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

News Briefs for February 27, 2019

February 27, 2019

•Diageo is launching a new Untold Stories Series of whiskies from Islay’s Port Ellen distillery. Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe is a 39-year-old single malt Scotch that’s among the oldest offerings ever released from Port Ellen, which closed in 1983 but is set to reopen in 2021. The prestige whisky (50.9% abv) is launching at select retailers nationwide in a supply of 1,500 bottles, retailing at £4,500 ($5,960) apiece. More bottlings from Port Ellen: The Untold Stories Series will follow in due course.

•WX Brands has expanded its Bread & Butter Wines brand with the addition of a rosé. The inaugural 2018 vintage is a Grenache-based blend from California that will retail for $16. It joins Bread & Butter’s existing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon offerings. Bread & Butter Rosé is now available in select markets and will roll out nationally later this year. Bread & Butter has enjoyed strong progress in the U.S. recently, with depletions leaping 60% to above 300,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Edward Lauber, founder of importer and distributor Lauber Imports, passed away February 20 in New York City after a long illness. Born in New Jersey in 1931, Lauber worked in the industry for years before founding his own company in 1979. Starting out as a one-man operation, Lauber built relationships with Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Bordeaux and Armand Cottin of Burgundy négoçiant firm Labouré-Roi, growing Lauber Imports into a key player in the fine wine market. In 2005, Lauber Imports was acquired by Southern Wine & Spirits. Lauber is survived by Marsha Palanci, his wife of 41 years, two sons from a previous marriage, and six grandchildren.

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