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

News Briefs for October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

•Legendary winemaker Jean-Bernard Delmas, best known for his decades of work at Bordeaux first-growth Haut-Brion, has died at age 83. Jean-Bernard Delmas’ career at Domaine Clarence Dillon spanned 42 vintages, beginning in 1961 and ending with the 2003 vintage. During that time, he garnered respect as a modernizer and innovator. Delmas was born at Haut-Brion in 1935. His father, Georges Delmas, had been the estate manager since 1923. The year Jean-Bernard was born, American financier Clarence Dillon bought Haut-Brion for $155,000. The two families have been intertwined in winemaking ever since. Wine Spectator has more on Delmas’ life and career.

•Diageo and partner Sean “Diddy” Combs have launched a new limited edition Cîroc vodka flavor extension, White Grape. Retailing at $34 a 750-ml., Cîroc White Grape is recommended to be served in a White Grape 75 with Champagne, a sugar cube, and bitters. The newcomer is rolling out nationwide with a focus on top on-premise accounts. Cîroc was down 3.7% to 1.5 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Constellation Brands has promoted Mallika Monteiro to executive vice president and chief growth and strategy officer. Monteiro joined Constellation in 2016 as vice president, beer innovation, and was most recently senior vice president and chief growth officer. In her new role, she will be responsible for consumer and category insights, innovation, and new product development across beer, wine, and spirits, as well as the company’s strategy development and business transformation functions. She will also serve as a member of Constellation’s executive management committee.

•The San Antonio, Texas-based owner of Gabriel’s Liquors, Don’s & Ben’s, and Discount Liquor has declared bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 11 protection as the retail group restructures. Local reports indicate that a failed merger with an unnamed Texas company, coupled with the spread of Total Wine and other big-box retailers in the Lone Star State, put Gabriel’s under pressure in recent years. The company’s 49 businesses—including 16 registered as D&B Liquor, 15 as Don’s & Ben’s, 14 as Gabriel’s, one as Dollar Liquor Store, one as Gabriel’s/Don’s & Ben’s Liquor/Fiesta Wholesale Liquors, one as Riverwalk Wine & Spirits, and one as Seazar’s—were placed on the Texas ABC delinquent list, which prevented it from purchasing from wholesalers. According to local outlet The Rivard Report, the company will close five stores this month and up to 10 more in the near future, but the bankruptcy agreement will allow Gabriel’s to resume wholesale purchasing as it works toward solvency.

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