Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The transaction includes the Mark West trademark, certain grape supply contracts and inventories of wines from California appellations: a California pinot noir, a Russian River reserve pinot noir and a Santa Lucia reserve pinot noir, along with a chardonnay. Constellation Brands announced its intent to purchase the brand last month.
Mark West pinot noir, with a 35 percent volume growth rate in the last 12 weeks according to SymphonyIRI, is said to be the “nation's best-selling pinot noir and a leader in wine priced $10-$12 at retail”.
Mark West is an almost 600,000-case brand sold primarily in the US.
Rob Sands, chief executive officer, Constellation Brands said: "Mark West is one of the fastest-growing major pinot noirs in the market and has exceeded the growth of the category.
“The brand is an exciting addition and fills a gap in our portfolio of pinot noir brands."