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News Briefs for October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Wine Spectator reports that Jean-Guillaume Prats, departing CEO of second-growth Cos-d’Estournel, is heading to Moët Hennessy. Prats, who will leave Cos in mid-January after a 12-year tenure as chief executive, will become CEO of Estates and Wines, Moët Hennessy’s collection of premiere wine properties, including Numanthia, Cloudy Bay and Domaine Chandon.

•Accolade Wines North America is extending the Geyser Peak brand line with a red blend, Uncensored. It features Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petit Verdot and Zinfandel. The Uncensored California Red Blend is priced at $14 a 750-ml. It joins a Geyser Peak line that includes core Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc varietals, as well as the Reserve line and the Block Collection. Accolade Wines acquired Geyser Peak from Ascentia Wine Estates this summer for an undisclosed sum. The brand sells around 280,000 cases annually.

•St. Helena-based Marilyn Wines has unveiled a new Bordeaux-style blend, Marilyn Meritage. The limited production offering—which is comprised of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, as well as small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot—features a 1950s publicity photo of actress Marilyn Monroe on its label. Priced at $50 a bottle, the 2010 debut vintage of Marilyn Meritage will be available at retail nationwide and via the Marilyn Wines website. The red blend joins Marilyn Wines’ existing portfolio, including its Marilyn Merlot; Norma Jeane, a Young Merlot; The Velvet Collection; Sauvignon Blonde; Red Dress; and Blonde de Noirs sparkling wine labels.

•Diageo’s Guinness beer brand is said to be prepping the launch of its first holiday offering, Guinness Generous Ale. According to a report from CNBC, the new 5.6%-abv brew is billed as a traditional English-style ale made with Guinness’s signature roasted malts. Guinness Generous Ale is slated to roll out next month in the Guinness Winter Variety Pack, alongside the brand’s Guinness Draught, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Black Lager labels. In the U.S.—Guinness’s fourth-largest market—the brand returned to growth last year (+5.9%) and sold 1.2 million hectoliters, according to Impact Databank.

•Following on the early success of Bud Light Platinum, Anheuser-Busch is launching a new 6%-abv brew called Budweiser Black Crown. A-B recently received approval from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on a proposed label for the higher-alcohol Black Crown (the core Budweiser brand is roughly 5% abv), and the brewing giant is said to be preparing for a rollout of its new offering in the coming weeks. A-B has refused to comment on Black Crown. The 6%-abv Bud Light Platinum (parent brand Bud Light’s abv is 4.2%) was introduced to the U.S. market earlier this year, and it received a big ad push during last February’s Super Bowl broadcast. Since then, Platinum has advanced rapidly, and is currently one of the best-performing beer brands in the U.S. market.

•Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of fine-dining New York City restaurant wd~50, is opening a second venue in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. The new restaurant, called Alder, will be a 50-seat pub serving modern casual cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. Alder is slated to open in spring 2013, coinciding with wd~50’s 10-year anniversary.

 

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