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Expanding Barton & Guestier Taps Accessible Bordeaux, Pinot Noir Segments

September 1, 2017

Riding a wave of expansion largely due to the success of its Côtes de Provence Rose ($15), Castel Group’s Barton & Guestier is now looking to tap momentum in the entry-level Bordeaux and Pinot Noir segments in the U.S. market. The Barton & Guestier brand rose an impressive 18% to 175,000 cases in the U.S. last year.

In recent months, Barton & Guestier USA launched M de Magnol, a new AOC Bordeaux offering, sourced from the Castel Group’s older vines in the famed wine region. The blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon is made in a modern style, according Hubert Surville, who serves as the company’s COO in the U.S., and retails at $15 a 750-ml.

Surville notes that while M de Magnol is priced in the sweet spot of the retail segment, it also has potential in the on-premise by-the-glass area, where it sells at about $10 a glass. M de Magnol is a younger sibling to Haut Medoc label Chateau Magnol, which retails at around $28 a 750-ml. Magnol recently brought in Hubert de Boüard of St. Emilion’s Chateau Angelus as a winemaking consultant.

Meanwhile, Barton & Guestier is prepping the launch of a repositioned Bistro Pinot Noir ($15) offering for late November. The revamped label is intended to present an entry-level Pinot in the fruitier, more extracted style that’s become popular in the U.S., sourced from Burgundy and Corsica.

Rosé continues to drive gains for Barton & Guestier overall. In addition to its Côtes de Provence, which is projected to jump 67% to 50,000 cases this year, B&G has had success with trade-up proposition La Villa Barton ($20), which is geared more to the on-premise and is expected to reach 10,000 cases for 2017. —Daniel Marsteller

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