The Cruse family has sold 50% of its Château d’Issan, a Margaux third growth, to Bordeaux property mogul Jacky Lorenzetti. The estate has been exclusively owned by the Cruse family since 1945. Emmanuel Cruse, who is credited for raising the quality of d’Issan’s wines over the past 15 years, will retain his ownership share and remain on board as the chateau’s managing director. Lorenzetti also owns Château Lilian Ladouys in Saint-Éstephe and the fifth-growth Château Pédesclaux in Pauillac.
The long-awaited Rioja wine collaboration between Spain’s Bodegas Vega Sicilia and Bordeaux’s Benjamin de Rothschild is slated to hit the U.S. market by June, said Pablo Alvarez, general manager of Vega Sicilia, in an exclusive interview with Wine Enthusiast. Two Tempranillo-based wines will be released: Macan ($70–$75/750 ml) and Macan Clasico ($40–$45/750 ml). The wines are fermented in wood and steel tanks and aged for 14 months in 60% new French oak. Read the full story here.
Roussillon producer Maison Cazes, a subsidiary of French wine group AdVini, has acquired Les Clos de Paulilles, the largest estate in the Collioure and Banyuls appellations. Since 1975, the roughly 220-acre plot had been owned by Jean and Bernard Dauré, who were the first producers to make and market a vintage Banyuls. The Daurés put the property on the market in 2011.
The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has acknowledged cachaça as a distinctive rum product of Brazil, a decision that will go into effect April 11, 2013. The ruling will guarantee that imported products with the cachaça designation are made in accordance with Brazilian laws, eschew the addition of corn or corn syrup during fermentation and are bottled according to the U.S. rum standard of no less than 40% abv. Cachaça products sold in the U.S. will no longer need to use the designation “rum” on their labels.
Nelson Mandela’s family has introduced House of Mandela Wines to the U. S. The company, which launched in South Africa in 2010, offers two tiers of red and white wines. The Royal Reserve line ($30–$50/750 ml) contains varietal bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Chardonnay. The Thembu collection ($13–$16/750 ml) is comprised of varietal selections of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinotage. The company has plans to donate 5%–15% of the proceeds to charities related to health, education, agriculture and alternative energy in South Africa.