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

News Briefs for October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

•Costco, the Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) and other allies have filed suit against the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to challenge rules that restrict businesses from negotiating prices on spirits and wine in the state. New rules adopted by the LCB in September set up a system of uniform quantity discounts for spirits, and specify how volume discounts may be calculated. The WRA says the new system prohibits businesses from taking advantage of pricing specials or “establishing a customer relationship beyond a single, one-time order,” and could result in price increases for consumers. Costco and the WRA have been joined in opposition to the new rules by the Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Lodging Association.

•Raymond Twomey Duncan, cofounder of Napa Valley’s Silver Oak Vineyards, died Oct. 9 at his home in Denver, Colo., Wine Spectator reports. He was 84. Duncan first visited Napa Valley in 1970 and soon afterward began buying vineyard land. He cofounded Silver Oak in 1972, and within a few years, had helped it grow into a Cabernet Sauvignon icon, still in high demand today. Raymond founded a second winery, Twomey Cellars, with his sons in 1999; the brand focuses on Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from both Napa and Sonoma counties. Duncan is survived by his wife, Sally, six children and 16 grandchildren.

•Boodles Gin, part of the Proximo Spirits portfolio, is introducing a new Mulberry variant in the U.S. Boodles Mulberry ($28.99 a 750-ml.) is launching as a limited edition for the holiday season. Proximo says the flavor is reminiscent of raspberries and currants and suggests the Mulberry gin be paired in cocktails with Champagne or whiskey, or as part of a holiday punch.

•Opici Wines’ Market Street Spirits division is expanding its Rebellion Bourbon brand with a limited edition 8-year-old offering. Rested in charred American oak barrels, Rebellion 8 Year Bourbon’s mash bill is 70% corn, 22% rye and 8% malted barley. The 90-proof offering is distilled and aged in Tennessee with a traditional copper still and bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky. Rebellion 8 Year Bourbon retails for about $50 a 750-ml. bottle, with each batch limited to about 2,500 bottles. Opici says the small-batch Rebellion brand, which is available in 28 states, has sold about 5,000 six-bottle cases in a 12-month period.

 

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