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News Briefs for November 20, 2014

November 20, 2014

•Sebastopol, California-based Paul Hobbs Imports has added Argentina’s El Porvenir de Cafayate to its portfolio. El Porvenir de Cafayate, which focuses on 100% estate wines from its vineyards in the Salta province 520 miles north of Mendoza, marks the first Torrontés and Tannat producer in the Paul Hobbs Imports stable. The winery’s products include two lines: Amauta and Laborum, both of which house a Torrontés and a Tannat, plus a red cuvée, with retail prices ranging from $16-$34.

•Spain’s Rioja region has reported a 2014 wine harvest total of 434 million kilograms (478,000 tons), up 18% from the previous year. The provisional tally includes 398 million kilograms of red grapes and 36 million kilograms of white grapes. On the whole, Rioja’s D.O.C.a. said the 2014 vintage shows both better quality and quantity than the area’s previous two vintages, on the strength of favorable weather during the growing cycle and despite “less than ideal” weather during harvest. In 2013, Rioja’s shipments to the U.S. jumped 18% to the equivalent of about 1.1 million cases, capping a run in which the category’s U.S. presence has expanded by nearly three-quarters since 2009.

•New York-based The Artisan Collection is set to add three new brands to its U.S. import portfolio. Starting next year, The Artisan Collection will introduce the S2 brand, produced by Spanish producer Somonte, which makes its debut with a Prieto Picudo ($20) varietal wine sourced from the northwestern part of Leon. Concurrently, the company will also roll out three offerings from Portugal’s Vale de Raposa brand—produced by Alves de Sousa—including two reds (around $20) and a white ($14) from the Douro. Lastly, a pair of wines from Lisboa, Portugal-based Quinta de Pancas will join the stable, including a Colheita Seleccionada ($20) and Azulado ($10.99). Headquartered in Brooklyn, The Artisan Collection specializes in wines from Spain, Portugal and other countries, with a focus on small- and medium-sized family-owned producers.

•Scotland’s Crucial Drinks has announced plans to introduce Grenada’s Six Saints rum in the U.S. next month. Produced by Grenada Distillers, Six Saints is billed as a handcrafted and traditional Caribbean rum, made without added spices or coloring. The 41.7%-abv entry, which is priced at $37 a 750-ml., will initially be available in New Jersey and Florida in December, before expanding into Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. by early 2015.

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