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News Briefs for October 10, 2012

October 10, 2012

Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits has introduced Enza, a new entry in the surging Prosecco category. Enza, which will be available nationally starting in December, will retail at $14.99 a bottle. The DOC Prosecco brand is produced by the Soligo cooperative, and is said to contain hints of honeysuckle, green apple and peach with a note of citrus. Led by fast-rising brands like Mionetto and Lunetta, Prosecco is thriving in the U.S. market. Last year, it sold more than 1 million cases, up from around 850,000 in 2010.

•Whyte & Mackay has released the Dalmore Constellation Collection—a line of 21 single malt Scotches produced at its Dalmore distillery between 1964 and 1992—in the U.S. market. The collection, which in its entirety will be sold for $250,000, was unveiled at a Spec’s outlet in Houston, Texas earlier this week.

•Costco posted profit of $609 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, ended September 2, up from $478 million a year earlier, as membership fee revenue rose 18% to $694 million. Costco hiked membership fees around 10% across most of its U.S. and Canadian business late last year. The big-box retailer’s revenue rose 14% to $31.52 billion in the quarter. Costco’s assistant general merchandise manager for wine, spirits and beer, Annette Alvarez-Peters, told Shanken News Daily earlier this year she expected the group’s global beverage alcohol revenues to continue to grow in line with their fiscal 2011 advance, when sales rose 8% to $2.6 billion.

Constellation Wines is launching a new wine range, Thorny Rose, this month. Billed as an easy-drinking brand with a light, bright fruit profile, the lineup is targeted toward the Millennial demographic and features a Cabernet, Chardonnay and red blend sourced from Washington state, as well as a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. All four offerings are packaged in screw cap bottles, priced at $11 a 750-ml. Thorny Rose’s debut follows a flurry of new product activity from Constellation, which earlier this year pledged to introduce around 70 new labels in its 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. Due to the increase in innovation and promotional spending, however, Constellation’s net income fell to $196.6 million (from $237 million a year earlier) in the first half of its fiscal year, ended August 31.

•New York’s Pasternak Wine Imports has introduced Valdo Oro Puro Prosecco to the U.S. market. Pasternak has imported 2,000 six-packs of Valdo Oro Puro Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut (priced at $19.99). The lineup also features Prosecco Brut DOC and Brut Rose. Valdo was purchased by the Bolla family (of the Bolla Wine Co.) in 1939 and is still family owned and operated today. Pasternak also recently added New Zealand’s Mud House Wine Group to its U.S. portfolio.

•Renowned chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller has added a full liquor license to his Napa Valley restaurant Ad Hoc, which had previously only served beer and wine. Beginning tomorrow, the eatery will serve spirits by the glass ($8 to $12) and numerous cocktails ($12) developed by assistant general manager Jessica Pinzon and dining room manager Christian Schnurr. Keller’s Michelin three-starred Napa restaurant The French Laundry, which currently only serves beer and wine, is in the process of acquiring a liquor license as well. Keller is also the owner of Michelin three-starred restaurant Per Se in New York City and bistro-style restaurant Bouchon, which has locations in Napa Valley, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, and Bouchon Bakery, with locations in Napa Valley, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and New York City.

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