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

News Briefs for August 28, 2020

August 28, 2020

•The Japanese whisky auction record just got higher—a lot higher—and it’s all down to an audacious whisky flipper. Just weeks after its release, a bottle of Yamazaki 55 year old demolished the existing record at the Bonhams sale in Hong Kong on Aug. 21, 2020. The rare Japanese single malt whisky attracted a hammer price of HK$5 million/$645,125; add on the additional 24% buyer’s premium, and the number nears $800,000. As far as the secondary market for whisky is concerned, this is one of the most lucrative acts of flipping—purchasing whisky at retail price to resell at a much higher amount—to date. Whisky Advocate has more.

•Harvest is underway in California. But before many vintners were able to bring in their first crops, a historic heatwave followed by a series of unseasonal thunderstorms sparked an unwelcome beginning. Lightning strikes ignited dozens of fires throughout the state, and fires in winegrowing regions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa, and Monterey have forced many vintners to evacuate, while complicating harvest for countless others. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Maison Louis Roederer has appointed Nicole Carter president of Napa Valley’s Diamond Creek Vineyards, which Roederer acquired from the Brounstein family earlier this year. Carter, a veteran of Hess and Treasury Wine Estates, is also president of Roederer’s Merry Edwards winery. Also joining Diamond Creek is winemaker Graham Wehmeier, who will progressively take over from longstanding winemaker Phil Steinschriber.

•Vamonos Riendo, a new Mezcal brand, has made its U.S. debut. The 42% abv spirit is distilled from a blend of 8-year-old Espadín and 14-year-old Tobalá agaves harvested from high elevations in the Sierra Madre mountains. According to the company, Vamonos Riendo offers a less smoky flavor profile than many other mezcals and delivers citrus and herbal flavors. Vamonos Riendo is imported to the U.S. by Good Spirits Ventures and is now available in Southern California for around $60 a 750-ml. with expansion planned for the near future.

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