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Robert Mondavi Portfolio Posts Solid Gains At High End

March 1, 2018

Since acquiring the Robert Mondavi portfolio for roughly $1 billion in 2004, Constellation Brands has taken the iconic franchise to new heights. While the Mondavi stable drives volume with the 1.9-million-case Private Selection tier ($11-$14 a 750-ml.) and the nearly 10-million-case Woodbridge label (under $10), it’s the upscale Robert Mondavi Winery range that has been showing the most impressive growth lately.

Last year, the Robert Mondavi Winery brand was up 15.5% to 260,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. The brand comprises three tiers, with its core Napa Valley lineup accounting for around 75% of sales. Featuring seven expressions retailing at $20-$40 a 750-ml., the Napa range is sourced from a variety of estate vineyards, including the To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville and Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stag’s Leap district, as well as through various long-term grower contracts.

“We continue to see sales reflecting the industry-wide trend of consumers looking for more high-end offerings,” says Michelle Perry, vice president, fine wine marketing, visitor programs and DTC for Constellation Brands. Perry notes that Robert Mondavi’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Maestro red blend “use some of the best fruit sources in the Napa Valley while selling for under $40 a bottle,” giving the brand an attractive price-value equation.

Further up the pricing ladder, Robert Mondavi Winery is also carving out growth with its Oakville and Reserve offerings. The Oakville lineup offers a Fume Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon ($40-$65), as well as a red blend and Cabernet Franc available on-premise only. The Cabernet Franc—which launched earlier this year in a limited release of 700 cases—quickly garnered strong interest from consumers. The Reserve tier ($52-$175), targeted at the on-premise, features Fume Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, as well as a flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, known as The Reserve, sourced from To Kalon.

Perry says independent retailers and the fine dining channel have been key in driving sales of Robert Mondavi Winery’s high-end offerings, in particular The Reserve. “The Reserve is one of Wine Spectator’s most consistent 90+ wines and we continue to see demand and esteem grow for this wine year over year,” she says.—Christina Jelski

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