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News Briefs for November 15, 2017

November 15, 2017

•Wine Spectator has revealed numbers 10 through seven of its Top 100 Wines of 2017Numbers six and five will be unveiled today, with four, three and two coming tomorrow. The Wine of the Year will be announced on Friday. Sister publication Whisky Advocate is also in the midst of its countdown of the Top 20 Whiskies of the YearTomorrow it reveals whiskies number three and two, as well as its Whisky of the Year. Both publications will release their full lists on Monday, November 20.

•Craft + Estate, a member of The Winebow Group, has been appointed the exclusive importer of Leclerc Briant Champagne to the U.S. Leclerc Briant has been producing organic Champagne since the 1960s and was among the first producers to bottle single-vineyard Champagnes in the 1970s. The importer will bring to market the Leclerc Briant Brut Réserve, Brut Rosé, Extra Brut Millésime, La Croisette Brut and Blanc de Meuniers Premier Cru Brut Zéro. Leclerc Briant produces around 120,000 bottles a year. The Winebow Group has annual volume of about 1.4 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Edrington’s The Macallan has debuted the Exceptional Single Cask range, a new line of seven unique Scotch whiskies. The Macallan’s whisky makers sampled and bottled each of the new whiskies straight from seven Sherry-seasoned casks. As a result, the line is comprised of seven subtly different expressions, ranging from 12 to 22 years old. The Exceptional Single Cask range is available in limited amounts across the U.S., retailing at $250-$1,300 a 750-ml.

•In recent days, SND reported that tech and logistics platform Thirstie would be facilitating Moët Hennessy’s new Clos19 e-commerce site. Now, the tech group has officially unveiled Thirstie Enterprise, billed as a fully integrated e-commerce platform that can enable customers to order Champagne, wine, beer and spirits directly from the websites of global alcohol brands for delivery, in concert with the three-tier system. Thirstie says the new Enterprise platform also provides brands with an extensive look into consumer habits and preferences, allowing them to market products and develop an understanding of buying behaviors. Thirstie Enterprise is aligned with a national network of local alcohol retailers supported by traditional distributors.

•Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, handled in the U.S. by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, is launching new “CityScape” gift packaging for its Brut Reserve expression for the holiday season. Feuillatte’s limited edition gift boxes, retailing at $36, feature the iconic skylines of U.S. cities including New York, Miami, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles. The special Feuillatte holiday packs are rolling out now. Ranked fourth among all Champagne brands in the U.S., Nicolas Feuillatte was up 8% to 62,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Four of California’s top chefs will be serving a lavish four-course dinner as part of a charity fundraiser to benefit relief efforts in the aftermath of October’s devastating wildfires in California wine country. “A Night of Friendship & Fellowship” will be held the evening of Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. Wine Spectator, a major sponsor of the initiative, has all the details. 

•Small Town Craft Spirits, an offshoot of Small Town Brewery (known for its Not Your Father’s Root Beer brand), is introducing its first Bourbon, called Not Your Father’s Bourbon. It’s promoted as a small-batch spirit, with a modest amount of Madagascar vanilla added. The 43% abv offering retails at $29.99 a 750-ml. Distribution initially is in Illinois and Wisconsin—the Bourbon is produced in Monroe, Wisconsin—with plans to take the brand nationwide early next year.

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