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Top 10 Dubai duty free wine brands

Spread over an area of 8,500 acres, Dubai International Airport is the largest airport in the world and second only to Heathrow in terms of international passengers.

With a total of 65 million passengers passing through annually and as one of the major international hubs as well as the stop-off for countless long haul flights through the Middle East, Dubai Airport is a global retail behemoth.

As part of our focus on international duty free sales during the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference this week here are the top 10 still wine brands by value at Dubai International Airport.

And with such an wide range of nationalities passing through Dubai it’s interesting to see the balance between the New World and the Old.

Scroll through for the top value wines sold at Dubai international airport by market share…

To see the top 10 travel retail brands of 2013 click here. 

10. Bouchard Père & Fils (1.2% of all wines sold)

Chief winemaker Philippe Prost has been with Burgundy’s Bouchard since 1978 and he stresses the importance of achieving ideal maturity for top Chardonnay and says that the grape requires a long cool ripening period to preserve acidity, limestone for “minerality”, and restraint when it comes to the use of new oak.

Add in Bouchard’s delicate Pinot Noirs reminiscent of bright red fruits and forest floor combined with vibrant acidity at the lighter end of the red spectrum may be the key factor behind their broad appeal.

9. Cantine Lenotti (1.26%)

From Veneto in Italy’s northeast comes Lenotti’s stable of crisp  Soaves, juicy Bardolinos and Valpolicellas and dense, almost chewable flagship Amarones.

Although established in 1906, Lenotti really only began its ascendance as one of Italy’s key modernisers from 1968 and, for the next 40 years, has seen a continued increase in sales, especially in the export markets, and have, in the meantime, been widening their range of wines as well as maintaining their quality.

8. Antinori (1.29%)

The famed Italian producer acts almost as a one-stop shop for Tuscan wines covering most budgets starting at the Peppoli Chianti Classico through Gauda al Tasso range up to the Italian standard bearers Solaia and Tignanello as well as producing a range of grappas and brandies.

The venerable Tuscan was in the news not long ago after they opened their doors to the public for the first time in the company’s 628-year history.

7. Château Lafite Rothschild (1.3%)

Number one at Heathrow and number seven in Dubai and thus perhaps an indication of the importance higher volume wines play in Dubai over low volume super premium

Unarguably one of Bordeaux and the worlds most famous names Lafite do Lafite and thats pretty much it but I’m not sure many are complaining.

6. Jean-Claude Fromont (1.52%)

Chablis-based négociant J-C Fromont have, over the years, branched out into other parts of France including the Loire Valley, the Rhône and Beaujolais amongst others in order to offer a broad range of French wines and something to suit most palate.

Established in 1972 there are few other producers supplying wines from such a wide range of French appellations.

5. Montes (1.55%)

Dubai’s first new world entry is represented by this Chilean producer whose winemaker Aurelio Montes Jr. claims a vice in skydiving, at least when he’s not producing wine in Chile or neighbouring Argentina.

The Chilean range starts with the Montes Classics then moves up to the “Super-Icon” Taita and, at their best, are worthy of comparison with the best of the rest of the world.

4. Cloudy Bay (2.00%)

The Moët Hennessy-owned New Zealand operation have recently began paying more attention to Pinot Noir but they became one of the best known Kiwi wine brands because of their work with Sauvignon Blanc and as an early Marlborough pioneer.

And while Sauvignon Blanc remains Cloudy Bay’s mainstay it also produces a range of aromatic whites including Chardonnay,  Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer and a range of sparklers under the Pelorus label.

3. Louis Jadot (2.19%)

Having purchased their first vineyards in 1826 the Jadot family set up Maison Louis Jadot in 1859 and now own over 200 hectares of vines across Burgundy and Beaujolais.

Another Dubai stalwart with a broad range of styles and price points, the focus of Jadot may be relatively narrow compared to others on this list but what they do they do well.

2. Penfolds (2.61%)

While the South Australian institution does produce a range of white wines, they are very much a red wine producer at heart and with their new Penfolds Collection bringing all their premium wines under one umbrella, a genuine global brand.

As the jewel in the crown of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), Penfolds continues to lead the way for Australia. Over its considerable history its shape has changed both in terms of its vineyards, its management, its passing parade of great winemakers, and its wines but there exists no other single wine brand in the New or the Old World with the depth and breadth of Penfolds.

1. Jacobs Creek (5.53%)

The first of the Aussie duopoloy and undisputed leader of sales by value at Dubai International is a household name and few other wine brands can be regarded as quite so synonymous with their country of origin as Jacobs Creek and Australia.

One of the biggest selling wine brands in the world, the success of it’s entry level wines has had the perverse effect of prejudicing many critics and wine writers who fail to objectively look behind the label and taste what is in fact in the glass.

The four-tier range consists of Icon (Johann Shiraz Cabernet); then Heritage (Steingarten Riesling, Reeves Point Chardonnay, Centenary Hill Barossa Shiraz and St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet); then Regional Reserve (all major varieties); and finally Classic (ditto).

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