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News Briefs for September 9, 2014

September 9, 2014

•Napa Valley-based Duckhorn Wine Company has launched the inaugural vintage of its Washington-sourced wine, Canvasback. The 2012 Canvasback Washington State Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from vineyards located in the Red Mountain AVA—such as Klipsun, La Coye, Shaw and Quintessence—and retails at $40. In 2013, Duckhorn purchased an unplanted 20-acre Longwinds Estate Vineyard on Red Mountain, which Canvasback planted this year with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. The company has also hired Washington winegrower Dick Boushey as vineyard manager and local winemaker Brian Rudin. “Current production (on Canvasback) is about 2,000 cases,” Duckhorn president and CEO Alex Ryan recently told SND. “I’d like Canvasback to become big enough to gain national distribution, so that would be about 15,000-25,000 cases in the future.”

•Napa’s Black Stallion Estate Winery, part of the Delicato Family Vineyards portfolio, has debuted Transcendent, a new luxury Cabernet Sauvignon. Including fruit from Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Oak Knoll District, the first vintage of Transcendent is a 2010, retailing at $135 and distributed to select markets. The new wine, which is in limited production, is a blend of 89% Cabernet and 11% Merlot.

Pernod Ricard is releasing a second permanent expression within The Glenlivet Nàdurra Scotch whisky range, First Fill Selection. The latest offering, priced at $80, was aged in new American white oak casks and bottled at a cask-strength 48% abv. First Fill Selection will roll out globally this month. The Glenlivet Nàdurra collection, which also includes an Oloroso variant launched in travel retail earlier this year, now features new packaging that includes a batch number, cask-like stamps and a translation of Nàdurra, the Gaelic word for “natural.” Glenlivet reached 1 million cases globally on 2% growth in Pernod Ricard’s last fiscal year ended in June.

•Brown-Forman has unveiled the 2014 edition of its Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. The limited release—marked annually to commemorate the birthday of Old Forester and Brown-Forman founder George Garvin Brown—is a 97-proof, vintage-dated small-batch Bourbon. Rolling out this month, the 2014 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon will be in national distribution, retailing at $59.99 a bottle. Old Forester, riding the Bourbon market boom, posted depletions up 7% in Brown-Forman’s last full fiscal year, through April.

•Anheuser-Busch has introduced a special-edition can for its Busch brand aimed at hunters and outdoors enthusiasts. The 2014 Busch Hunting can, which displays graphics of deer, elk and duck silhouettes over Busch’s signature background, is available in select states, mostly across the Midwest and South, in 18-, 24-, and 30-packs of 12-ounce cans. The core Busch brand’s volume was down 7% last year, while Busch Light was flat. Earlier this year, the brand began testing a new, higher-alcohol entry, Signature Copper Lager (5.7% abv), in a dozen states across the Midwest.

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