Australian winemaker Penfolds said it will introduce to the U.S. market a new line of wines, called Penfolds Max\u2019s. The new line pays homage to Penfolds\u2019 legendary original winemaker Max Schubert, who is best-known for creating the iconic Grange multi-regional red wine blend.\r\n\r\nThe first wines to be available to U.S. consumers are Penfolds 2015 Max\u2019s Cabernet Sauvignon ($25), and Penfolds 2015 Max\u2019s Shiraz-Cabernet ($25). The new bottlings celebrate Schubert\u2019s revolutionary winemaking approach, featuring multi-regional and multi-varietal blending to achieve style and quality consistency across vintages.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn addition to bearing the Penfolds stamp, the new Max\u2019s wines feature a novel shrink-wrapped package that can be \u201cunzipped\u201d to reveal the bottle, a nod to the \u201cHidden Granges\u201d that Schubert is said to have made in the 1950s and secreted away for years.\r\nIs a \u201cWine Deficit\u201d Hurting U.S. Winemakers?\r\nU.S. winemakers are suffering from a \u201cwine deficit,\u201d according to The Financial Times. The Wine Institute, a California wine advocacy group, says the domestic wine industry is under assault from French, Spanish and other European wines that for years have been building market share in the United States. Meanwhile, many California vintages are being kept out of Europe by aggressive European Union rules governing regional varieties such as Burgundy and Champagne, and regulations on the use of generic terms such as "ch\u00e2teau" on labels, even when they are part of a winery's name.\r\n\r\n"It is blatant discrimination against American producers," says Tom LaFaille, the Institute's trade representative in Washington. The answer to closing the deficit, LaFaille says, lies in opening export markets.\r\n\r\nU.S. wine exports totaled $1.6 billion last year, Wine Institute statistics show, while almost $5.8 billion worth of wine was imported. This led to a record $4.1 billion deficit\u2014more than 80 percent of which was with the EU. In 1970, just 11 percent of U.S. wine sales were of imported wine. By last year, that number had risen to one-third.\r\nExcelsior Wines and Young\u2019s Market Forge Strategic Partnership\r\nExcelsior Wines, North America\u2019s largest importer of South American wines, has confirmed a new strategic partnership with Young\u2019s Market Company. Effective June 1, Young\u2019s will assume exclusive distribution rights for Excelsior Wines in seven states: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.\r\n\r\nThe agreement brings expanded resources for Excelsior\u2019s portfolio, including Chile\u2019s Concha y Toro; Don Melchor; the flagship Casillero del Diablo line; Frontera, known for Chilean value wines; Argentina\u2019s Trivento; and Little Black Dress Wines from California. Several new third-party brands are also projected to be launched in fall 2017.