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Boisset Collection Unleashes New Product Blitz

July 13, 2016

With a portfolio spanning from Napa and Sonoma to Burgundy, the Rhône and the Languedoc, the Boisset Collection is mining opportunities at the premium end of the wine category—and hitting the market with a number of new entries. The company’s U.S.-based Boisset Family Estates unit has a current volume of 850,000 cases of domestic wines, with DeLoach, Raymond Vineyards and Buena Vista Winery contributing the majority of sales. But Boisset Family Estates president Jean-Charles Boisset tells SND that other brands such as Lyeth Estate, Lockwood Vineyard and the recently acquired Wattle Creek Winery are also showing promise from a smaller base.

Sonoma-based Buena Vista, which Boisset acquired from now-defunct Ascentia Wine Estates in 2011, recently launched two new offerings: Château Buena Vista Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and La Victoire Champagne (both $50). The new Napa Cabernet honors the history of the Buena Vista estate—which in the 1860s stretched some 6,000 acres from Sonoma into the Lovall Valley in Napa—and the contributions of founder Count Agoston Haraszthy to California wine. Buena Vista was also one of the first wineries to produce methode champenoise sparkling wine in California.

With the launch of La Victoire Champagne—a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay sourced from 1er Cru vineyards in Montagne de Reims and Grand Cru vineyards in Mesnil-sur-Oger and Chouilly—Boisset says Buena Vista is now the first California winery to make Champagne in Champagne.

“We want to bring an American vision to Champagne and not just witness Champagne houses coming to Napa or Sonoma,” says Boisset. “We’re focusing on the U.S. for now, but we’re very bullish about introducing La Victoire beyond the U.S. in the future.” Sparkling wines hold major upside for the Boisset Collection overall, Boisset adds. The company’s other French sparkling offerings including JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset, Louis Boillot and Charles de Fère.

Elsewhere in the portfolio, Boisset’s Raymond Vineyards—with 300 acres in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon—is planning the launch of a Napa Valley Cabernet Reserve later this year, coinciding with the winery’s 40th anniversary. Meanwhile, DeLoach, based in the Russian River Valley, has debuted two new Estate wines—a Pinot Noir ($70) and Chardonnay ($50)—and the Alexander Valley’s Lyeth Estate has fresh packaging and a new series of wines in the pipeline.

The latest addition to the winery portfolio occurred in April, when Boisset acquired Wattle Creek Winery in the Alexander Valley and its tasting room in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square for an undisclosed sum. Boisset says Wattle Creek will continue to focus on its existing Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Triple Play red blend, as well as Viognier, Muscat, Pinot Noir and Merlot. —Kimberly Tharel

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