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

News Briefs for April 7, 2020

April 7, 2020

•Taking cues from whisky’s success, Cognac is exploring innovation. Once staid producers are rethinking maturation techniques, age statements, and blending (or lack thereof) in ways that are shaking up the niche—and in some cases even exceeding the bounds of what this brandy exemplar can be. Whisky Advocate takes a look at the results of those efforts in this piece on its website.

•Bardstown, Kentucky-based Grain & Barrel Spirits has added a straight rye whiskey to the Chicken Cock family. The 45% abv whiskey was distilled by Bardstown Bourbon Co. from a mash of 95% rye and bottled with non-chill filtering. The whiskey retails for $70 and is initially available in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The company is working to expand distribution for Chicken Cock’s rye and Bourbon, and will add new states throughout 2020.

•Brown-Forman-owned California winemaker Sonoma-Cutrer has introduced a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with Woodford Reserve Barrel Finish. The new release, which is a 2018 vintage, is part of Sonoma-Cutrer’s Winemaker’s Release series. The wine was aged in one-third each of new, one-year, and two-year-old French oak for 11 months, then blended together and finished for four months in first-fill Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels. Retailing at $50, the new release is available in select markets and on Sonoma-Cutrer’s website.

•Accolade Wines has found a buyer for Geyser Peak and its other American wine brands. The Australian company, owned by the Carlyle Group, will sell Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak, XYZin, and Outlot to 2 Bears LLC for an undisclosed sum, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. The deal is expected to close before July. According to the report, Accolade will retain the Geyser Peak winery and tasting room and the company’s Canadian business and distribution operations will be unaffected.

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