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News Briefs for September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

•Christopher Lynch has been named president of Napa Valley’s Opus One winery, succeeding David Pearson, who has held the role since 2004. Lynch’s three decades in the wine industry have included time with E.&J. Gallo, LVMH’s Chandon Estates, Pernod Ricard, Beam Wine Estates, and Terlato Wine Group. Founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi in 1979, Opus One is known known for its luxury estate-grown Bordeaux-style blend and has distribution in 90 countries worldwide. Today the company is a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. and Constellation Brands.

•Diego Planeta, the tireless force behind both his family winery’s success and Sicilian wine’s campaign to gain international respect, died Sept. 19. He was 80 years old. Planeta’s most tangible legacy is the wine company that bears his family’s name, now run by the next generation and encompassing five wineries spread across Sicily. But Planeta started as a grapegrower and spent decades pushing Sicily toward the production of quality wines and promoting them around the world. Wine Spectator has more on his life and career.

•Moët Hennessy USA is set to launch A Tale of Cake, the newest limited release from single malt Scotch brand Glenmorangie, in October. The 46% abv whisky was finished in Tokaji casks. A Tale of Cake’s launch will be accompanied by a promotional campaign involving cocktails and cake recipes by Jeremy Le Blanche and Dominique Ansel, respectively, to go with the new whisky and with Glenmorangie’s core releases. The whisky will retail for around $99 a 750-ml. Glenmorangie has U.S. volume of 120,000 cases.

•Brown-Forman has announced a new three-batch Bourbon release to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Old Forester. The three whiskies will each be at cask strength and bottled in amber-colored glass reminiscent of hand-blown bottles used in the 19th century. Batch 1 is bottled at 62.8% abv and is made from 46 barrels; Batch 2 is made from 48 barrels and bottled at 63.2% abv; and Batch 3 is assembled from 53 barrels and is at 63.4% abv. Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon is bottled unfiltered—only barrel char sediment has been removed—and will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $150 a 750-ml.

•Goslings Rum is offering a new limited release called Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum. It was blended from a range of pot- and column-distilled rums that run between 10 and 21 years aged in white oak barrels and aged another two years in Bermuda, ultimately bottled at 41.5% abv. Only 1,500 bottles of Papa Seal 2020 will be available nationwide, each hand-labeled with its barrel number, bottle number, and bottling date. Beginning next month it will be available at select retailers in 16 states as well as online, retailing for $199 a 750-ml. Goslings is imported by Castle Brands, which was acquired last year by Pernod Ricard.

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