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News Briefs for March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

•Robert Haas, a wine merchant who became a vintner when he cofounded Tablas Creek Vineyard in California and helped propagate over a million buds and cuttings of French vines, died March 18 at his home in Paso Robles. He was 90. Haas first worked for his father’s Manhattan wine and spirits retailer M. Lehmann, and established his own importer, Vineyard Brands, in 1973 in Vermont, with the Perrin family’s Chateau de Beaucastel as his primary client. Other clients included Marqués de Cáceres, Domaines Gouges, Warre’s Port, and many others. In 1989 Haas and the Perrin family went searching for limestone soils and a maritime climate in California, similar to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They purchased 120 acres in the western hills of Paso Robles. Tablas Creek Vineyard debuted with the construction of the winery in 1997. Wine Spectator has more on Haas’s life and career.

•Whyte & Mackay’s The Dalmore is set to release a 45-year-old single malt in April. The 40%-abv expression was initially aged in ex-Bourbon casks, and then transferred to Port pipes for additional development. After being married in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels, the whisky is bottled in a hand-blown Baccarat decanter featuring the brand’s Royal Stag symbol. The Dalmore 45 is a limited release, with 500 bottles available globally at a suggested retail price of $12,500 a 750-ml. E. & J. Gallo handles the Dalmore brand in the U.S.

•Latitude Beverage’s 90+ Cellars brand has introduced Lot 141 Prosecco. Made with organically farmed grapes sourced from northeastern Italy, the new sparkler undergoes secondary fermentation in pressurized tanks and rests on the lees for a month before bottling. The wine—which is 90+ Cellars’ first offering made with organic grapes—is available online and across 15 states, retail priced at $15 a 750-ml. An Impact “Hot Brand,” 90+ Cellars depleted 392,000 cases last year on growth of 11.4%.

•Mirabeau en Provence is launching its Pure Provence rosé in cans this spring. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Cinsault sourced from Coteaux Varois en Provence AOC, the Pure Provence cans will debut nationally at Whole Foods on April 5. They will sell in 4-packs of 250-ml. cans retailing at $20. Mirabeau en Provence is imported by Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits, which forecasts U.S. volume of about 19,000 cases for the brand this year.

•Folio Fine Wine Partners has named Clint Wilsey as vice president of sales, effective immediately. Wilsey began his career at Robert Mondavi Winery in the 1990s, moved to Wilson Daniels in 2005, and then transitioned to Silverado Vineyards, where he spent the past 11 years, most recently as vice president of sales and marketing. He will be based in Folio’s Napa office.

•Frederick Wildman & Sons has announced new leadership appointments for the company’s East, Central, and West divisions. Bill Seawright, who most recently served as vice president, national sales manager, has been appointed senior vice president of the company’s East Division; Tim Daffin, formerly assistant vice president, Southern Division manager, has been named vice president of the Central Division; and Barry Walsh, previously assistant vice president, West Division manager, is now vice president of the West Division. All three roles will report directly to Frederick Wildman & Sons president and COO Marc Hirten.

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