Edrington Group Ends US Contract with Remy Cointreau

FILED JUNE 11, 2013

Dear Client:

Glasgow-based Edrington Group has ended its US distribution contract with Remy Cointreau, effective March 31, 2014, said Remy Cointreau ceo Jean-Marie Laborde in the company's full year results. Subsequently Edrington, which owns brands such as The Macallan, The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark, will be setting up its own distribution network in the US. You may recall Remy Cointreau and Edrington Group have been distribution partners in the US since 1999. "It's an old story, thus, of hatred and love and participation between Remy Cointreau and Edrington," said Jean-Marie.

He went on to say that he's not sure whether Edrington's decision had anything to do with Remy Cointreau's purchase of Bruichladdich Distillery Company (see WSD 07-09-2012), "but in the US market in any case, the Edrington brands are going to be immediately replaced by our own brands that we bought out within our distillery."

EXTREMELY HIGH HOPES FOR BRUICHLADDICH: Jean-Marie also elaborated on their plans for Bruichladdich. "I will not hide that we have extreme hopes for this acquisition." Though he warned nothing "spectacular" is going to come back to them within the first years because their priority right now is to double the capacity of distillation. "We want for Bruichladdich to be very quickly one of the most desirable single malts of the year in terms of prices."

LARSEN COGNAC SALE: Yesterday we reported, after owning Larsen Cognac for only six months, Remy Cointreau would be transferring the brand, industrial and commercials assets, and some of its inventories to Altia Nordic group (see WSD 06-10-2013 ). Referring to Larsen's valuable eaux-de-vie inventories Jean-Marie said: "Of course, the complement of the inventories stayed with us and you know why."

EMPHASIS ON THE US: For a long time a "major part" of Remy Cointreau's sales have been done in the US. For the year ended March 31, Remy Cointreau brands were up double-digits in the market. Frederic Pflanz, coo and cfo, said: "I have a strong confidence in this market" because it can react and adapt to any type of economic situation "quicker than anybody else."

"I don't know any brand in our industry that would have become a champion before becoming a champion in the United States first... I'm convinced that it'll be the case in the future." he continued. "So yes, I think that this growth is very important for us, of course, we're very satisfied. But we're saying that it's going to be continued and in any the case, the American teams are telling us we're going to have a great year next year."

NEW AMSTERDAM ADDING CITRON AND COCONUT VODKAS

Sources at E & J Gallo have confirmed to WSD that the popular New Amsterdam vodka line is adding Citron and Coconut flavors to the brand line.

You may recall New Amsterdam has earned several accolades since its launch in 2011. In September 2012 it was deemed the fastest brand to have hit the one-million-case-mark (see WSD 09-13-2012). Off-premise it made IRI's list of the Top 5 fastest growing spirits in 2012. The brand's sales were up 556% and volumes were up 545% for the 52 weeks to December 30, 2012 (see WSD 01-16-2013). On-premise Technomic named New Amsterdam the second fastest growing spirits brand in 2012 (see WSD 04-16-2013).

Much of the brand's growth has come from its two flavor extensions: Peach and Red Berry. Recall, in control states alone the two flavor extensions account for nearly 50,000 of the 260,000 cases sold (see WSD 05-16-2013). We expect this brand to continue on its meteoric rise to the top in 2013 with a boost from these two extensions.

PRECEPT WINES ACQUIRES YAKIMA VALLEY VINEYARD

Precept Wines has acquired 174 acres in Washington's Yakima Valley. The vineyard is currently planted with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, sauvignon blanc and riesling. Precept plans to add chardonnay as well, reports Puget Sound Business Journal.

You'll recall Precept Wines is the second largest wine company company in the Northwest after Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and the 18th largest wine producer in the US. It primarily sells wine from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. It's brands include House Wine, Sagelands, Canoe Ridge and Alder Ridge. You may also recall, Precept announced in April that the first quarter has been their most successful quarter in the company's history.

WSD BRIEFS:

TERLATO WINES HOPES TO CAPITALIZE ON the growing Prosecco category with the addition of Nino Franco Spumanti sparkling wines. Terlato will import five Nino Franco wines in various price ranges. "We've been eager to add to our already outstanding roster of Champagne and Sparkling wine producers, and are extremely pleased to partner with Nino Franco," says Terlato Wines ceo William A. Terlato.

JORDAN VINEYARD & WINERY HAS HIRED Nick Literski as regional sales director for the winery's western territory. With 15 years of experience in wine and wholesale sales, Nick will be responsible for distributor management, sales initiatives and tablet wine list integration in AK, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA and WY. Most recently VP of Sales for Rottweiler Hardware, Nick comes to Jordan after introducing the Tastevin iPad wine list app to more than 100 restaurants in 14 states.

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN has partnered with Veev Spirits this summer to offer a Veev Strawberry Basil Martini. Emphasizing the health aspects of Veev (only 60 calories), CPK will sell the cocktail for $8.

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Until tomorrow, Emily

"I try not to break the rules, but merely to test their elasticity."
-- Bill Veeck

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