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

News Briefs for July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

•Two iconic wines of Bordeaux, châteaux Cheval-Blanc and Ausone, have withdrawn from the St.-Emilion classification, their decision reverberating through the region like a clap of thunder. Both estates have been ranked in the classification’s top category, Premier Grand Cru Classé A, since the inception of the rankings in the 1950s. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Four Gate River Kelvin Rye, High Plains Rye, and newcomers from Balcones and Pursuit United are featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest weekly roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Wagner Family of Wine is releasing a special 10th anniversary edition of its Conundrum red blend. Conundrum director of winemaking Charlie Wagner drove the vision for the design of the special 10th anniversary label, having introduced the wine as a companion to the longstanding Conundrum White in 2011. Featuring Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Conundrum anniversary edition retails at $25 a 750-ml.

•Luxury Tequila brand Clase Azul is adding its former limited edition Gold bottling to its permanent lineup starting next month. Clase Azul Gold combines Clase Azul Plata with Clase Azul Reposado matured in French oak casks and an eight-year-old Extra Añejo aged in ex-Bourbon casks and finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. It’s housed in a decanter fusing glass and ceramic elements, with the ceramic base bound with two handcrafted 24 karat gold ribbons. Clase Azul Gold is bottled at 40% abv and retail priced at $300 a 750-ml.

•Vermont-based Barr Hill Gin is expanding its distribution relationship with Breakthru Beverage Group to include Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. This follows the two companies’ existing partnerships in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Barr Hill, which is part of the Caledonia Spirits portfolio, is now present across 34 states. The brand includes both the core Barr Hill Gin and a Reserve Tom Cat Gin, as well as a vodka expression. Barr Hill Gin was up 9% to 24,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

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