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News Briefs for September 13, 2012

September 13, 2012

•Boisset Family Estates is nearing completion of its renovation of the 155-year-old Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma and will resume winemaking in small amounts there this fall for the first time in two decades, reports the Associated Press. Boisset, which acquired Buena Vista from Ascentia Wine Estates in May 2011, plans to make a few thousand cases of mostly red wines, including Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, at the winery this year. Buena Vista has been produced at various sites both inside and outside Sonoma under its many owners over the past 20 years (in early 2011, Ascentia announced plans to move its production to the Geyser Peak winery in the Alexander Valley).

•Bordeaux’s Chateau Magdelaine has been quietly merged with Château Bélair-Monange, reports Wine Spectator. Both are St.-Emilion properties owned by Christian Moueix. The new property will retain the Bélair-Monange name—the estate was formerly Bélair until it was purchased by the Moueix family in 2008. Madgelaine has been owned by the Moueix family since 1952. “Having vinified these two vineyards side by side for the past four, very different vintages, we saw a great complementarity and the possibility to produce an even better wine by joining forces,” said Edouard Moueix, Christian’s son and executive vice president of Ets. J.-P. Moueix.

•Pop star Enrique Iglesias’s Atlantico rum has tapped Stamford, Connecticut-based Blackheath Beverage Group to handle its national sales and marketing activities. Atlantico, a Dominican rum with Platino, Reserva and Private Cask variants selling for around $35 a bottle, will continue to be imported by Miami’s Park Street Imports. Iglesias became a partner in the brand with founders Brandon Lieb and Aleco Azqueta last fall. Atlantico is the first brand for Blackheath, which was founded this summer by former Domaine Select executive Jay Harkins. Bacardi, Diageo and Palm Bay veteran Stephanie Kubacki serves as vice president, marketing, of the group, while former Bacardi and Empire Merchants executive Michael Rieck is vice president, sales.

•Florida’s Round 8 Imports is launching a new bubbly sangria brand, Olé, into the U.S. market. Priced at $8.99-$9.99 a 750-ml., Olé is currently in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey, with plans to go national within the next 12 months. It’s made from Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes and infused with orange, lemon and peach flavors. The brand is imported from Spain and is packaged in a Champagne-style bottle with a cork finish. Round 8 partner Victoria Holland says Olé is positioned at the intersection of three hot categories—sangria, sparkling wine and sweet reds—adding that initial distributor, retailer and consumer response has been strong.

•Acker Merrall & Condit has reported sales of $3.2 million at its first auction of the fall 2012 season, held in New York City on September 8. Featuring more than 900 lots, the event was more than 96% sold. Highlights included a 12-bottle case of 1953 Lafite sold for $34,400, a 12-bottle case of 1962 Romanee-St.-Vivant sold for $29,520 and a case of 1959 Faiveley Musigny sold for $27,060. The auction was led primarily by Bordeaux, which accounted for 14 of the sale’s top lots, while Burgundy followed with five top lots of Romanee-Conti and La Tache. Acker Merrall will hold its next fall 2012 sale in Hong Kong, from September 21-22.

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