kathryn Hall—proprietor of Napa Valley’s Hall Wines—has unveiled the inaugural vintage for Walt, a new wine brand named in honor of her parents, Bob and Dolores Walt. Rolling out on May 1, Walt’s first offerings include a 2010 Chardonnay ($35 a 750-ml.) and five varieties of 2010 Pinot Noir ($40-$60 a 750-ml.). The wines, which are sourced from Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, Sta. Rita Hills and Willamette Valley, were produced at Hall Wines’ St. Helena-based facilities under the leadership of director of winemaking Steve Leveque and winemaker Megan Gunderson. Walt will be available for order direct from the winery, with a limited quantity going to fine wine shops and restaurants nationwide. The brand is a reincarnation of sorts of Sonoma’s former Roessler label, which Hall and her husband Craig purchased in 2010 from founder Roger Roessler.

•Campari America will officially unveil its Skyy Infusions Coconut extension this weekend at an exclusive party at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival in California. The new expression will be priced at $18.49 a 750-ml., $26.99 a 1.75-liter, $23.99 a 1-liter and $1.99 a 50-ml. Coconut joins a flavor portfolio that includes Dragon Fruit, Blood Orange, Pineapple, Ginger, Cherry, Grape, Citrus, Raspberry and Passion Fruit. Skyy vodka rose 1.5% to 2.7 million cases (including flavors) in the U.S. in 2011, according to Impact Databank.

•Morrison Bowmore has begun an online campaign asking fans to select the name for a new Bowmore bottling in the U.S. (The bottling, which has already launched globally under the name Bowmore Tempest, must be renamed stateside due to trademark infringement laws.) Through May 18, fans can choose between one of two name options—Dorus Mor or Whirlpool—via Facebook, and will subsequently be entered to win a tailored Bowmore tweed jacket, which are traditionally reserved for Bowmore ambassadors. The winning name will be used solely in the U.S. Rolling out in the fall or winter of this year; the unnamed 55.1%-abv whisky is a limited edition, 10-year-old expression, priced at $119.99 a 750-ml. Bowmore is handled in the U.S. by Campari America.

•The James hotel in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood now offers its guests a fully stocked bar in each room, including 375-ml. bottles of spirits such as Grey Goose vodka, Tanqueray gin and Tuthilltown’s Hudson whiskey, as well as bottles of Fever Tree tonic water and ginger ale. A cocktail shaker and book of recipes is also included, and for an additional fee guests can order such ingredients as bitters, simple syrup and Lillet Blanc from room service. Total charges for using the bar depend on how much liquor is consumed.

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