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News Briefs for October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019

•Anivin De France, the trade association leading the charge for France’s national wine designation, reports that the category grew considerably in the U.S. in the year ending in June 2019. According to the association, Vin de France volume was up by 9% to 1.7 million cases and value grew by 11% during the 12-month period. Total sales in the U.S. reached $57 million for the year, making the U.S. the no.-2 export market for Vin de France wines. Although the category enjoyed a strong year, French winemakers and their importers now face a 25% tariff on table wines under 14% abv, potentially hampering the growing category moving forward.

•Massachusetts-based M.S. Walker has been named the exclusive U.S. importer of Islay Mist. The first offering from the blended Scotch brand is Islay Mist 8-year-old, a blend of whisky from the Laphroaig distillery and Speyside malt aged in Bourbon casks. Featuring a new custom bottle and label, the 40% abv blend is currently rolling out nationally at $26 a 750-ml. Islay Mist also produces Original, Palo Cortado, 10-year-Old, and 12-year-old whiskies.

•Rémy Martin has launched “Team Up For Excellence,” a new global marketing campaign. At its core are two films, both directed by Brazilian director Vellas. The first highlights the various stages of the Cognac production process, as told by Rémy Martin cellar master Baptiste Loiseau, viticulture consulting manager Laura Morney, estates manager Julien Georget, and cooperage manager Michael Meunier. The second film, “Start-up,” showcases burgeoning companies and the ideas that first got them off the ground. Rémy Martin rose 4.5% to 930,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Shoreham, Vermont-based WhistlePig has announced the latest release in its luxury Boss Hog series, The Samurai Scientist. The 61% abv whisky is a single barrel straight rye whisky made using koji fermentation (koji is a mold that converts starch to sugar), sourced from Canada, and matured for 16 years before finishing in Japanese umeshu-seasoned barrels from Kitaya. The Samurai Scientist is named for the Japanese chemist Jōkichi Takamine, who pioneered koji fermentation in American whiskey. WhistlePig The Boss Hog: Samurai Scientist will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. for a suggested price of $500.

•Champagne Henriot has released a vintage rosé Champagne. A blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay sourced from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards, Champagne Henriot Rosé Vintage 2012 was aged five years on the lees. The brand only produces vintage-dated rosé Champagnes in exceptional years; prior to the 2012 release, the last vintage rosé in the U.S. was the 2008, which was preceded by the 1990. The new Champagne is rolling out across the U.S., retail priced at $125 a 750-ml. Maisons & Domaines Henriot America imports the brand.

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