Major Port Producers Declare 2011 a Vintage Year

Plus more news and notes from the world of wine, spirits and beer.

Symington Family Estates has declared 2011 a vintage year for its portfolio of Ports, which includes the brands Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s, Warre’s, Quinta do Vesuvio, and Smith Woodhouse. The company’s 2011 vintage Ports were produced using grapes sourced from Symington Family vineyards. This marks the third vintage that Symington has declared a vintage since 2000. Joining Symington in declaring the 2011 vintage are Fladgate, Sogrape and Churchill’s.

Spirits giant William Grant & Sons USA has named Jonathan Yusen managing director and president. Prior to the appointment, Yusen served as the company’s general manager, Canada, as well as the business’ senior vice president of marketing for the United States, Canada and Mexico. Yusen succeeds Simon Hunt, who was recently promoted to chief commercial officer.

Moët Hennessy USA has reported a 6% sales increase to approximately $1.3 billion in the first three months of 2013. Demand for the group’s Champagne in Asia has helped drive sales, and Hennessy Cognac, Glenmorangie Scotch and Belvedere Vodka have also added to the year’s profitable start, the company said.

Online fragrance company Commodity has launched several spirit- and wine-inspired perfumes, according to The Drinks Business. The range includes selections for men and women, featuring scents of gin, whiskey and mimosa. A 30-ml bottle retails for $50.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is introducing its “100 Mile Cocktail” program at its North, Central and South American hotels in May. The campaign requires its on-site mixologists to create cocktails that are made solely from ingredients sourced within 100 miles of their particular hotels.

Pernod Ricard USA has launched a new ultrapremium vodka, Absolut Elyx, in major urban markets across the United States. The name Elyx is a blend of the words elixir and lyx, which is Swedish for luxury. Targeted release markets include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City and Miami. The suggested retail price for the vodka is $50 per 1 liter bottle, and a 1.75-liter format is expected to be released in May, while a 750ml bottle expected later this year.

This Earth Day, Viña Concha y Toro planted a 1-ton green sphere in its Peumo estate vineyard to represent the volume of CO2 that one tree captures over its lifetime. Working with the Native Forest Conservation Program, registered with CONAF, Chile’s National Forestry Corporation, the winery is creating an inventory of native tree species in order to ensure their preservation and proper care. Through other measures, such as measuring its carbon and water footprint and moving to lighter bottles with lower glass content, Concha y Toro has earned Chile’s National Code of Sustainability.

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