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

News Briefs for July 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

•Champagne Bollinger has announced PN VZ15, the first addition to the house’s portfolio since 2008. The non-vintage label is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes and kicks off a new series of wines showcasing various crus across Champagne. The first edition is comprised of 50% Pinot Noir from the Verzenay cru harvested in 2015. The remainder of the blend is from Aÿ, Bouzy, and Tauxières, with 20% reserve wines from as far back as 2009. PN VZ15 retails at around $120 a 750-ml. Champagne Bollinger is handled in the U.S. market by Vintus. Last year the brand reached 25,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) has been fined $3 million for violations of Michigan’s liquor code that contributed to liquor supply shortages throughout the state during the 2019 holiday season. RNDC acknowledged the 88 violations, which included failure to deliver liquor orders, failure to maintain an adequate physical plant, and failure to provide records requested by the MLCC. In addition to the $3 million fine, the order stipulates an independent audit of RNDC’s distributing business; places RNDC on probation for one year; and requires RNDC to submit monthly compliance reports. The problems stemmed from RNDC’s transition to a new $90 million warehouse in Livonia and software issues that caused delivery delays in the state. RNDC region president Joe Gigliotti said those problems have now been resolved. Spirits sales in Michigan climbed to nearly $1.5 billion last year.

•Nikka, the Hotaling & Co.-imported Japanese whisky brand, has launched its most accessible whisky yet in the U.S. Nikka Days is a new 40% abv blend made from Coffey Grain Whisky, non-peated Miyagikyo malts, plus smaller amounts of Coffey Malt Whisky and Yoichi malts. Nikka Days is rolling out now in California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, and Tennessee for a suggested price of $50 a 750-ml. Hotaling plans to expand distribution for Nikka Days in 2021.

•Wild Turkey has launched Rare Breed Rye, the newest barrel proof whiskey to join the company’s permanent portfolio. The whiskey is a blend of 4-, 6-, and 8-year old non-chill-filtered rye whiskies and the first bottling comes in at 56.1% abv. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye is rolling out to select retailers across the U.S. at around $60 a 750-ml. Wild Turkey is part of the Campari America portfolio. Last year, Wild Turkey was up 0.7% to 710,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

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