McGuigan doubles UK Semillon category

Just a year after McGuigan Wines launched the The Semillon Blanc at last year’s London International Wine Fair, the company claims to have “more than doubled” Semillon sales in the UK.

shortlisted.jpgAccording to Nielsen (MAT data to week ending 25.03.2011), total Semillon sales in the UK accounted for 44,000 nine litre cases during the period. Of this Australia supplied 38,600 cases, or 87% of total Semillon sales.

Australian Vintage, which owns the brand, claims The Semillon Blanc accounted for 52% of these Australian Semillon sales in the UK.

The data covers only 100% Semillon wines, and therefore excludes blends such as Sauternes.

Following its LIWF launch
, The Semillon Blanc was listed exclusively in Tesco for six months from October 2010. At the time, Dan Jago, head of beers, wines and spirits for Tesco, described the wine as “something that could change people’s idea about Australia”.

Australian Vintage now plans to put the wine into Majestic and Sainsbury’s over the next few months, as well as considering the creation of a bespoke label for the independent sector.

The company is now due to release its latest launch, The Shortlist, at the end of May. The five strong, regionally-focused range features Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, an aged Eden Valley Riesling, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Shiraz and a Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre blend, also from the Barossa.

The entire UK allocation of The Shortlist has been bought by Majestic, after buyer Matt Pym tasted the range on a recent visit to Australia.

Majestic will launch the wines online this week, priced at £14.99 per bottle.

Describing The Shortlist as: “a great boost for not only McGuigan, but the Australian category in general, Paul Schaafsma, UK & European general manager for Australian Vintage, maintained: “The potential for premium Australia in the UK is untapped – one of our key areas of focus for 2011 is to really drive the premium message behind McGuigan and Australia as a whole.”

The Shortlist will be available to taste on the McGuigan stand, N10.

Gabriel Savage, 17.05.2011

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