Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012

•A bottle of The Macallan 50-year-old sold for £17,500 ($27,000) at Bonhams Whisky sale in Edinburgh yesterday—the highest price ever paid for the storied single malt Scotch. The price exceeded projections by around 50%. Only 500 bottles of The Macallan 50-year-old—distilled in 1928 and bottled in 1983—were produced. The previous highest price for the The Macallan 50-year-old was £13,500 ($21,000). The sale made a total of £200,000 ($310,000) with 87% sold by lot and 90% by value.

Treasury Wine Estates has released an ultra-luxury Penfolds single-vineyard wine. Penfolds 2004 Block 42 was produced from Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted around 1888. It’s packaged in a handblown glass sculpture, or Ampoule, of which only 12 were produced. Each Ampoule of Penfolds 2004 Block 42 will sell for around $168,000.

Stolichnaya vodka is adding a new flavor extension, Salted Karamel, in July. Selling for $23.99 a 750-ml., the new entry is billed as a balance of sweet and savory. “Next to chocolate, market research has shown that caramel is the most popular indulgent flavor offering and that savory flavor combinations are currently one of the fastest growing trends,” said Lisa Pfenning, category director-Stolichnaya at William Grant & Sons USA. The launch of Salted Karamel will be backed by targeted media buys in key markets.

•Young’s Market Co. has tapped Harold McGovern to the new position of executive vice president/Northwest. He will be based in Seattle and report directly to Young’s CEO Chris Underwood. He most recently served as president of NWS Michigan, Inc. Prior to that, he held several executive marketing posts at Diageo.

•Granite City Food & Brewery is preparing to open a new location in downtown Indianapolis. The restaurant will feature the chain’s newly revamped design concept, which first debuted at Granite City’s Troy, Michigan-based outpost in May, and aims to achieve a more contemporary and upscale feel. Located within the city’s Circle Center Mall, the Indianapolis restaurant and microbrewery will include a large open bar, atrium, exposed kitchen and central wood-fired pizza oven. In addition to an 80-item food menu, the new location will offer the chain’s six proprietary craft beer offerings. The Indianapolis eatery—set to open by the end of this year—is Granite City’s 29th location.

•Los Angeles-based Koi Group will be taking over Trump Soho’s Kastel lounge to open a new lounge called Bartelier. Los Angeles nightlife veteran Darren Dzienciol has signed on to operate Bartelier, which is slated to open later this fall. Earlier this year, Koi Group inked a deal to open an outpost of its Koi sushi restaurant in Trump Soho, replacing Quattro Gastronomia Italiana. This marks the company’s fifth Koi outpost and second in New York City, and is slated to open by the end of summer. Other Koi locations include Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Bangkok.

•Food delivery and takeout website Eat24.com has launched a patent-pending social media platform called Notes, which allows users to share restaurant reviews with other Eat24 customers. Competing with review services like Yelp, Eat24 provides users the ability to not only review their overall experiences at certain restaurants, but to also highlight specific menu items to create more specific review content. Eat24 Notes gives users access to a database of more than 20,000 restaurant menus in 750 cities nationwide. The platform initially debuted a test pilot in May and is launching nationwide this month.

•Correction: We incorrectly reported in yesterday’s edition that Hess Shirtail Creek Chardonnay from Hess Family Estates is offered at retail for $13 a 750-ml. In fact, the wine is an on-premise-only brand.


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