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News Briefs for February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016

•Diageo is debuting a special edition of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Launching nationwide in limited release, Johnnie Walker Blue Label 2016 Year of the Monkey marks the third annual Lunar New Year edition for the brand. Packaged in a commemorative bottle, the special offering is 43% abv and retails at $258 a 750-ml.

•California’s Niven Family Wine Estates has unveiled a new super-premium wine brand, True Myth, including a Paragon Vineyards Chardonnay ($18)—sourced from the Niven family’s Edna Valley estate—and a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($24). Made by Burgundian winemaker Christian Roguenant, both are launching nationwide. Niven Family’s other brands include Baileyana, Tangent, Zocker, Trenza and Cadre.

•Italian enologist Giacomo Tachis, one of the founders of the Italian wine renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s, died on February 6. He was 82. Tachis is widely credited with modernizing Tuscan winemaking, creating Tignanello and Solaia together with Piero Antinori and refining Sassicaia, the Bordeaux blend created in 1944 by Mario Incisa della Rocchetta. Tachis worked for Antinori for 30 years before going on to consult with a number of wineries around Italy. Wine Spectator has more on Tachis’ life and work.

•Irvine, California-based importer, marketer and private label supplier G.K. Skaggs has named Patrick Graney as vice president, sales. A 30-year industry veteran, Graney was previously general manager of International Beverage, a subsidiary of ThaiBev. G.K. Skaggs’ portfolio includes San Miguel beer, Fernz wines from New Zealand and Ginebra San Miguel, among other brands.

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