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DBR Lafite Looks To Build Upon Its Légende Range

June 1, 2018

Known for its flagship Pauillac-based Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) is looking to leverage the U.S. market’s increasing thirst for entry-level Bordeaux with its accessibly priced Légende range. Légende was originally launched in the U.S. by DBR Lafite’s Pasternak Wine Imports in the first half of 2016. Later that year, Taub Family Cos. acquired Pasternak and merged its portfolio with that of Taub’s existing Esprit du Vin organization, which now handles Légende in the U.S.

“The idea with Légende was to add more approachable, accessible wines for consumers that still reflect the style of Lafite,” notes winemaker Diane Flamand, who’s been with DBR Lafite since 2004. “Today, we produce about 500,000 cases—it’s been a big success.” Of Légende’s total production, about 95% is exported and one-third comes to the Americas.

“Légende has been well-received in the U.S.,” says Cedric Villars, portfolio director for DBR Lafite at Esprit du Vin. “There’s a ton of potential for Bordeaux in this market, and for the idea of introducing consumers to the different appellations through the eyes of a respected name like Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite).”

Sourced from 15 growers across Bordeaux, the Légende lineup includes entry-level Bordeaux Rouge and Bordeaux Blanc wines sourced from Entre-deux-Mers ($18), as well as offerings from the Medoc ($25), St. Emilion ($37), and Pauillac ($50). The Pauillac features fruit from DBR’s Lafite and Duhart-Milon estates, which typically account for about 80% of the blend. The Bordeaux Rouge is by far the line’s largest label, making up roughly four-fifths of production. Villars notes that while Esprit du Vin sees potential for Légende to continue expanding both on- and off-premise, the by-the-glass segment holds particular promise for the future.

As DBR Lafite and Esprit du Vin look to continue building the Légende brand in the U.S., the Bordeaux category overall is enjoying a resurgence in the market. The region’s U.S. shipments have expanded by more than 60% since 2010, reaching 2.2 million cases last year, with much of the growth being driven by the accessibly priced under-$50 segment.—Daniel Marsteller

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