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

News Briefs for July 16, 2019

July 16, 2019

•There’s a new Scotch coming, courtesy of pro golfer Cristie Kerr and Loch Lomond Distillery. The 48.1% abv whisky was distilled in 2002 and matured in ex-Bourbon casks at Loch Lomond, and then finished for 10 months in casks from Kerr’s St. Helena, California winery, Kerr Cellars. The finishing casks, made of French oak from the Vosges, originally held Kerr’s 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, a wine that scored 94 points in Wine Spectator. Along with the whisky’s release, Loch Lomond has announced that Kerr is its newest brand ambassador. Whisky Advocate has the full story.

•E. & J. Gallo has been named the exclusive importer for Dave Phinney’s Department 66 wine brand. Made in the South of France, the Department 66 lineup includes D66 ($38), a GSM blend; Others ($28), a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, and Mourvedre; Fragile ($18), a Grenache-based rosé; Façade ($32), a 100% Grenache Gris; and Pharaon ($175), a blend of old vine Grenache and Syrah that’s only released in strong vintage years. The wines, previously imported by Vintage Point, are available nationwide.

•Charlotte, North Carolina-based Fundamental Beverages has launched Newground Hard Dutch Latte, a new malt- and coffee-based beverage, in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The new brand comes in two flavors, Café Latte and Chai Latte, and is canned at 5% abv. Both flavors are made with Dutch cream and packaged with nitro for a creamy pour. Newground Hard Dutch Latte is available in individual and 4-packs of 6.76-ounce cans for around $3 and $12, respectively. The company intends to continue rolling out Newground to new states throughout the year.

•The Bordeaux Wine Council has named Bernard Fages as its new president, replacing Allan Sichel. Fages, who will serve a three-year term, previously chaired the Council from 2013 to 2016, as well as the Union of AOC Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur wines. A winegrower based in the Entre-deux-Mers region, Fages will look to burnish the Bordeaux brand for younger consumers, leveraging the Council’s €35 million ($39m) budget for 2019. Bordeaux volume in the U.S. was roughly flat at 2.2 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank, but value leapt 20% to €279 million ($313m).

•Ming River Sichuan Baijiu, imported by Park Street, has named Antoinette Cattani as market development manager for the U.S. A 20-year industry veteran, Cattani has spent time with Sidney Frank Importing, Southern Wine & Spirits, and Fernet-Branca, before launching her own company Cattani Imports and working with brands like Bols Genever, Chartreuse, Damrak Gin, and Becherovka. Made at Luzhou Laojiao, China’s oldest continuously operating distillery, Ming River is at 45% abv.

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