More than $380,000 Worth of Champagne Stolen from Grower Jacques Selosse

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

More than $380,000 worth of Champagne was reportedly stolen from grower Jacques Selosse’s Avize-based property on March 21. Roughly 3,900 bottles of the domaine’s Substance Blanc de Blanc, Cuvée Initial and Exquise Demi-Sec were heisted, as well as thousands of bottle and neck labels, amounting to 5% of the producer’s average annual production. No arrests have been reported.

New York City’s The Plaza hotel is hosting a string of Prohibition-themed events to celebrate the May 10 release of Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby. The activities, which started March 20 and will continue throughout the spring, include Gatsby Hour at the hotel’s The Rose Club on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, featuring a Prohibition-inspired speakeasy menu and a live jazz band. A prominent filming location during the making of the movie, The Plaza will also display costumes and props from the set beginning April 10.

The former owner of Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle, Charles Banks, has closed a deal to purchase a 50% stake in the Sonoma Valley-based Wind Gap Winery as well as a subsidiary brand called Agharta. The financial terms for the acquisition of both brands were not released. Pax Mahle will continue to make the wines at Wind Gap and Agharta while Banks’s investment group, Terroir Selections, will handle the sales and marketing.

Australian wine producer Penfolds has appointed DLynn Proctor winemaking ambassador, Americas. Most recently, Proctor was wine education director for the Napa Valley-based Treasury Wine Estates. He is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Société Mondiale du Vin and the American Sommelier Association.

After the United States agreed last month to recognize Brazil’s cachaça as a unique rum product of Brazil, the country’s government has formally acknowledged Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey as distinctive products of the United States. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports to Brazil increased by 18% to $3.8 million in 2012.

Andrea di Gisi, who was charged with destroying six vintages of Casse Basse Brunello di Montalcino, has been sentenced to four years in prison. On December 2, 2012, Gisi opened the valves of 10 of his former employer’s barrels, which contained wine from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. More than 16,000 gallons of wine were lost in the act of vandalism. Read the original story here.

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