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News Briefs for February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

•Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 2020, 1975 Glenfiddich, and newcomers from Westland and Crabbie’s are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest whiskey roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Ardbeg, part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio, is launching Ardbeg Blaaack to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Ardbeg Committee. The Islay-based whisky maker twenty years ago formed the committee to safeguard the legacy of the brand; it now boasts more than 100,000 members worldwide who are consulted on new bottlings and expressions. Named in reference to the sheep that the distillery takes its name from, Blaaack is a limited-edition release aged in Pinot Noir casks sourced from New Zealand and bottled at 46% abv. It retails at $140 a 750-ml.

•Portuguese wine group Sogrape is launching Mateus Dry Rosé, a new expression with a drier style and a taller bottle than the original Mateus. Marketed by Sogrape’s U.S. arm Evaton, Mateus Dry Rosé rolls out this spring with the 2019 vintage, retailing at $13 a 750-ml.

•Italian fine wine importer Empson USA has been named the US importer for Piedmont winery Torraccia del Piantavigna. Founded in 1997, Torraccia del Piantavigna owns 36 acres of vineyards in the Piedmont DOCGs of Ghemme and Gattinara. Empson will be handling Torraccia del Piantavigna’s Ghemme and Gattinara DOCG labels (both $49 a 750-ml.), as well as its Erbavoglio ($16) and Nem ($18) wines from the Colline Novaresi DOC.

•Napa-based Quintessential Wines has tapped Dewey McBride as director of California retail chains, a newly created role within the company. McBride will work with the management of key, California-based retail chains, securing and maintaining placements for Quintessential’s portfolio. Prior to joining Quintessential, McBride served as national chain account manager at Kobrand and also spent time with Hill Wine Co. and Southern Glazer’s.

•Vinfolio, the San Francisco-based fine wine sales and service provider, has named Adam Lapierre as its new CEO. Lapierre, who’s been with Vinfolio for the past two years, has held a number industry positions, including roles at supermarket giant Lidl and fine wine importer Frederick Wildman & Sons. Vinfolio’s co-owner and current CEO, Don St. Pierre, now relinquishes the CEO role to become chairman. St. Pierre invested in Vinfolio back in 2016, acquiring a majority stake and becoming CEO. He’s best known as the co-founder of ASC Fine Wines, which was launched in 1996 and became China’s leading wine importer in the late 1990s and early 2000s before its sale to Suntory Holdings in 2009. Vinfolio posted revenues of $28 million in 2019.

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