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

News Briefs for February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

•A new blended Bourbon from MGP, a Littlemill 40-year-old from Loch Lomond, a new single cask collection from Douglas Laing & Co., and two new whiskies from Germany are among the new releases profiled in Whisky Advocate’s latest whisk(e)y roundup.

•Winebow Imports division MundoVino, which focuses on premium wines from the Iberian peninsula and South America, has been named the exclusive U.S. importer of Bodegas Volver, which produces wines from La Mancha and Alicante in Spain. Bodegas Volver was founded in 2004 by fourth-generation viticulturist Rafael Cañizares. The portfolio includes a namesake brand retailing from $9-$16 and a Tarima range selling from $9-$50.

•Single malt Scotch whisky brand The Dalmore has collaborated with renowned chef Massimo Bottura to create The Dalmore L’Anima Aged 49 Years, an exclusive bottling that will be auctioned by Sotheby’s online from April 25-May 9, with no reserve. The lot will also include dinner for two at Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. The auction’s proceeds will benefit his non-profit community organization Food For Soul. The Dalmore L’Anima, created by Bottura and The Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson, is made of three assemblages from the distillery’s oldest casks—a marriage of whiskies matured in ex-small batch Bourbon barrels, ex-Gonzalez Byass casks that held 40-year-old PX Sherry, and ex-Graham’s Vintage Port pipes. The 41.5% abv whisky is packaged in a crystal decanter and a cabinet designed by Scottish craftsman John Galvin. Display bottles will be available for viewing at Sotheby’s in New York and Hong Kong starting April 29, with the original unveiled that day at Sotheby’s in London.

•Mezcal El Silencio has forged a multi-year partnership with the LA Galaxy and Dignity Health Sports Park to become the exclusive mezcal for both the stadium and soccer team. In addition, the partnership will also cover the Roxy Theater, the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, the Fonda Theater, and the El Rey Theater. AEG Global Partnerships brokered the agreement.

•Sonoma, California-based Don Sebastiani & Sons (DSS) has appointed Bonnie Wilson as spirits manager, a newly created role. Wilson will develop the branding and sales strategy for the company’s spirits portfolio, including Contigo, El Fumador, and El Macho Tequilas, among other brands in development. Wilson is a veteran of The Marketing Arm and FrontBurner Restaurants.

•Constellation Brands has promoted Karena Breslin to senior vice president of digital and media. Breslin joined the drinks giant in 2010 as director of digital marketing for wine and spirits, eventually becoming vice president of digital marketing in 2013. Since last year, she has served as vice president of digital marketing for beer and e-commerce, as well. In her new role, Breslin will oversee Constellation’s media, e-commerce, digital marketing, and marketing technology teams, reporting directly to CMO Jim Sabia.

•Gianfranco Soldera, the outspoken winemaker and owner of Montalcino’s Case Basse winery in Tuscany, died the morning of February 16. According to Italian media reports, Soldera was driving on a road near Montalcino when he suffered a heart attack. Efforts to revive him at the scene were unsuccessful. He was 82. Soldera was one of Montalcino’s most opinionated winemakers, unafraid of criticizing his neighbors when he felt their wines weren’t up to Brunello’s standards. He also strongly opposed proposals to allow grapes other than Sangiovese into Rosso di Montalcino. His own wines attracted a devoted group of fans. Wine Spectator has more on Soldera’s life and career.

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