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News Briefs for July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

•Diageo has released Buchanan’s Select 15-Year-Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, a new permanent extension to the brand. The 40%-abv whisky is blended from single malts selected by master blender Craig Wallace, who was responsible for past limited single malt releases from Diageo distilleries. Buchanan’s Select 15-Year-Old Blended Malt is now available nationwide for a suggested price of $50. In 2017, Buchanan’s was up 3.1% to 500,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•E. & J. Gallo has linked with online commerce giant Alibaba on a new three-year deal, which will see Gallo boost its e-commerce presence in China. Under the agreement, Alibaba’s Tmall platform will host a new E. & J. Gallo Winery flagship store, which will feature more than 20 of Gallo’s premium brands, including Apothic, Carnivor, Dark Horse, Gallo Signature Series, Orin Swift, La Marca, William Hill Estate Winery, J Vineyards, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, and others. Gallo had previously partnered with Tmall on its Carlo Rossi, Peter Vella and Gallo Family Vineyards brands. Gallo’s new Tmall store will launch September 9.

•Pernod Ricard’s Absolut vodka has extended its flavor portfolio with the launch of Absolut Grapefruit. Rolling out nationwide, the grapefruit-infused entry is made with no added sugar or artificial coloring, and retails at $20 a 750-ml. or $25 a 1-liter. Absolut Grapefruit’s debut follows last year’s successful rollout of Absolut Lime. The overall Absolut franchise, however, was down roughly 3% to 3.8 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Edrington has launched The Macallan Edition No. 4, the latest release in the limited-edition brand extension. Edition No. 4 is blended from Sherry-seasoned European and American oak from Tevasa, Jose y Miguel Martin, Diego Martin Rosado (all European oak), and Vasyma (American oak). The whisky is bottled at 48.4% abv and packaged with a signed print of The Macallan’s new distillery. Edition No. 4 is rolling out to select retailers across the U.S. this month with a suggested price of $100.

•Gruppo Mezzacorona’s Sicilian wine brand Stemmari is adding a new wine to its lineup this fall. Intended to showcase Sicily’s signature grape varietal, Stemmari’s Hedonis Riserva is made with 100% Nero d’Avola and will retail at around $50 a 750-ml. The 13%-abv offering joins a Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Moscato and a pair of blends—Dalila and Cantodoro—in Stemmari’s existing portfolio. Stemmari is handled in the U.S. by Mezzacorona subsidiary Prestige Wine Imports.

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