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News Briefs for December 16, 2014

December 16, 2014

•California winemaker Sutter Home Family Vineyards, part of the Trinchero Family Estates group, has launched a new red blend simply called Sutter Home Red Blend. The new release is made from California Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s packaged with a distinctive black label—a look that has become a prevailing trend among recent California red wine releases. Sutter Home Red Blend has a suggested retail price of $6.99 and is available nationwide.

•Spanish Cava brand Segura Viudas has debuted a new Gran Cuvée Reserva and updated the packaging across its line. The newest offering is a hand-harvested blend of Spain’s Macabeo and Parellada grapes as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which is aged on the lees in the winery’s subterranean caves. Gran Cuvée Reserva ($14) joins the estate’s top cuvee, Reserva Heredad ($25), as well as Brut, Brut Rosé and Extra Dry (all $10). The line is also receiving a new modern packaging design prominently featuring the Segura Viudas crest that celebrates the winery’s history. Segura Viudas is owned and operated by Spain’s Ferrer family of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia and imported by Freixenet USA.

•Concha y Toro’s Casillero del Diablo brand has partnered with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils to become the hockey team’s official wine for the 2014-15 season. Building on a relationship with the team that began several years ago, Casillero del Diablo’s new sponsorship agreement will see the brand’s Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc featured at premium clubs, bars, lounges and suites at the Devils’ home ice arena, The Prudential Center in Newark, extending beyond hockey season through next August for selected concerts and other events. Marketed in the U.S. by Excelsior Wines—Concha y Toro’s joint venture with Banfi Vintners—Casillero del Diablo was up 4% to nearly 400,000 cases stateside last year.

Heaven Hill Distilleries is changing its name to Heaven Hill Brands, concurrent with the start of its 80th year in business, to reflect the increasing diversity of the company’s portfolio. Founded by the five Shapira brothers in 1935 to produce Bourbon and other premium American whiskies, Heaven Hill has branched out over the last three decades into other categories such as vodka (Burnett’s), liqueurs (Pama), brandy (Christian Brothers) and rum (Admiral Nelson’s). “Our new name and logo illustrate that broader identity and will properly position us for the next 80 years,” said Heaven Hill Brands president Max Shapira.

•Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has partnered with New York ad agency Burns Group to debut the first-ever advertising campaign for California wine brand Josh Cellars. Titled “Long Live Josh,” the new campaign puts the focus on winemaker Joseph Carr’s father, Josh, the Army vet and former volunteer firefighter who is the brand’s namesake. The push is set to run across print, digital and video platforms, targeting Josh Cellars’ core 35- to 44-year-old male demographic. Launched by Carr in 2005, the Josh Cellars portfolio includes six varietals sourced from throughout California and priced at around $13 a 750-ml. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Josh Cellars is projected to hit 600,000 cases on 80% growth this year.

•Austin, Texas-based Z Tequila has added a new Gran Reserva label to its lineup of 100%-agave offerings. Aged for four years, Z Tequila’s The Zevada Family Gran Reserva is classified as an Extra Añejo Tequila. The super-premium entry will be limited to 500 cases, carrying a retail price of around $69 a 750-ml. The Zevada Family Gran Reserva joins Z Tequila’s existing Z Blanco, Z Reposado and Z Añejo entries, which are distributed across Texas by RNDC.

 

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