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

News Briefs for July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

•Jim Clerkin has been named chairman of e-commerce platforrm ReserveBar. Clerkin was most recently president of Moët Hennessy Strategic Development after 13 years as president and CEO of Moët Hennessy Americas. The appointment comes along with ReserveBar’s closing of an investment round anchored by Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, and a group of leading e-commerce and technology investors led by Doug Dillard, Jr., managing partner of Slewgrass Capital and a Silver Lake advisor, who will join ReserveBar’s board. In March, Southern Glazer’s took an undisclosed stake in ReserveBar, noting that it has become a showcase for “premium, ultra-premium, and luxury spirits and is dedicated to personalization, upscale packaging, and fast and reliable delivery.”

•Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Dewar’s Japanese Smooth, and newcomers from Blue Note and Yellow Rose are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest weekly roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Moët Hennessy and Campari Group have announced a new joint venture targeting Europe’s e-commerce market. Campari will be contributing its stake in Italian e-commerce platform Tannico to the JV. Plans call for Campari to sell 50% of the joint venture’s equity capital to Moët Hennessy for €25.6 million ($30.4m). Building on Tannico’s existing business, the two drinks companies will look to “create a premium pan-European wines and spirits e-commerce player,” according to Philippe Schaus, president and CEO of Moët Hennessy. Based in Italy, Tannico also owns a majority stake in Ventealapropriete.com, a key e-commerce platform for wine and spirits in France. Tannico had sales of above €70 million ($83m) in 2020. Campari took a 49% stake in Tannico last year.

•The historic heat wave that blanketed Oregon and Washington at the end of June had the wine industry chewing its nails. Since then, growers and winemakers have spent most of their time in the vineyards assessing the impact of the heat. The verdict: Damage was negligible but there’s concern that it’s a sign of things to come. Wine Spectator has more.

•Atlanta-based Blue Ridge Spirits & Wine Marketing has unveiled Fleur Charmante, a new French liqueur. Produced in the Saint Sauvant in the Saintonge area of France, Fleur Charmante is made with a maceration of blackcurrant, raspberry, and cherry fruits followed by a petite bouquet of natural violet, lavender, and jasmine essence. Currently distributed in Florida, Georgia, and New York with more states on the way, Fleur Charmante is 23% abv and retails at $37 off-premise and for $40 online.

•Sonoma-based 3 Badge Beverage Corp has introduced Benjamin Chapman 4-Year Corn Whiskey. With a mashbill of 80% corn, 11% rye, and 9% malt, Chapman 4-year is an American whiskey bottled at 45% abv and retails at $36 a 750-ml. Aged four years in Bourbon-seasoned barrels, the new bottling joins a 7-year-old Canadian whiskey in the Benjamin Chapman portfolio.

•Lambay Irish whiskey, a partnership between France’s House of Camus and the Baring family’s Revelstoke Trust, is set to open a new Lambay Irish Whiskey America unit to oversee the brand in the U.S. Previously handled by Camus’ CIL Wines & Spirits US, Lambay will now be imported by its namesake company. Lambay Irish Whiskey America will be led by industry veteran Kevin Richards as CEO. Lambay includes a Small Batch Blend ($33) and Single Malt ($60).

•Barton & Guestier is launching a new alcohol-removed sparkling wine in the U.S. Retailing at $15 a 750-ml., the new entry is made with Muscat grapes from the Mediterranean coast, and undergoes a reverse osmosis process to remove alcohol from the finished wine. Barton & Guestier Alcohol Removed Sparkling Wine is now rolling out across chains like Total Wine, Binny’s, and Yankee Spirits, as well as select independent retailers.

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