StateWays - March/April 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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43 StateWays n n March/April 2016 also rolling out a series of single-harvest (known as colheita) taw- nies and in 2014 introduced a very rare and expensive Graham tawny called Ne Oublie that dates back to the 1882 arrival in Porto of Andrew Symington. Chris Forbes, U.S. and Ireland export manager for the Fladgate Partnership – which includes Taylor's, Croft and Fon- seca Ports – agrees that aged tawnies are where the action is. Last year, the company introduced a Croft Reserve Tawny, a younger, less expensive style than the aged tawnies. One re- cent success, he says, has been the Taylor Fladgate 50 Year Old Single Harvest Port, a tawny-style Port introduced in 2014 and "taking advantage of the 50th birthday, anniversary or gifting market." Taylor Fladgate is releasing a 50-year-old Port every year; the 1966, available this year, will be the third in the series. SMALL BUT STABLE Like Port, Sherry has seen its ups and downs. According to the Consejo Regulador de Jerez, Sherry exports to the U.S. in 2015 were at about 158,000 cases, down about 3 percent compared to 2014. But they're up slightly since 2011. According to BIIG, the top-selling Sherries are Savory & James and Harvey's Bristol Cream, both sweeter styles. Andy Taylor, director of marketing for Gonzalez Byass USA in Chicago - importer of Tio Pepe and other Gonzalez Byass Sherries - acknowledges that Sherry is a small category in the United States. "It's quite misunderstood in this country," he says. Tio Pepe, a fino (dry) Sherry, is by far the company's bestselling and best-distributed product in this country. Taylor sees opportunity for high-quality Sherry, especially among Millennials, who aren't burdened by so many precon- ceptions. "They're trying everything right now," he says. Both the Port and Sherry producer organizations conduct some promotional events for consumers - and the Sherry con- sejo promotes an annual International Sherry Week in New York City -- but many of their activities are focused on the on-premise market. The IVDP, for example, is for the first time conducting a five-day Port seminar in Chicago for sommeliers, and the Sherry group stages a Sherry Cocktail Competition every year. But many promotions originate with the importers or with the retailers themselves. Premium Port Wines conducts educa- tional trips for retailers, for example. Gonzalez Byass' Taylor participated in a Wine Riot tasting in Chicago, where he brought four Sherries, ranging from dry to very sweet, to educate tasters. He calls it "my little focus group." OFF PREMISE IS ON BOARD As for retailers, Total Wine & More will conduct a "discovery series" in May where the wines of Spain and Portugal, includ- ing Sherry and Port, will be featured for two weeks. According to Brittany Thomas, Total Wine's buyer for Spanish and Por- tuguese wines, the promotion will include email blasts, special displays and discounts. At Beltramo's, a retailer in the affluent town of Menlo Park, Calif., south of San Francisco, "fortified wines are very solid," says imported wine buyer Howard Padgett. Port sells particu- larly well, Padgett says, and the store carries as many as 100 of them at any time. The store conducts weekend tastings and sometimes evening tastings, especially if a producer is in town. He sees Sherry as a product that requires some education be- cause of the diversity of styles. Bob Scherb, owner of Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants in Portland, Ore., says he carries 30-40 Sherries and about the same number of Ports. He says that Sherry has done extremely well in the store, and he conducts a number of tastings. Some LEADING DOMESTIC BRANDS OF DESSERT & FORTIFIED WINE, 2013-2014 (000 9-Liter Cases) '13/'14 Brand* Supplier 2013 2014 % Change Richard's Wild Irish Rose Constellation Brands 1,415 1,331 -5.9% MD 20/20 The Wine Group 1,100 1,030 -6.4% Taylor Dessert Constellation Brands 808 814 0.7% Fairbanks E & J Gallo Winery 640 620 -3.1% Cribari Dessert Constellation Brands 231 232 0.4% Sheffield Cellars E & J Gallo Winery 215 210 -2.3% Thunderbird E & J Gallo Winery 205 195 -4.9% Cisco Constellation Brands 148 142 -4.1% Christian Brothers Dessert Wine Heaven Hill Distilleries 103 100 -2.9% Total Leading Brands 4,865 4,674 -3.9% Total Domestic Dessert & Fortified Wine 7,375 7,230 -2.0% *Does not include Sake. Source: The Beverage Information & Insights Group. For more data, visit

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