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News Briefs for October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

•Bacardi-owned Angel’s Envy has announced the 2020 iteration of its Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey finished in Port barrels. This year’s whiskey comes in at 60.2% abv and will launch—for the first time—in select retailers in all 50 states on November 1. As always, this is a limited release and only 17,400 bottles will be available, for a suggested price of $200 a 750-ml. Last year, Angel’s Envy reached 115,000 cases on 39.5% growth and was named a “Hot Prospect” by Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

•Moët Hennessy is extending its Volcán de mi Tierra Tequila brand with a Reposado expression. The 100%-blue agave Tequila is rested for 135 days in new casks made of American and European oak. The newcomer is rolling out in select states, retailing at $55 a 750-ml. A collaboration between Moët Hennessy and the Gallardo family, Volcán de mi Tierra’s other offerings include Blanco and Cristalino Tequilas.

•Heaven’s Door Spirits, the partnership between Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partners, is launching Bootleg Series Vol. II, a new luxury Bourbon expression. A cask strength 15-year-old Straight Bourbon finished in 30-year-old Jamaican pot still rum casks and bottled at 104.6 proof, Bootleg Series Vol. II comes in a handmade ceramic bottle featuring Bob Dylan’s painting, Sunset, Monument Valley, and is housed in an ornate leather journal that is individually numbered. It’s rolling out in an edition of 3,000 bottles, selling at $500 apiece.

•E.&J. Gallo Winery has announced a new Napa Valley tasting room for its super-premium California brandies. The California Brandy House will initially offer tastings for Germain-Robin and Argonaut, including rare expressions and exclusive single barrel samples. The center is housed in First Street Napa, a 325,000 square foot space in downtown Napa, and will open for outdoor tastings on November 6 by reservation only. In addition to offering tastings, the California Brandy House serves as a bottle shop for the brands, offering their full portfolios alongside tasting-room exclusives.

•Lawrenceburg, Kentucky’s Wild Turkey Distillery, part of the Campari portfolio, has launched Russell’s Reserve 2003, its newest limited edition vintage release. The 44.75% abv whiskey matured for 16 years and is the last Wild Turkey juice barreled at 107 proof (today the company’s whiskies enter the barrel at 115 proof). Only 3,600 bottles of Russell’s Reserve 2003 will be available across the U.S. for a suggested price of $250 a 750-ml. The whiskey joins Russell’s Reserve 10-year-old Bourbon, 6-year-old rye, and their respective single barrel variants in the brand portfolio. Russell’s Reserve was up 8% in control states in the year-to-date through August.

•Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) has appointed Philippe Rolet as general manager of Chile’s Viña Los Vascos, in addition to his current post as general manager of Argentina’s Bodegas Caro. In this new role, Rolet will develop DBR Lafite’s South American estates, both in the vineyards and international markets. Prior to joining DBR Lafite in 2018, Rolet spent two years at Alejandro Bulgheroni’s wine group with the direct management of three Argentinean wineries and vineyards.

•Heaven Hill Brands has named Eric Hund senior vice president of U.S. sales. Hund joined the company in 2016 as vice president of sales for the Deep Eddy Vodka division. Prior to joining the company, Hund was a vice president of sales at Republic National Distributing Company in Texas. In his new role, the 25-year industry veteran will lead sales activities across the Heaven Hill portfolio.

•Winebow Imports hosted its ninth annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium (WWLS) on October 20. Held virtually for the first time, the event was highlighted by remarks from two prominent women in the industry: Victoria James, director of beverage and partner at Cote (NYC and Miami) and co-founder of Wine Empowered; and Tonya Pitts, a sommelier, wine and food consultant, speaker, and writer based in San Francisco. The event also included a panel on sustainability and the announcement of the recipients of the Laurent-Perrier Women in Wine Leadership Scholarship, awarded by SommFoundation.

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