Activity points to renaissance for French wines innovation

01 June, 2007

The London wine fair

hosted a raft of French brand launches and range extensions.

Thierry's

presented a Grande Reserve tier of single varietal

wines for joint venture Chamarré

- each a blend of wines sourced from different regions. The brand will also add a Côtes du Rhône to its Tradition tier of French AOCs.

Pierre Courbon of brand developer OVS, which worked with Thierry's on the brand, said he was encouraged by the performance of French brands

such as JP Chenet in the UK.

"French wine producers may have been sleeping a bit too much in the past, but now one initiative generates another," he said.

Brand Phoenix is launching a range of mid-priced regional wines following trials in Asda. The wines, which have also been listed by Morrisons, include red and white Bordeaux,

red and white Burgundy, Corbières, Medoc, Lussac and Saint- Emilion. All have subtle Renaissance branding on the label.

Bottle Green launched Rhône brand Palais des Anciens . The five-strong brand ranges from a Côtes du Rhône at £5.99 to a Châteauneuf du Pape at £14.99, via Côtes du Rhône Villages, Vacqueyras and Gigondas.

Guy Anderson is repackaging its La Chasse du Pape Côtes du Rhône from the 2006 vintage

and will increase the

rrp from £4.99 to £5.99. Percy Fox is planning to extend its Piat d'Or range over the next 12 months, while Vinoceros has listed its first French range

in Fox Wood, a selection of Vins de Pays d'Oc.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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