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News Briefs for April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

•Champagne Bollinger is launching La Grande Année 2008, a new prestige cuvée. Aged on the lees for more than nine years, the vintage Champagne is composed of 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay, sourced 84% from Grand Crus and 16% from Premier Crus. This release also marks new packaging for Bollinger’s vintage bubblies, including a narrower-necked bottle and wooden gift box. Bollinger is imported by Vintus in the U.S. market.

•Irving, Texas-based Silver Screen Bottling Co. will release The Fixer, a blended whiskey based on the Showtime series Ray Donovan. Named for the titular character’s underworld profession, The Fixer is now in pre-sales for $40 a 750-ml. before shipping begins in June. The 45% abv blend is 40% four-year-old Bourbon and 60% two-year-old whiskey. Ray Donovan, which has aired six seasons, stars Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. Silver Screen Bottling has previously produced tie-in spirits for Star Trek and the movie Predator.

•Winebow Imports’ premium Italian wine division Leonardo LoCascio Selections (LLS) has been named the exclusive U.S. importer of Lini, a winery in the Emilia-Romagna region specializing in Lambrusco wines. Started by Oreste Lini in the town of Correggio, the winery began making Lambrusco in 1910 and is still owned and operated by the Lini family. LLS will import Lini’s entry level Labrusca series, including Bianco, Rosso, Rosato, and their higher-tier In Correggio series, including Rosso, Rosato, and Metodo Classico Rosso, the last of which has been aged 10 years on the lees.

•Beam Suntory’s Jim Beam will donate $5 million to the University of Kentucky to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. Part of the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, the program will build off an existing certificate in Distillation, Wine, and Brewing Studies, established in 2014, to offer courses in engineering, chemistry, business, law, horticulture, forestry, food science, and entomology for a rounded education that addresses sustainable agriculture, research and development, and other areas beyond the pure science of distilling. The gift is the single largest philanthropic contribution in Beam Suntory’s history.

•Stoli Group USA has announced two key appointments to bolster its Kentucky Owl brand. First, the company has hired Lee Tatum as managing director of Kentucky Owl. Tatum joins with over 25 years of experience in the spirits world, having served as vice president and director of portfolio innovation at Brown-Forman, working on Slane Irish Whiskey, King of Kentucky, and Cooper’s Craft. In addition, Jim Beam Noe has signed on to consult on Stoli’s Kentucky Owl Park distillery and tourism facility. Noe brings significant expertise to the project, joining the team following the completion of the Jim Beam Heritage Center and Visitors’ Experience.

•Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) has promoted Ivan Gorsky to vice president of sales for Washington, D.C. Gorsky brings nearly three decades of experience to the position, including roughly five years at RNDC, where he initially joined as vice president of marketing for Pernod brands. Before joining the distribution giant, Gorsky worked at Pernod Ricard USA as spirits business unit director for Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. He also has years of experience at companies like Treasury Wine Estates, Romano Bros. Beverage Co., and Jackson Family Wines, among others. He will begin in his new role on April 22.

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