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Georges Duboeuf Moving From Deutsch To Quintessential Wines

December 1, 2015

After a three-decade partnership, France’s Les Vins Georges Duboeuf and U.S. importer Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits have mutually agreed to part ways. The Duboeuf brand is moving to the portfolio of Napa-based Quintessential Wines, effective January 1. The importer switch includes all Duboeuf wines, but not the HobNob brand, which is jointly owned by Duboeuf and Deutsch and will remain in the Deutsch portfolio.

The Duboeuf brand—with offerings ranging from $10 to $40 a bottle—transitions to Quintessential after enduring a precipitous decline in recent years. In 2000, Duboeuf had U.S. depletions of nearly 1.2 million cases and led the French import category. By 2010, though, its volume had fallen to 415,000 cases, and last year it slipped another 45% to 180,000 cases. Sister brand HobNob has fared better, rising from 150,000 cases in 2010 to 190,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

Quintessential’s portfolio spans California, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Germany, Portugal and Hungary. Among its key labels is Impact “Hot Brand” Valentin Bianchi, an Argentine import that reached 265,000 cases on 11% growth last year. Fellow Argentine brand New Age (+12% to 185,000 cases) and Spain’s Bodegas Muriel (+11% to 116,000 cases) have also been growth drivers for the company lately.

“The plan is to reintroduce the U.S. consumer to Duboeuf, with a big focus on Beaujolais-Villages as well as the Beaujolais Crus and Macon wines,” Quintessential co-founder Dennis Kreps tells SND. “Nouveau will always be important, but we’ll rebuild the brand around those other wines. About 10-15 years ago French wines took a major dip and haven’t really recovered from that. But we’re starting to see them come back a bit. A lot of new consumers coming into the market are looking for lighter, more balanced wines, and the Duboeuf portfolio fits that style.”

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