The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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Page 10 of 128

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Clase Azul Tequilas Continue to Take On the U.S. C asa Tradición, along with its exclusive United States importer, Tequilas Premium, are bringing Clase Azul Tequilas to Massachusetts and Rhode Island (M. S. Walker), Connecticut (Eder Brothers), Hawaii, Washington and South Carolina (Southern Wine & Spirits) in time for summer. Made with organic agave in Jalisco, Mexico, Clase Azul Tequila is crafted by Master Distiller Arturo Lomeli, who blends tradition with innova- tion to produce a superior tequila. The line includes three tequilas, Clase Azul Plata, Clase Azul Reposado and the limited- production Clase Azul Ultra, as well as unique La Pinta Pomegranate Tequila Liqueur. With these states on board, Clase Azul offerings are currently available in 22 states throughout the U.S. and are the second-best-selling tequilas in duty-free Mexico. For the introduction in Hawaii, Tequilas Premium will work with Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. "Hawaii is the perfect market for this upscale tequila. Clase Azul will be right at home in our state's luxury hotels and restaurants," says Warren Shon, Executive VP, GM of SWS/Hawaii. "M. S. Walker is excited to add one of the most sought-after brands to our premium tequila portfolio," says Roger Biron, Director of Sales, On-Premise for M. S. Walker in MA. "The strength of the Clase Azul brand is evident when mentioning it to accounts, many of whom will order it sight unseen." "The rise of Clase Azul in the United States has been tremendous," says John Hanson, President of Tequilas Premium. T Outstanding in New Zealand he 2011 harvest was the third consecutive out- standing vintage for New Zealand's Marlborough region. The Fernz Chardonnay 2011 (SRP $14.99) was hand-harvested and fermented in a mixture of stainless steel and small French barriques. This wine displays fruitful aromas of nectarine and citrus, complemented by delicate fl oral and savory notes. Those characters translate generously through the palate with lime, ripe peach and biscuit fl avors, with fi nely integrated French oak. A long cool ripening period resulted in elegant textured wines with great balance. Imported by G. K. Skaggs Inc. 10 / the tasting panel / august 2012 Belvedere & (RED) Celebrate Two Years of Partnership B elvedere Vodka is unveiling its new Special Edition bottle to raise pro- ceeds for the Global Fund, among the world's leading fi nancier of programs to fi ght HIV/AIDS in Africa. The new 2012 (BELVEDERE)RED Special Edition bottle, developed by Polish design fi rm Dekorglass, unifi es the innovative packag- ing by Belvedere Vodka and iconic (RED)hue, resulting in an eye- catching semi-trans- parent metallic bottle. Fifty percent of profi ts from the global sale of (BELVEDERE)RED Special Edition will be contributed to the Global Fund to help achieve the fi rst AIDS- free generation by 2015. The (BELVEDERE) RED Special Edition bottle delivers a clear, succinct message: Buy (RED), Give (RED), Save Lives. (BELVEDERE) RED Special Edition is available in three sizes: 750 ml., 1 liter and 1.75 liter, with the 750 ml size retail- ing for $29.99. (BELVEDERE)RED will be available in premium liquor stores, nightclubs and bars from September–December 2012.

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