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News Briefs for April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015

•Palm Bay International is adding a new Select Red Blend under its Cavit brand. Retailing at $9 a 750-ml. Cavit Select Red Blend is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Teroldego and Syrah from northern Italy’s Trentino region. The second-largest imported wine brand in the U.S. market, Cavit rose 1% to 3.6 million cases in 2014, according to Impact Databank.

•Campari America is augmenting Skyy vodka’s range with the launch of Skyy Barcraft, a new cocktail-inspired flavor line. Making its debut with three 60-proof expressions, Barcraft features Watermelon Fresca, Margarita Lime and White Sangria entries. According to Campari, the lineup is designed for use in simple, two-ingredient cocktails, created by mixing each Barcraft flavor with club soda. The trio will be available in 50-ml. (Watermelon Fresca and Margarita Lime only), 750-ml. and 1-liter formats, priced at around $18.49 a 750-ml. Skyy Barcraft joins Skyy’s 15-entry Infusions range in the brand’s flavored vodka stable.

•Free Flow Wines is introducing what it says are the first sparkling wine and sake offerings in keg format. The Napa-based wine-on-tap provider has partnered with Banfi Vintners on a national launch of Banfi’s Eufloria sparkling wine in kegs, beginning this month. Meanwhile, Vine Connections has linked with Free Flow to offer its Bushido “Way of the Warrior” Junmai Genshu sake in kegs nationally starting this fall (following a California debut this spring). Free Flow says more than 3,900 on-premise locations nationwide are now marketing wines on tap, with strong growth ongoing. The company recently told SND it shipped the equivalent of 160,000 nine-liter cases last year, representing a doubling in volume compared with 2013.

•Beam Suntory is extending its Cruzan rum portfolio with a new Blueberry Lemonade flavor, which is rolling out nationally. A blend of Cruzan rum with blueberries and citrus, the Blueberry Lemonade offering ($15 a 750-ml.) joins 14 existing flavors in the Cruzan stable. The Cruzan brand line also includes Single Barrel, Estate Diamond Aged Dark, Estate Diamond Aged Light, Aged Dark, Aged Light and Black Strap rums.

•Luxco is targeting the high-end Bourbon market with a new brand proposition, Blood Oath. The franchise’s first product, Blood Oath Pact No. 1, is a blend of three Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskies ranging in age from six to 12 years. The blend, which is bottled at 98.6 proof and retails at $90 a 750-ml., is available nationally in limited quantities. Blood Oath will follow up its inaugural product with a new “Pact” offering each year.

•Italy’s Avignonesi is relaunching its Grandi Annate Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG in a new style, marking the wine’s first release in five years. Grandi Annate 2011 is a single-varietal Sangiovese offering sourced exclusively from 40-year-old vines at Avignonesi’s I Poggetti estate. The new vintage differs from previous incarnations of Grandi Annate, which were blends of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Moving forward, Grandi Annate will be a pure Sangiovese made in the best years, with some vintages sourced from single vineyards (like the 2011) and others potentially a blend of more vineyards. Now in national distribution, Grandi Annate retails at $95 a bottle. Belgian-born Virginie Saverys acquired Avignonesi—which owns 495 acres of vines across Montepulciano DOCG and Cortona DOC—in 2009, and has implemented organic and biodynamic farming across the business.

•Glazer’s of Canada has been awarded countrywide rights to the Rémy Cointreau portfolio, effective June 1. The move will see Glazer’s, the U.S. market’s fourth-largest spirits and wine wholesaler, handle Rémy’s Louis XIII, Rémy Martin, St. Rémy, Mount Gay, Cointreau, Bruichladdich and Metaxa brands in Canada. Glazer’s established its Canada unit in 2013, basing its headquarters in Toronto (last year it added Tito’s vodka to its roster in the country). In addition to Canada and its 15 U.S. wholesale markets, Glazer’s international footprint also includes the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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