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Pernod Ricard USA Enters California Wine Category With New Brand, Deadbolt

October 10, 2012

Pernod Ricard USA is launching its first California still wine brand, Deadbolt, beginning with a super-premium red blend. The new offering is a 2010 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah, among others, that retails at $15.99 a 750-ml. It began hitting shelves in California, Nevada, Illinois, Massachusetts and Colorado on October 1. The launch enters Pernod into one of the hottest areas of the drinks market. Volume sales of red blends rose 19.5% in SymphonyIRI channels in the year-to-date through September 9.

As the popularity of red blends has taken off over the past year, so too has competition in the category. Deadbolt will take on brands like Constellation’s The Dreaming Tree and Diageo’s new Stark Raving label, which both feature red blends priced around the same area. Brands selling for a few dollars more, like Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Indian Wells and Coppola’s Diamond Collection, have also recently entered the red blend segment.

Deadbolt was developed by Pernod’s global wine division, Premium Wine Brands, with Philip Laffer serving as chief winemaker. It joins a Pernod Ricard USA wine stable that already includes Jacob’s Creek and Brancott Estate still wines, as well as Perrier Jouët and Mumm Champagnes and Mumm Napa sparkling wines. Pernod’s U.S. wine volume was flat at 1.6 million cases in 2011, according to Impact Databank.

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