The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2016

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INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT New Partnership S outhern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.—the nation's leading wine and spirits distributor with operations in 35 markets—has entered into an agreement to acquire Sterling Distributing Company in Omaha, Nebraska. Sterling Distributing Company is Nebraska's premier distilled spirits and fine wine wholesaler. Commenting on the acquisition, Wayne E. Chaplin, President & CEO of Southern, said, "The Sterling Distributing Company is a great family- owned business with a talented workforce and a long-standing reputation in the state. Southern is honored by the opportunity to work with and learn from the Sterling leadership and employees deeply engrained in the market and to bring our industry best practices and expertise to the Nebraska market." Launches F ollowing the successful exit of Angel's Envy, industry veteran Jay Maltby now launches a new sales and marketing platform for artisanal spirits, The Espiritus Group. Espiritus launches in partnership with a $30 million spirits venture fund. "We've assembled a spirits portfolio all of which are in high-growth categories and share common attributes: artisanship, family ownership, financial stability, high quality and authenticity of story," explains Maltby, Chairman, CEO of Espiritus. "We've also put together a team of over 20 industry veterans with complementary skill sets who share our entrepreneurial approach to the business." The venture fund will invest $3–10 million in high-potential spirits brands. E . & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) announced that it has been awarded the exclusive rights to distribute Italy's Renato Ratti wines in the United States beginning immediately. Renato Ratti will join Allegrini, Poggio al Tesoro and Pieropan in Gallo's Luxury Wine Group (LUX Wines). Gallo initiated LUX Wines in 2014 to meet the evolving needs of its customers. LUX's vision is to represent iconic wine suppliers from the most noteworthy appellations in the world. Portfolio Additions april 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  1 1 Celebrating Historic Roots L aunching in May in select markets, Gin Lane 1751 ($24.99/750 ml.) is a classic London dry gin—"a gin for gin lovers"—which celebrates the Victorian gin-making era, with a style of bold juniper and hints of liquorice. A small batch gin, Gin Lane 1751 comprises three styles: London Dry Gin (40% ABV); Victoria Pink Gin (40% ABV); and Old Tom Gin (40% ABV). Gin Lane 1751 was created by Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers, an eighth-generation distiller, and the Bloomsbury Club—a group of gin lovers and drinks industry professionals. Its name signi- fies an important historical landmark on the gin timeline: the Gin Act of 1751, which was in part brought about by artist William Hogarth's iconic depiction of Gin Lane. "We are not really turning the table on craft," says Geoff Curley, one of the founders of the Bloomsbury Club, "but we think that there is a place for something affordable for the masses, and this gin is just that. We launched in the U.K. in July and have had some really great success in the past eight months . . . and it's the most gin-heavy, competitive market on the planet!"

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