US Briefs

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
  • In the first auction of spirits held in New York city since Prohibition, a 100-lot selection of fine and rare whiskies, Cognac, Armangac, Calvados and Chartreuse fetched $304,800. The top single-bottle lot of the day was a 1926 Macallan, which sold for $54,000. Richard Brierley, head of wine sales, Christie's Americas, said the bidding pointed to the potential for spirits sales in the US.
  • Under a new free-trade agreement with Peru, tariffs on US spirits will be eliminated. While hardly a major market, spirits exports to Peru, especially bourbon, should increase dramatically. In the period 2000-2006, US spirits exports to Peru averaged approximately $580,000 annually. In the first nine months of 2007, US exports reached $741,000 - a 45 per cent increase over the comparable period in 2006. Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey accounted for 70 per cent of the total.
  • Terlato Wines International is offering a new wine brand, Tangley Oaks, targeting the $14 - 20 price segment, which the company identifies as a "luxury" niche .
  • Imperial Brands has launched Sobieski Polish Rye vodka in the US. It sells for $11 but Imperial CEO Chester Brandes believes it is equal to a $40 super-premium vodka. Brandes launched Stolichnaya in North America in 1975 and he believes there are simply too many high-end vodkas now on the market and consumers will soon begin looking for "good value."