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News Briefs for June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

•Champagne Charles Heidsieck is launching a new edition of prestige cuvée Champagne Charlie for the first time in 37 years. Released to celebrate the bicentennial of founder Charles-Camille Heidsieck, ChampagneD Charlie pays tribute to Heidsieck’s early efforts to introduce Champagne to U.S. consumers in the mid-19th Century. It’s comprised of nearly 80% reserve wines, with select components aged on lees for up to 25 years. A blend of 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir, the assemblage also includes 20% from the 2016 vintage. Retailing at $700, the new bottling is imported by Folio Fine Wine Partners and will debut in limited quantities in September. “Champagne Charlie, as a brand within our range, will certainly have a ‘lighthouse’ role at the very top of the tower,” Charles Heidsieck managing director Stephen Leroux told SND.

•Delicato Family Wines’ Gnarly Head has teamed up with the Grateful Dead to release two new wines, set to hit shelves late this summer. The new releases are a Lodi-appellated Zinfandel featuring a version of the Dead’s Skull and Roses artwork on the label and a California Cabernet Sauvignon featuring the band’s Steal Your Face (lightning bolt skull) logo. The Old Vine Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon both carry a suggested retail price of $12 a bottle and will be sent to distributors in July, with a planned retail launch for September.

•Proximo Spirits has expanded its line of 1800 Tequila branded RTD Margaritas, adding a new strawberry flavor to the brand’s portfolio. The RTD is at 9.95% abv and retails for $22 a 1.75-liter bottle. The new flavor is the brand’s eighth release and joins other flavors like original, jalapeño lime, watermelon, and peach, among others. Last year, 1800’s Margarita RTDs were at 1.25 million cases, up nearly 30% according to Impact Databank.

•Maison Courvoisier, part of Beam Suntory, has launched Courvoisier Mizunara, a new Cognac finished in Japanese oak barrels. The spirit is distilled from grapes grown in Cognac’s Grande Champagne region and was created as a collaboration between Courvoisier chief blender Patrice Pinet and House of Suntory’s chief blender, Shinji Fukuyo. Only 500 bottles of Courvoisier Mizunara will be available in select countries for a suggested price of $2,000 a bottle.

•Mount Gay rum, part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio, has partnered with Cocktail Courier to create a “Summer Taste Essentials” kit. The collection, curated by chef and TV host Richard Blais, features the ingredients to make the Good Old Pine, an Old Fashioned-inspired cocktail made using Mount Gay Black Barrel, pineapple syrup, and Angostura bitters. The kit also features a set of spices and seasonings alongside a cedar grilling plank. The Mount Gay Summer Taste Essentials kit is available June 15 through July 15 via Cocktail Courier for $112. Mount Gay was at 139,000 cases in the U.S. in 2021, according to Impact Databank.

•The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has launched Destination Distillery, a new website focused on spirits tourism and the heritage of distilling in the U.S. Visitors to the site can explore distillery trails in states across the U.S. and learn about American distillers large and small. The website allows guests to sort distilleries by location and type of spirit. “This is the first tool of its kind to provide consumers with a comprehensive list to discover established distilleries and explore trails across the entire country—from the Pacific Northwest to the tip of Florida,” said Philip McDaniel, CEO and co-founder of St. Augustine Distillery and chair of the DISCUS Craft Advisory Council.

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