? Fat Bastard is sold: French producer Boisset bought the company that makes Fat Bastard, one of the first clever label brands. Boisset is best known in the U.S. for owning Deloach and inexpensive imports from the south of France like French Rabbit and Lulu B. This is another in what looks to be continuing consolidation at that end of the market, which has included Gallo ?s purchase of Spanish producer Las Rocas.
? Sting launches wine label: The front man for the Police will sell about 2,500 cases of red wine made on his country estate in Tuscany. It is supposed to be available in the U.S. later this year. The wine will be a Super Tuscan, though it doesn ?t have a name yet (and no, it probably won ?t be called Roxanne.) And, yes, one of the headlines for this story in the cyber-ether was ?Message in a bottle. ? Ouch. The Wine Curmudgeon is going to have to teach these people how to write headlines.
? European label ban: The European Commission, in what looks to be a reversal of policy, apparently will not allow U.S. wineries that use the word chateau, clos, or even vintage on their labels to be sold in the European Union, reports Wines & Vines. This seems to be part of the long-standing trade dispute between the EU and the U.S. that everyone thought had been settled in 2006. But the Europeans have re-opened the discussion, which they were allowed to do. One of the biggest losers? Napa ?s Clos du Val, run by French winemaker Bernard Portet, which had to stop selling its wine in Europe — where it enjoys a fine reputation. I know Portet a little, and he will not be happy.