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News Briefs for January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

•Winemaker Russell Bevan just made two big moves in Napa Valley, Wine Spectator reports. He purchased the 41-acre Saunders Vineyard in Oakville and filed for a permit to build a winery nearby. Currently 7.5 acres of the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and Bevan identified an additional 7 to 12 acres that could further be developed for grapevines. The vineyard borders Dalle Valle and Oakville Ranch. Meanwhile, Bevan and the family who own Tench Vineyard have agreed to build a cave together, also in Oakville. The Tench Vineyard, which shares a fence line with both Screaming Eagle and Rudd, has been the source of grapes going into bottlings for Nickel & Nickel, Quivet Cellars and Bevan Cellars. Bevan said that he just signed a 35-year lease with the Tenches. In addition to building a cave with them on their property, Bevan will also control 90% of the 40 acres of Tench vines. The two new moves will increase Bevan Cellars’ small production by 4,000 cases annually.

•Campari America has extended its Skyy Infusions vodka range with the launch of Texas Grapefruit and Pacific Blueberry flavors. Made with natural ingredients, both 70-proof offerings will be available nationwide in 50-ml., 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter formats, priced at around $18.49 a 750-ml. The pair are positioned to tap the growing single-fruit flavored vodka segment, which, according to Campari America category marketing director, vodka Jason Daniel, has helped buoy the overall category following a steep decline in confectionary flavors. “When you exclude confectionary flavors, which are in free-fall and down -17.6%, flavored vodka is incredibly buoyant and growing at 9.6% (Nielsen),” Daniel said. Texas Grapefruit and Pacific Blueberry bring Skyy’s flavored Infusions stable to a total of 14 entries.

•Following its limited debut in August, MillerCoors’ Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale is seeing strong interest from consumers and outperforming expectations in its six test cities across Texas, California, New York and Colorado. The 5.5%-abv ale, inspired by the popular Latin American drink horchata and geared toward the growing Hispanic demographic, is the largest new craft beer release since August, according to Nielsen, and already ranks fourth among “spice” beers in case volume, MillerCoors told SND. More than 50% of Cinnamon Horchata’s volume is coming from drinkers who hadn’t purchased Blue Moon in the prior 13-week period, the company added. The Cinnamon Horchata extension is also available nationally in Blue Moon’s winter sampler pack.

•Single malt Scotch distiller Balblair is set to release four new vintages in the U.S. Rolling out this month, the new additions include Balblair 2003 and 1983, which are aged in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels, and Balblair 1999 and 1990, which are both matured in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels, with an addition of Spanish oak Sherry butts. Balblair 2003, 1999, 1990 and 1983 will be available across key U.S. markets, priced at $70, $90, $140 and $330, respectively. The distiller’s previous U.S. releases include its 1969, 1975, 1989, 1991, 1997, 2000 vintages. The Balblair portfolio is owned and handled in the U.S. by International Beverage Holdings Ltd., a subsidiary of ThaiBev.

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