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News Briefs for September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

•Sonoma County, California-based Rodney Strong Wine Estates has added a new wine to its super-premium Upshot lineup. A blend of Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc sourced from vineyards across the Sonoma, Monterey, and Mendocino Counties, Upshot White Blend joins a previously released Red Blend in the Upshot range. Around 2,500 cases of the new offering were produced.

•Edrington has launched the latest release in the Macallan Fine & Rare series, a 1979 vintage Scotch. The 57.2% abv whisky was barreled on February 19, 1979 and has spent the last 40 years maturing. According to the company, the whisky is gently peated and has flavors of dried fruits, ginger, and oak. The Macallan Fine & Rare 1979 is now available in the U.S. and select global markets in very limited quantities for a suggested price of $14,500 a 750-ml.

•Latitude Beverage has added a Lambrusco to its 90+ Cellars brand. The 8% abv wine is made in the Charmat method and is sourced from the Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC. 90+ Cellars Lot 172 Lambrusco is now available throughout the company’s distribution footprint for around $13 a bottle. 90+ Cellars was up 5.1% to 412,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Breakthru Beverage Group has bolstered its national accounts team with four new appointments reporting to executive vice president, national accounts, Gus Bozzo. The new appointees include vice presidents Ezra Henson national accounts category development; Cristina Desmond, national accounts retail; Mike Maihen, national accounts on-premise; and Chris Houk, national accounts client services. Henson comes to Breakthru from Constellation, while Maihen was previously with Brown-Forman and Desmond and Houk were internal promotions. National retail and on-premise customers account for nearly 30% of Breakthru’s overall beverage alcohol sales. The distribution giant is projected to reach $5.4 billion in revenue this year, according to Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

•Viña Concha y Toro’s Don Melchor has launched as an independent winery focused exclusively on its namesake brand. The aim is to highlight the terroir of the Puente Alto vineyard in the upper Maipo Valley from which the wine’s grapes are sourced. The 2017 Don Melchor ($120 a 750-ml.) is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 2% Cabernet Franc blended in, and will debut stateside in October. Moving forward, Viña Don Melchor will stand apart from the rest of the Concha y Toro portfolio, which includes such tiers as Casillero del Diablo and Marques de Casa Concha.

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