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News Briefs for September 25, 2014

September 25, 2014

•Diageo’s Smirnoff vodka has extended its flavor stable with the addition of its new Smirnoff Sours range. The lineup, which features Green Apple, Watermelon and Fruit Punch expressions, is targeted toward the shot occasion and priced at $15.99 a 750-ml. The Sours launch will be supported by digital advertising, point-of-sale and on-premise initiatives. Smirnoff Sours brings Smirnoff’s flavor range—which also includes the brand’s recently-launched Sorbet Light lineup—to a total of 39 entries. The largest vodka brand in the U.S., Smirnoff was down 0.2% last year to 9.7 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Nicaraguan rum brand Flor de Caña, part of the William Grant & Sons USA (WGUSA) portfolio, is launching a new upscale entry, Centenario 25. Meant to be served neat or on the rocks, Centenario 25 is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and retails at $155 a 750-ml. It joins Centenario 12 and 18 rums in Flor de Caña’s upscale range. The brand portfolio also includes 4-, 5- and 7-year-old premium rums, as well as Gran Reserva 7 and the recently launched Blanco Reserva 7. Flor de Caña, which jumped from Campari America to WGUSA in the U.S. market this past summer, currently sells around 100,000 cases stateside, with two-thirds of its volume concentrated in Florida and Texas.

•Pernod Ricard’s Martell Cognac has created a new ultra-luxury limited edition, Martell Premier Voyage, to celebrate the brand’s upcoming 300th anniversary, which will be marked next year. The blend for Premier Voyage was made by cellar master Benoît Fil using founder Jean Martell’s original correspondence to seek out the descendants of his key suppliers, some of whom are still winegrowers today. The resulting Cognac is packaged in a teardrop-shaped Sèvres crystal decanter, of which 300 are being released worldwide at €10,000 ($12,800) apiece.

•New York-based Vias Imports, Ltd. has added Italy’s family-owned I Stefanini Winery to its portfolio of imported Italian fine wine brands. The Veneto-based winery, which sits on 20 hectares (45 acres) in the cool-climate area of Valle d’Alpone, produces a line of steel-aged Garganega varietal wines, which are indigenous to the Soave region. They include Il Selese Soave Classico DOC ($14.99), Monte de Toni Soave Classico DOC ($23.99) and Monte di Fice Soave Classico Superiore DOCG ($27.99). I Stefanini is the second producer from Soave to link with Vias, joining Suavia. Vias’ other wine labels include Produttori del Barbaresco and Damilano.


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