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

News Briefs for October 10, 2018

October 10, 2018

•Moët Hennessy posted a 7% organic increase in sales to €3.6 billion ($4.1b) in the nine months through September, representing the first three quarters of its fiscal year. The luxury goods giant noted that its Champagne volumes were stable during the nine-month period, with its prestige-level labels performing ahead of the rest of the portfolio. Meanwhile, Hennessy Cognac continued to rise despite supply constraints, led by the U.S. and Chinese markets. The brand’s volumes grew by 4% in the first three quarters of the year.

•E.&J. Gallo’s Orin Swift Cellars has launched 8 Years in the Desert, a new Zinfandel-based blend from winemaker Dave Phinney. A blend of 56% Zinfandel, 34% Petite Sirah, and 10% Syrah, the new entry ($50) is rolling out nationally in a supply of 40,000 cases with a particular focus on the on-premise and high-end retail. The national release follows a limited, luxury-priced version of 8 Years in the Desert ($1,000 for eight bottles), which launched the Zinfandel-blend in a custom made wine box with hand-applied mixed-media labels and 13 unique stories written by Dave Phinney. The launch marks Phinney’s first Zinfandel since he sold The Prisoner to Huneeus Vintners in 2010.

•Compass Box will be pouring its two newest labels, The Story of the Spaniard and the 2018 Flaming Heart, at this year’s WhiskyFest San Francisco on November 2. Both expressions launched last month. The Story of the Spaniard ($65), a permanent addition to the range, is a 43%-abv blended malt whisky comprised of 48% Sherry-aged whisky, 25% whisky matured in Spanish red wine casks, and the balance matured in French oak. The 2018 release of Flaming Heart is a 48.9%-abv bottling blended from whiskies aged in heavily toasted French oak and smoky Islay malts. Flaming Heart retails at $150 a 750-ml., with 800 magnums also being released at $330. More information on WhiskyFest San Francisco can be found here.

•Shaw-Ross International has made two new senior appointments to its sales team. Ken Jarecki, formerly vice president of national accounts, has been named senior vice president, control states. Jarecki has been with Shaw-Ross for 22 years. Meanwhile, industry veteran Forrest Nussbaum has joined Shaw-Ross as senior vice president of national accounts. Nussbaum’s industry experience includes time with Diageo, Pernod Ricard, and Concha y Toro.

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