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News Briefs for June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

•Jackson Family Wines’ Kendall-Jackson brand has extended its K-J Avant tier with a new red blend and Sauvignon Blanc. Priced at $17 a 750-ml., the 2012 K-J Avant Red Blend is aged in neutral oak barrels. The 2013 K-J Avant Sauvignon Blanc, meanwhile, is cold-fermented in stainless steel and priced at $14. The pair join K-J Avant’s existing Chardonnay offering, which rolled out in 2011 and retails at $17. The K-J Avant lineup, which has done particularly well among younger LDA consumers, has helped boost Kendall-Jackson above the 3-million-case mark in recent years.

•Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig single malt Scotch is being backed by a new interactive global campaign. Running under the title #OpinionsWelcome, the digitally-focused push invites consumers to share their own Laphroaig tasting notes on a new microsite, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the campaign will showcase a collection of tasting descriptions from both longtime and first-time Laphroaig drinkers via print and digital ads and video content. The #OpinionsWelcome initiative comes on the heels of Beam’s recent repackaging of the Islay single malt brand last year, which was intended to create a “warmer shelf appeal.” One of the top 10 single malt brands worldwide, Laphroaig’s global volume is around 200,000 cases globally. In the U.S. it rose 15% to 48,000 cases last year.

•Bacardi Ltd. is commemorating the launch of Grey Goose’s latest flavor, Le Melon, by partnering with artist Kehinde Wiley on a portrait series celebrating “modern kings of culture.” Portraits of filmmaker Spike Lee, music producer Kasseem Dean and basketball star Carmelo Anthony will be unveiled at Grey Goose Le Melon events over the summer in New York and Los Angeles. The series will be auctioned off in Miami in December, with the majority of proceeds going to charity.

•Sonoma’s Truett-Hurst is introducing its California Square wine brand in Canada through a partnership with Trialto Wine Group. California Square, which retails at around $19 and is packaged in square bottles, includes a Russian River Valley Chardonnay and a Paso Robles Red blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Merlot. Trialto is launching the wines first in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta with more Canadian provinces to follow.

•California’s Castle Rock Winery has appointed industry veteran Richard Reeves as senior vice president, national sales manager, effective June 9. Reeves joins the winery from Kenwood Vineyards & Korbel Brandy, where he worked for 26 years and was most recently the U.S. and international sales manager. Castle Rock has also named Michelle Smith as vice president, central division sales manager. Like Reeves, Smith comes to Castle Rock from Kenwood Vineyards & Korbel Brandy, where she served as central division manager. She will report to Reeves.

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