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

News Briefs for June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

•Rare Champagne has launched its Millésime 2008. Including this release, Rare Champagne has declared only 12 vintages of Rare Brut and Rosé Millésime since its inception in 1976. Retailing at $210 a bottle, the prestige cuvee is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and is packaged in a black bottle. Rare Brut 2008 is debuting nationally, imported by Folio Fine Wine Partners.

•Armagnac house Château de Laubade has collaborated with Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Company to create the Traveling Barrel, a limited-release eau de vie de vin d’Armagnac finished in a Bourbon barrel. The 48.4% abv spirit is made from two barrels of 8-year-old Armagnac (one distilled from Ugni Blanc and one from Baco) that spent eight months finishing in a Gascony oak barrel used to mature a Bardstown Bourbon whiskey. Only 698 bottles of Château de Laubade the Traveling Barrel will be available in select retailers in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, California, and Washington state.

•San Diego, California-based Cutwater Spirits, part of the Anheuser-Busch portfolio, is launching a new canned cocktail in partnership with PGA golfer Harold Varner III. The new RTD is Cutwater Transfusion, made with Cutwater Vodka, ginger beer, and grape juice. Long associated with the 19th hole, Cutwater’s twist on the Transfusion is at 7% abv and will be available nationwide by the end of the month. It joins Cutwater’s stable of canned cocktails that includes Tiki Rum Mai Tai, Vodka Mule, Rum Mint Mojito, and Long Island Iced Tea, among others.

•Heineken USA has expanded the Dos Equis portfolio with Ranch Water hard seltzer, a new drink inspired by its namesake cocktail, popular in West Texas. The 4.5% abv RTD is lime-flavored and comes in at 90 calories per 12-ounce serving. It’s available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and individual 24-ounce cans in Texas and will expand to Arizona, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts in September.

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