Pernod bolsters St Hugo range

Australian wine brand St Hugo has brought out a pair of new wines this month, described as its “ultimate expression”.

St Hugo Vetus Purum Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Called Vetus Purum, or “ancient pure”, the new range features a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and a single vineyard Barossa Shiraz, both launching with the 2010 vintage.

The Latin motto comes from the family crest of Gramp & Sons, after whose former managing director the Pernod Ricard-owned brand is named. “Vetus” refers to the 200 million year old soils of the Barossa Valley, while “Purum” highlights the terroir of Coonawarra, which is cooled by Antarctic winds.

“These have been incredibly special wines to make, and I took great care to follow Hugo’s guidance by selecting only the finest fruit from ancient and pure terroir,” said St Hugo Wines’ chief winemaker, Sam Kurtz.

“I truly believe that with Vetus Purum we have arrived at the purest expression of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, and a single-vineyard Shiraz of the quality that can only be achieved in the Barossa’s ancient soils.”

Launching initially in Australia duty free, Vetus Purum will roll out to Hong Kong in July and “selected” Asian airports in August before arriving in China and the US toward the end of the year.

With both wines carrying an RRP of AU$188 (£105), this distribution strategy reflects the success that a number of Australian brands have enjoyed with their higher priced wines in Asian markets, despite the recent negative impact of Chinese austerity measures.

Likewise, figures released yesterday by Wine Australia for the 12 months to the end of March 2014 showed rising demand from US consumers for the country’s higher priced wines, with the average value of Australian exports to this market rising by 15%.

Last year saw the St Hugo brand separate from the Jacob’s Creek portfolio in order to support Pernod Ricard’s aim to achieve a more prestigious positioning for the St Hugo range.

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