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News Briefs for January 27, 2022

January 27, 2022

•Bordeaux’s French Blue wine brand, imported by C. Mondavi & Family, is extending its lineup with a new Rouge offering. Line-priced with French Blue’s existing Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc bottlings at $15 a 750-ml.) the brand’s new AOC Bordeaux red is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from a single 60-hectare (148-acre) estate in Périssac, in Bordeaux’s Right Bank region. It launches as the Bordeaux red blend segment has been increasing by double-digits in both volume and value in Nielsen channels in the U.S.

•New York-based importer Cape Classics has added Taaibosch to their extensive portfolio of South African wines. The Stellenbosch winery produces Crescendo, a Bordeaux blend, and the 2018 vintage is now available across the U.S. through Cape Classics. Crescendo 2018 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in the Helderberg commune. The 13.5% abv wine matured for a year in oak (30% new) before resting an additional year in foudre and cement. Taaibosch 2018 retails for around $40 a bottle.

•California-based 3 Badge Beverage is introducing a new upscale range of Italian wines under its Guinigi brand. The additions include a Barolo DOCG ($60), a Brunello di Montalcino DOCG ($60), a Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG ($28), and a Toscana IGT Rosso ($48). The newcomers join the existing Prosecco ($17), Rosé Prosecco ($17), and Pinot Grigio ($14) in the Guinigi portfolio, which is distributed nationally.

•Riboli Family Wines has announced a number of new appointments. First off, Riboli Family has named Paul Roberts, who joined the company from Banfi last year, as senior vice president, national sales. In addition, the company has appointed Kyle Hensley senior vice president of chains and Paul Rinaldi as vice president of national accounts. Finally, Penny Kosut has been appointed vice president for Riboli Estates Group, among several other new appointments within the sales team, which is expanding from two to five divisions.

•Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, the suburban Chicago-based casual-dining chain with 49 venues, is laying plans for an initial public offering that will value the company at more than $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. The business, founded by CEO Tim McEnery in 2005 with the feature of selling only wines produced in-house, was acquired by private equity firm Ares Management three years ago for more than $700 million. Its wine club is reported to have more than 500,000 members—placing it among the largest of its kind in the U.S. The company now operates in 11 states, and plans to open eight more locations this year. At some of its restaurants, Cooper’s Hawk has recently pivoted to partnerships with celebrity chefs such as Tom Colicchio and Carla Hall, and has started offering rare bottlings from outside wineries.

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