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Pernod Looks To Revive Jacob’s Creek With New Double Barrel Range

March 31, 2016

With sales of Jacob’s Creek flagging in recent years, Pernod Ricard USA is aiming to revitalize the brand with a new range called Double Barrel, which features wines finished in former whisk(e)y casks. Thus far, the Double Barrel series includes a Barossa Valley Shiraz finished for three months in Scotch whisky barrels and a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon finished in Irish whiskey casks.

The new Double Barrel wines (both $20) are positioned between the Jacob’s Creek Reserve ($15) and Heritage ($35-$40) tiers. Double Barrel is now launching across 10 U.S. markets ahead of a national rollout.

Pernod is currently producing about 30,000 cases of Double Barrel for the global market. Jacob’s Creek chief winemaker Ben Bryant tells SND he’s aiming for an increase to 100,000-150,000 cases within a few years, potentially including new expressions. “We’re continuing to explore and play with other blends,” he says.

Like the Australian wine industry as a whole, Jacob’s Creek has been retrenching in the U.S. lately. Its volume hit a high-water mark of 1 million cases in 2007, but has since receded, slipping to 585,000 cases by 2015, according to Impact Databank. Jacob’s Creek has long been Pernod’s biggest wine brand in the U.S., just ahead of Kenwood, which is at around 450,000 cases.

Along with Double Barrel, Pernod is also looking to spark growth for Jacob’s Creek with its Two Lands tier ($12), which debuted a year ago. The Two Lands wines are crafted to have a more California-esque taste profile. Bryant says he will also be cultivating Jacob’s Creek’s high end, with Chardonnay and Barossa Shiraz representing key opportunities to show off Australia’s ultra-premium potential.

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