February 2008

Industry Spotlight

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team
Phillipe Dambrine of Château Cantemarle, Rita Barsoumian of The Wine Merchant, Meridith May of THE TASTING PANEL, Daniel Cathiard of Château Smith Haut Lafitte and the ever-popular Dennis Overstreet of The Wine Merchant.
In Celebration of Bordeaux

The ’05 vintage from Bordeaux is being celebrated as one of its most outstanding in the 150 years since the 1855 Grand Cru Classé Classification. At The Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills, CA, Diageo Chateau & Estates offered some fine examples of Grand Cru Classé, including Château Smith Haut Lafitte (whose latest vintage is 2004) and Château Cantemarle (one of the best from the Haut Médoc), whose 2005 was opened for the first time in the U.S. on this prestigious night in mid-January.

Future Brands Board Announces Exec Management Changes
Kevin Fennessey & Bill Newlands

Future Brands LLC, the U.S. sales and distribution services company for Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. and the Absolut Spirits Company, Inc., announces upcoming changes to the Future Brands management team.

Future Brands president and CEO Steve Bellini will be leaving the company to pursue personal interests. Bellini has agreed with the Future Brands Board to accept a transition role working with Kevin Fennessey until February 29th. The Board also announces the appointment of Robert Hill to the position of Chief Financial Officer, replacing Barry O’Neil who left for a new opportunity. 

Kevin Fennessey, Chairman of the Future Brands board, will take on a greater role in the management of the company working jointly with Bill Newlands, Senior Vice President of U.S. Commercial Development for Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., to oversee day-to-day operations.

St-Germain Expands Sales Team

Chad Wiltgen joins the St-Germain team (Cooper Spirits Intl.) as V.P. of Sales, Western U.S. Wiltgen formerly worked for Young’s Market Company in Southern California.

Castle Brands Appoints National Accounts Director

Castle Brands Inc. announced the appointment of Charles “Chip” Hartnett as Director of National Accounts. In this newly created position, Hartnett will be responsible for all regional and national on-premise accounts for Castle Brands’ portfolio of premium spirits.

Hartnett joined Gosling-Castle Partners, a majority-owned subsidiary of Castle Brands, in 2006 as the Brand Birector for the Mid-Atlantic states. His early success was placement of Gosling’s Black

Seal Rum in Ruth’s Chris restaurants, a nationwide chain of upscale steakhouses, where the trademarked “Dark ’n Stormy” is now featured on the cocktail menu.


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