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Georges Duboeuf Returns To Growth In 2017

November 28, 2017

Following a period of difficulty that began around 2005, the Georges Duboeuf portfolio has stabilized in the U.S. market, and importer Quintessential Wines says the brand will be up about 2% this year. Duboeuf, known for its Beaujolais offerings ranging from the seasonal Nouveau release up through a number of Cru-level expressions, joined Quintessential in late 2015 after a multi-decade partnership with Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits.

This year, 105,000 cases of Duboeuf Beaujolias Nouveau and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau were imported to the U.S., up slightly from last year. Quintessential co-owner Steve Kreps notes that distributors in New York say demand for Nouveau is beginning to outstrip supply. “It really says that our plan is working,” says Kreps. “We’re aiming to reach about 5%-10% growth, but for now we’ve stopped the decline.”

Meanwhile, Duboeuf’s Cru Beaujolais labels roughly doubled to 7,400 cases in the U.S. in the 12 months through July. The Beaujolais-Villages wines were up 17% to 25,000 cases, and the entry-level Beaujolais more than doubled to 4,600 cases over the same period. Kreps adds that Quintessential and Duboeuf are planning to extend the brand with a new line of wines in the coming year.

For the 2017 vintage, proprietor Franck Duboeuf says the poor weather that roiled the grape crop across Europe was also a factor in Beaujolais. “The region was hit hard by frost in the South and hailstones in the North,” he says. “But we’re pleased by the quality, even if we lost about 20%-30% of the total crop.” —Shane English

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