Uncorkings: Gruppo Campari Buys Jamaica’s Lascelle De Mercado & Co.

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine and spirits.

Gruppo Campari has acquired 81.4% of the Jamaican company Lascelle deMercado & Co. Limited—owner of the rum brands Appleton Estate, Appleton Special/White, Wray & Nephew and Coruba—and plans to buy the remaining shares by the end of 2012. The entire purchase will cost Campari approximately $414.8 million.

In an effort to appeal to younger wine consumers, the Robert Mondavi Private Selection is undergoing a rebranding initiative, which includes revamping the packaging and releasing a new, fruit-forward red blend called Coastal Crush in November 2012. Private Selection is also transitioning away from the all-encompassing California designation to the more specific Central Coast appellation.

Diageo partnered with the Bridge Foundation to supply two high-powered generators and truck loads of water to Hurricane Isaac victims and emergency responders in Louisiana. The natural-disaster relief effort is an element of Diageo’s Spirit of the Americas Humanitarian Aid endeavor, a philanthropic program that brings immediate aid to disaster-stricken areas around the world.

E.&J. Gallo Winery will make its first foray into the rum spirits category with the launch of Shellback. Made at West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados, the new brand will feature two variations—silver and spiced—and retail for $17/750 ml.

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