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News Briefs for June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

•Diageo has unveiled Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend, the latest limited release from the Canadian whisky brand that celebrates its history tied to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Canada in 1939. Master blender Andrew MacKay hand-picked whiskies from the brand’s stock, including one from the historic Coffey rye still in Manitoba, to create the blend. Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend is packaged in a silver embroidered bag with gold accents and a taller and broader bottle than Crown Royal Deluxe. The limited release is 40%-abv and retails at about $75 a 750-ml. bottle, each of which is individually numbered.

•E.&J. Gallo’s New Amsterdam vodka brand has launched its latest ad campaign, “It’s Your Town,” partnering with national filmmaking competition The 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP). As part of the push, New Amsterdam will sponsor all events for 48HFP, which runs across 120 cities and invites filmmakers to create short films in just 48 hours. Additionally, the brand will invite the top five filmmaking teams from 25 key cities to participate in the New Amsterdam “It’s Your Town” Competition, challenging them to capture New Amsterdam’s essence by producing short documentary-style films depicting a night out in their local community. The films will be available for viewing at 48HFP’s culminating event, as well as online and across social media platforms. An Impact “Hot Brand,” New Amsterdam vodka was up 80% to 2 million cases last year.

•New York-based Cognac One has added Alsace’s Domaine Ruhlmann to its import portfolio. With the new partnership, Cognac One will handle Domaine Ruhlmann’s Riesling Cuvée Jean-Charles ($19) and Gewurztraminer Vieilles Vignes ($21), as well as its Crémant d’Alsace Brut NV ($21) sparkling wine. Domaine Ruhlmann is the 13th winery in Cognac One’s stable, joining Xavier Flouret Wines, Cave de Tain, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Champagne AR Lenoble and Chateau de Bellevue, among others.

•Fishbowl Spirits has extended its Blue Chair Bay rum brand with a new Banana flavor. Hitting national distribution this week, Blue Chair Bay Banana joins White, Coconut and Coconut Spiced varieties in the brand line. The white rum is 40% abv, while Blue Chair’s flavored variants are at 26.5% abv. The brand, created and owned by singer Kenny Chesney, retails at around $19 a bottle.

•Constellation is moving its Ontario-based Le Clos Jordanne wine brand to its Niagara Falls Cellars facility, said to be the largest winery site in Canada. Launched in 2001 with a focus on ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Le Clos Jordanne—previously based in Jordan, Ontario—is moving into its new location this summer in time for the 2014 vintage. Constellation has invested $25 million in Niagara Falls Cellars—formerly known as Bright’s Wines—over the past eight years, with another $4 million outlay planned for this year. Le Clos Jordanne’s range includes Village Reserve, Claystone Terrace Vineyard, Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard and Le Grand Clos wines.

•Heaven Hill Distilleries has appointed Joe Neal as strategic chain account regional manager. He will be responsible for managing the sales, distribution and merchandising goals for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club while reporting to Mike Sporich, Heaven Hill’s U.S. national accounts division manager. Neal previously worked for Constellation Brands for seven years, most recently as category manager for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.

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