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Bancroft bolsters Californian offer

California wine is closing the gap in its UK mid-range offer a step further as Castle Rock Winery joins the portfolio of importer Bancroft Wines.

With a range that reaches across the Pacific North West, Castle Rock will initially be represented in the UK by a Central Coast Chardonnay, Monterrey Pinot Noir, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon and Lodi Zinfandel, each of which carries an RRP of between £12.50 and £15.50 per bottle.

Although headline figures remain dominated by the state’s high volume, entry level brands, recent years have seen a notable uplift and broadening of Californian wines’ representation in the UK.

This has been driven by a combination of factors, not least the flurry of upmarket US-inspired steakhouse roll outs such as Goodman, Hawksmoor and Cut at 45 Park Lane; the economic downturn, which encouraged some Californian producers to look beyond their domestic market; and a stylistic shift in several quarters to create fresher, less heavily extracted wines.

In turn, a number of pioneering UK importers responded to the rising appeal of Californian wine by bringing in new producers. Bancroft formed part of this wave in 2011 when it added high profile Napa Valley estate Chateau Montelena to its portfolio.

Introducing Castle Rock, whose wines are due to arrive in the UK early next month, Bancroft’s brand & communications manager Sophie McLean pointed to “customer demand for something that represents regionality, lifestyle and excellent bang for your buck.”

Highlighting this aim to offer value for money, she remarked: “California is known for iconic, small production, generally high cost wines. Whilst we have Chateau Montelena on our books, we want to offer something at the other end of category that will still impress on palate. We’re confident these wines are the perfect sweet spot for areas of the market that we aren’t yet covering.”

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