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News Briefs for July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014

Wine Spectator has learned that convicted wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, the young collector who sold millions of dollars worth of fakes, will wait another week before he learns how much time he may serve in prison. According to sources close to the case, federal district judge Richard Berman has delayed sentencing until July 24. The reason? The judge appears to remain unsatisfied with the prosecution’s details on how many people fell victim to Kurniawan’s schemes and how much money they lost.

•Excelsior Wines—the U.S. joint marketing venture between Concha y Toro and Banfi Vintners—has launched Argentine wine brand Decopas in the U.S. Made with 100% Mendoza-sourced fruit, the range includes an estate-bottled 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and 2013 Malbec. Both entries are set to roll out next month on- and off-premise, priced at around $12 a bottle. Decopas literally means “by the glass” but is also a colloquial Argentine expression used when inviting friends out for a drink. According to Excelsior Wines director of marketing Ed Barden, Decopas is designed to appeal to U.S. Millennial consumers in particular.

•Sausalito, California-based wine importer Vine Connections has appointed Jim Sweeney vice president of sales. Sweeney comes to Vine Connections from Vintage Wine Estates, where he served as EVP, sales. Prior to that he held key sales positions at Huneeus Vintners and Constellation Brands. Vine Connections specializes in boutique South American brands, with 31 labels from Chile and Argentina residing in its portfolio. The company also represents 16 of Japan’s ginjo sake breweries.

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