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News Briefs for July 1, 2019

July 1, 2019

•In October, Tuscany’s Masseto will debut Massetino 2017, the inaugural vintage of the producer’s second wine. The wine will be available in very limited quantities in select accounts in Italy and the U.S. The 2017 Tuscan vintage was particularly hot and dry, resulting in a smaller production run for Masseto, and thus an opportune vintage to debut a second wine. Massetino, like the core label, is 100% Merlot, sourced from a single vineyard on the Tuscan coast. Masseto, which is part of the Frescobaldi family’s estates and wineries, is imported by Vintus in the U.S. market.

•Diageo is launching a new Johnnie Walker Black Label “Origin Series” of 12-year-old blended Scotch whiskies. Rolling out in global travel retail, the Origin Series includes Highlands, Islay, Speyside, and Lowlands expressions and is intended to highlight those regions’ signature whisky styles. Johnnie Walker’s new collection is debuting this month, retailing at $46 a 1-liter bottle. Diageo recently received approval from the Edinburgh City Council Planning Committee to move forward with a £150 million ($195m) multi-sensory, immersive visitor experience for Johnnie Walker in the city’s historic 146 Princes Street building.

•A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by The Vineyard House against Constellation Brands over the To Kalon vineyard trademark. Constellation’s motion to dismiss was granted by U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers last week, although The Vineyard House, led by Jeremy Nickel, has the opportunity to amend its complaint. The Vineyard House claims that Constellation subsidiary Robert Mondavi Corporation fraudulently obtained a trademark of To Kalon and that Constellation has marketed it deceptively. Nickel also contends that a portion of The Vineyard House property is part of the original To Kalon Vineyard, and thus should be entitled to use the name for its own purposes. Meanwhile, Constellation is launching a new high-end Napa wine under the To Kalon brand in September.

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