Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

•Research has been mixed on whether consumers are willing to pay more for eco-labeled wines, and yet the number of wineries adopting sustainable practices continues to rise. But a new study by a team of researchers in Italy, Spain and California claims winery owners believe sustainability makes economic sense in the long term. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Pernod Ricard is furthering Absolut vodka’s connection to the art world with next month’s release of an Andy Warhol Edition bottle. The limited edition bottle celebrates the legendary pop artist, who collaborated with the brand on a painting in the 1980s that is now featured on the new bottle’s packaging. To support the release, Absolut is working with three contemporary artists on an interactive nightlife event as part of the Nights by Absolut program as well as running The Andy Warhol Art Exchange by Absolut, a forum where users can exchange original works of art. The exchange runs from October to December. A portion of the proceeds from the Andy Warhol Edition bottle will go to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

•Hennessy Cognac has unveiled plans to release its luxury Edition Particuliere label in the U.S. next month. Rolling out stateside on October 15, Edition Particuliere is made with a blend featuring hand-selected eaux-de-vie from more than 100 years ago. The limited edition offering is poured into a Baccarat crystal bottle, then packaged in a hand-made leather gift box. Just 29 bottles of Hennessy Edition Particuliere will be available worldwide, with 11 bottles reserved for the U.S. market, priced at $27,000 each.

•Campari America’s Espolòn Tequila has extended its super-premium range with the U.S. launch of Espolòn Bourbon Barrel-Finished Añejo. A 100%-agave Tequila aged in white oak, Espolòn Añejo is finished for two to three months in charred American Bourbon barrels. The 40%-abv entry marks the third expression in Espolòn’s U.S. lineup, joining the brand’s Blanco and Reposado entries (both $25.99 a 750-ml). Espolòn Bourbon Barrel-Finished Añejo will be available nationwide, priced at $34.99 a bottle. An Impact “Hot Prospect,” Espolòn was up 33.3% in the U.S. last year to 100,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Anchor Distilling Company is releasing a second edition of The Glenrothes 1992 Vintage Single Malt Whiskey to the U.S. market this October. The latest edition is bottled at 44.3% abv and was aged 10 years longer than the first release of the liquid from 2004, resting in a mixture of refilled Sherry butts and American Bourbon casks. The 1992 vintage will be available through Anchor Distilling at $249.99 a bottle.

•Provence rosé continues to surge in the U.S. market, with shipments growing 20% by volume and 26% by value in the 12 months through May, according to French customs data. Most of the category’s growth appears to be occurring at the premium and above level, with imported premium rosés (above $12 a bottle) rising 55% by volume and 67% by value in the 52 weeks through June 21, according to Nielsen. The average retail price for imported premium rosé in Nielsen channels recently reached a new high of $16.80 a bottle.

•Louisville-based Michter’s Distillery has debuted a new limited-edition American whiskey, US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon. The new offering, which retails at $48 a 750-ml., first undergoes normal barrel-aging to full maturation before being finished in barrels that have been toasted for a precise length of time—but not charred like typical Bourbon barrels. Like Michter’s original US*1 Bourbon, the limited Toasted Barrel Finish expression is 91.4 proof.

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