New Products and Packaging
*Jim Beam/Future Brands introduced DeKuyper Tropical Pineapple Liqueur — the line’s newest flavor. DeKuyper Tropical Pineapple Liqueur is a low-proof liqueur with a light, sweet and exotic taste that explodes with fresh pineapple flavor, according to the company. The new liqueur also capitalizes on two of the latest trends in spirits — mixability and a new tropical flavor category.
*With the 2000 vintage, Domaine Chandon announces its first national release of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. A total of 2,400 cases of Pinot Meunier were produced, with a suggested retail of $29. The Pinot Noir is said to be powerful and intense; 7,000 cases were produced with a suggested retail price of $29. Chardonnay imparts rich mouthfeel and creaminess to Chandon’s sparkling wines but it was never made without bubbles prior to 2000 at the winery; 1,220 cases were produced and it retails for $19.
*Chi-Chi’s Cosmopolitan has joined the line of Chi-Chi’s pre-mixed, ready-to-drink cocktails, from Barton Brands. The pink-colored cocktail comes in 1.75 liter bottles and retails for $9.99 to $11.99, depending upon the market.
*Martini & Rossi has debuted a new single serve Asti in a new package. The 6.3-oz. bottle is now turquoise blue and is accompanied by a straw, with which to sip the Asti, emblazoned with the words, “hip to sip.” The popular Italian sparkler is available from Bacardi USA.
*Rancho Zabaco introduced “Dancing Bull,” a new Zinfandel using grapes from several top California zinfandel appellations, the company said. The wine is made with 82% zinfandel, with small amounts of petite syrah, syrah and cabernet sauvignon added to the blend. It retails for about $10 per 750 ml.
*Scandinavian vodka of the month: Vikingfjord, made with 100% glacial water and potatoes grown in the Norwegian countryside using a six column distillation method. The 40% ABV product is distilled and bottled in Norway by Arcus Produckter, and imported and marketed in the U.S. by Capstone International, St. Petersburg, FL. It retails for about $22 per 750 ml.
*Marie Brizard Wines & Spirits are now importing Bersig Estate South African wines, which include the 2001 Pinotage, a soft, well-rounded wine with berry and plum flavors retailing for about $12 per 750 ml bottle. Also available is a crisp 2001 Sauvignon Blanc, with a retail of about $9.
*The Famous Grouse Gold Reserve 12 Year-Old Scotch, from Remy Amerique, is featuring a new bottle design, label and gift box to help reinforce the blended Scotch brand’s super premium image, the company says.
*Opici introduced its first Australian wines, from Red Hill Estate, Victoria, Australia. First up in its portfolio in the US: Red Hill Shiraz 2000 ($18), Red Hill Pinot Noir 2000 ($18), Chardonnay 2000 ($18) and Sauvignon Blanc 2000 ($16).
*A new wine company is debuting two new lines of Australian wines into the U.S. The first, Cheviot Bridge — the name of the wines and the company, based in Durham, NC — includes Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet-Merlot from estate vineyards in the Yea Valley. In limited production, these wines have a suggested retail of $16 to $17. A second line, CB from Cheviot Bridge, includes Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, and costs about $9 to $10 per bottle.
*A.V. Imports has debuted Wallaby Creek Shiraz and Chardonnay from Australia. Both wines, produced and bottled in New South Wales, have a recommended retail price of $5.99. A.V. Imports also introduced a new bottle for its Luna di Luna Sangiovese/Merlot. The brand’s Sangiovese/Merlot, previously available in a black bottle, will now be presented in a new purple bottle. The blend is 60% Sangiovese and 40% merlot.
*Scottish vodkas keep arriving and the latest is Graffiti, made from barley and water more commonly found here in Scotch whisky. This one is distilled five times, and is imported into the U.S. by Wein-Bauer, Franklin Park, IL. A Graffiti gin is soon to follow.
NEW WINE RELEASES
Rodney Strong has released two new vintages: its 1999 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon ($18 suggested retail) and its 1998 Alexander’s Crown Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($28)… Jacob’s Creek wines, imported from Australia by Pernod Ricard USA, have released several new wines including a 2000 Shiraz ($9.49), 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.49), 2001 Merlot ($9.49) 2001 Semillon Chardonnay ($8.49) and 1997 Limited Release Shiraz Cabernet ($49.99)… Allied Domecq Wines offers these new wine bottlings from its various vineyards: 1999 Bodegas Balbi Malbec ($8) and 1999 Bodegas Balbi Syrah ($8) from Argentina; and William Hill 1999 Napa Valley Merlot ($21), William Hill Napa Valley 1998 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($38), and William Hill Napa Valley 2000 Reserve Chardonnay ($23)… Michel Picard Wines, imported from France by Brown-Forman Beverages, has released 1999 Michel Picard Chardonnay Bourgogne ($11.99) and 1999 Michel Picard Pinot Noir Bourgogne ($11.99)…. Kenwood Vineyards debuted its 2000 Russian River Pinot Noir ($17)…. Lockwood Vineyard has released its 1999 Syrah ($12.99)… Schieffelin & Somerset introduces the latest Italian wines imported from the Tuscan Estates of Ruffino: Libaio 2000 (100% chardonnay from San Gimignano in Tuscany), Solatìa (100% chardonnay from Monteriggioni in Tuscany), Il Leo (100% sangiovese and the first Chianti Superiore in the US), Greppone Mazzi Brunello di Montalcino, and Modus Super Tuscan (blended from sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon).