Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has acquired a 50% stake in California wine brand Bellacosa for an undisclosed sum. According to Deutsch Family CEO Peter Deutsch, the move will bolster the company’s upscale wine portfolio and create significant upside in the on-premise, where Bellacosa’s core North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon is positioned at around $15 a glass. The deal is slated to close in February.
“More and more people are trading up to this premium price segment, with Cabernet leading the charge,” Deutsch notes. “Bellacosa is a perfect fit for us, filling out the higher end of our premium wine portfolio.”
Sonoma native Dan Cohn launched Bellacosa in 2015, following the sale of his family’s Glen Ellen, California-based winery B.R. Cohn to Vintage Wine Estates. Bellacosa features a flagship North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vineyards throughout Sonoma, Napa, Oakville and Coombsville and retailing at around $25 a 750-ml. The brand also includes a limited release Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon retailing at $100.
“Partnering with another family-owned business that recognizes the value of people is important to me,” says Cohn. “The Deutsch family understands the Bellacosa story, and I’m confident their distribution network will help get the wine in the right accounts.”
California-based Vintage Wine Estates has acquired the Layer Cake, Cherry Pie and If You See Kay brands from One True Vine for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Vintage Wine Estates partner Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits will now handle sales and marketing for the Layer Cake brand nationally—by far the biggest brand in the deal. The sale is set to close on January 2.
One True Vine’s Jayson Woodbridge, founder of the three brands, will serve as a winemaking and public relations consultant for Layer Cake and Cherry Pie. While Deutsch will handle sales and marketing for Layer Cake, Vintage Wine Estates will take on responsibility for Cherry Pie and If You See Kay. The acquisition will add over 450,000 nine-liter cases to the Vintage Wine Estates portfolio, according to the company.
“We’re very excited to soon be leading the sales and marketing of Layer Cake,” said Peter Deutsch, CEO of Deutsch Family. “In partnership with (Vintage Wine Estates president and founding partner) Pat Roney and his team, we’ll drive existing and new items as part of our mission to grow the brand.”
The Calling 2015 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017 list.
“Ultrarich and extracted, offering a firm core of pear, apple, melon and spice flavors. A truly impressive effort, with depth and dimension. Drink now through 2022. 7,000 cases made.” —JL
WINE SPECTATOR – NOVEMBER 2017
The Calling 2013 Our Tribute – 90 POINTS
Presents a charming, structured medley of red and dark berry flavors, casting a juicy mouthfeel and a firm tannic backbone. Ends with dusty, loamy earth and cedary oak notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2028. –JL
Clos de los Siete 2014 – 88 POINTS
This offers good cut to the savory flavors of dried beef, berry and red currant, showing zesty minerality. Sun-dried tomato accents emerge on the finish. Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2019. –KM
WINE ADVOCATE – DECEMBER 2017
Clos de los Siete 2014 – 89 POINTS
Tasting multiple vintages of the same wine side by side is the best way to see the differences, so having this 2014 Clos de los Siete next to the 2013 confirms that the vintage was riper and warmer. The fruit tends more towards the black/darker/riper side of the spectrum and there are some heady and earthy notes, without the purity of the 2013. Having said that, the palate is soft and caressing, with fine-grained tannins, more in need of food than the previous year. The varietal breakup in this occasion was 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 3 % Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. – LG
JAMES SUCKLING – NOVEMBER 2017
Clos de los Siete 2014 – 93 POINTS
A rich and dense red with lots of juicy fruit that delivers chocolate and spice. Full body, round and flavorful. This becomes more refined and focused each year. – JS
WINE SPECTATOR – OCTOBER 2017
Peter Lehmann The Barossan 2015 Shiraz – 92 POINTS
Dense, with sink-your-teeth-into-them tannins and fleshy notes of spiced plum and wild blackberry. Tobacco espresso and nutmeg details add aromatic interest, but the focus and purity of the fruit flavors is the most powerful on the long finish. Drink now through 2029. – MW
Joseph Carr 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon – 88 POINTS
A stylish and well-constructed effort, offering a core of crushed rock and dusty dark berry flavors framed by firm tannins and acidity, ending with pencil lead notes. Drink now through 2023. –JL
Girard 2014 Artistry – 87 POINTS
High-toned aromatics offer floral and dark berry scents, with touches of bay leaf, mint and dried berry. Ends chewy and tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot. Drink now through 2027. –JL
WINE & SPIRITS – OCTOBER 2017
The Crossings 2015 Pinot Noir – 90 POINTS, Best Buy
Smoky at first, tough and tannic, this wine shows its oak, but not at the cost of its fruit. Instead, the oak provides a savory grip to hold and lift the concentrated fruit, keeping it in line. Pour the wine with grilled quail.