Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015

•Bacardi Ltd.’s John Dewar & Sons unit has unveiled a new single malt Scotch range produced at its Royal Brackla distillery in Nairn, Scotland. The new offerings include 12-year-old, 16-year-old and 21-year-old Royal Brackla expressions, each of which are 40% abv. The lineup is currently rolling out across 10 key global markets, including the U.S. In addition to Royal Brackla, Bacardi’s single malt Scotch stable includes the Aberfeldy, Glen Deveron, Craigellachie, The Deveron and Aultmore brands.

•E.&J. Gallo has acquired Talbott Vineyards, located in California’s Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. The deal includes the Talbott winery and brand, known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as the 525-acre Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. The sale is slated to close September 4. Wine Spectator has more.

•A new Target store planned for a small 24,000-square-foot “express” location in Chicago’s near north side has applied for a city license to serve beverage alcohol on-premise. If the license is granted, the Chicago Target would become the chain’s first store to serve its own alcohol when it opens in October. A nearby Whole Foods, open since January, features a full-service bar while Chicago’s Mariano’s chain also offers bar service in some of its supermarkets. Other grocery chains around the country, including Hy-Vee and Wegmans and Plum Market, are testing and promoting their own in-store bars.

•Chile’s GatoNegro, part of the Shaw-Ross International Importers portfolio, has updated its packaging for the first time in nearly a decade. Changes include an integration of the wine’s label into one graphic piece, more golden details and the addition of the 150-year seal of producer San Pedro, intended to highlight the long history of the brand. Retailing in the $7 range, GatoNegro is the third-largest Chilean wine brand in the U.S. market after Concha y Toro and Corbett Canyon, selling 665,000 cases in 2014, according to Impact Databank.

•Italian wine producer Tiziano has launched a new Sparkling Rosato in the U.S. Created to tap surging consumer interest in both rosé and sparkling wines, Tiziano Sparkling Rosato is a bubbly rosé made with Roboso grapes from Italy’s Euganei Hills. The 12%-abv entry is currently available nationwide, priced at $14.99. The Tiziano range, which is handled in the U.S. by South Carolina-based Total Beverage Solution, also includes a Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and a trio of Chianti DOCG wines.

•The word Vouvray will no longer appear on the labels of two of Vouvray’s leading winemakers—Jacky Blot, of Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, and François Chidaine. As of the 2013 vintage, the wines will be sold as Vin de France, thanks to a change in appellation laws the winemakers say they were blindsided by. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•A group of entrepreneurs led by industry veteran J. Smoke Wallin has partnered on Beach Whiskey ($28 a 750-ml.), a new super-premium American whiskey brand. Launching this fall, the new entry will include Original, Bonfire Cinnamon and Island Coconut expressions. In addition to Wallin, investors in the Beach Whiskey brand include TV and radio personality Billy Bush and entrepreneurs Andrew McGinnis and Kenny Dichter.

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