The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Rolling Out Olmeca Altos Tequila AGREEMENTS C In the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition held at the Olmeca Altos distillery in Mexico, the majority of competitors chose to mix with ingredients imported from their native countries. "Jason" Zhou Liyi from China presents his cocktail made with hawthorn-infused Olmeca Altos Silver, apricot brandy, lemon and cranberry juices and simple syrup. T he team from Olmeca Altos, a 100% agave tequila from Pernod Ricard, is having a busy winter season. In September they invited 18 bartenders from 11 countries to Mexico to visit the most high- and low-tech distilleries in the country, as well as Olmeca's own distillery. Agave for Olmeca Altos is harvested by hand, cooked in brick ovens and then fermented and distilled in two ways: by the labor-intensive tahona (stone wheel) and with the more common and speedier rollermill. The two distillates are then blended, and in the case of the Reposado, aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Not only is the brand targeting America's top cocktail cities with its launch plans, but Pernod Ricard has positioned Olmeca Altos at the mixology-friendly suggested retail price of $24.99 for both the Silver and Reposado. —Camper English orby Distilleries Limited and Pernod Ricard USA, LLC have entered into an agreement providing Pernod Ricard USA the exclusive right to represent Wiser's Canadian Whisky and Polar Ice Vodka in the U.S. Wiser's enjoys global sales of almost 760,000 cases (fi scal 2012), while Polar Ice is the third largest vodka by volume and value in Canada and the second largest spirit brand overall in the on-premise channel. "Wiser's Canadian Whisky and Polar Ice Vodka are good comple- ments to Pernod Ricard USA's leading premium portfolio, and each will benefi t from our powerful route to market and strong track record of brand building," says Bryan Fry, President and Chief Executive Offi cer, Pernod Ricard USA. Sidney Frank Importing Company Inc. will become the exclusive importer and distributor of the entire VnC line of all natural, low-calorie, ready-to-serve products in the U.S., as well as Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. New Zealand based VnC Cocktails was established in 2007 by Shane McKillen, one of the co-founders of 42 Below Vodka. The brand has experienced triple-digit growth in the past three years and has forecasted sales of 200,000 cases for FY2012. VnC Cocktails are available in eight fl avors, in 750- and 200-ml. sizes, with a suggested retail price of $12.99 (750 ml). Freschello Wines Coming to America F reschello USA has announced the upcoming American launch of the Freschello line, the most popular wines in Italy. In 2011 alone, Freschello sold over 11 million bottles in Italy, with the Rosso and Bianco ranked number one and number two, respectively, according to IRI data. The wines retail at $5.99, with signifi cant distributor and retail margins. The popular Freschello Vivo line includes a Rosso, Bianco and Rose for great pairing with foods. The company created the Freschello Sweet Italy line specifi - cally for the younger American market. For those who prefer a bubbly with fewer calories, there's Freschello Frizzante, a lighter, fruitier, Prosecco-style wine. 10 / the tasting panel / november 2012

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