Oddbins to stock £300 fine wine trios

Oddbins has upped its range of fine wines, including a trio of vintage Rhône and Rioja wines retailing for around £300.

The retailer has added two classic Oenotheque collections, comprising a wooden box of three wines from the Rhône’s Château de Beaucastel (RRP: £290) from the 1998, 2005 and 2009 vintages, and one from Rioja’s La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza, comprising the Reserva 2000, 1994 and 1989 vintages (RRP: £350).

It has also added a selection of French wines over £35, comprising five from Burgundy, two from Bordeaux and three from the Rhône. This includes, from Burgundy, Billaud-Simon Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2012 Chardonnay (RRP: £59), a Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits Saint Georges ‘Les Chenes Carteaux’ 2010 Pinot Noir (RRP: £48), as well as Domaine Clusel-Roch Côte Rôtie 2011 (RRP: £42) and a Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage ‘Farconnet’ 2008 (RRP: £45).

Speaking to db ahead of last Friday’s tasting, Oddbins’ head buyer Ana Sapungui MW said fine wine had been a strong growth area for the retailer, but she added that consumers were also increasingly likely to buy outside the ‘classic’ fine wine regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux. As a result, the team had continued to expand its range into the ‘non-classic’ fine wines.

“We’ve been doing this for a little while now and it’s getting stronger and stronger,” she told db. “It’s from a small base, but customers are a lot more willing to experiment and try something a bit different. But you can only do that is you have built up an element of confidence with customers on the fine wine side.”

It is rolling out a Tasmanian Chardonnay, Dawson and James Chardonnay Tasmania 2011 (RRP: £45), as well as an Australia Tasmania Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2013 Chardonnay (RRP: £25), which builds on the  “exceptionally” good sales of Australian fine wines last year, which were in double-digit growth. 

Other new additions include a Priorat Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofí 2014 from Spain (RRP: £50), a Niepoort Redoma Tinto 2014 from the Douro (RRP: £36), and an Argentinan Matias Michelini ‘Eterno Retorno’ 2013 Bonarda from Mendoza (RRP: £30).

“It is a bit more obscure, but as long as these wines are explained by the staff, customers will buy,” she said.

Sapungui said the retailer had changed its approach to fine wine a couple of years ago.

“It’s been a gradual evolution to get customers to that level, so I would probably not have listed a £45 Tasmanian Chardonnay a year and a half ago, but I’m more confident to do it now.”

Grower Champagne

The retailed has also upped its range of grower champagnes, with seven new lines and built its range of sparkling wines by adding fizz from from Austria (Weingut Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner Sekt Brut 2014), Portugal (Quinta de Soalheiro Alvarinho Espumante Bruto 2016), New Zealand (Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc Bubbles 2016) , and Argentina (Tapiz Malbec Rosé Extra Brut NV) as well as French sparkling wines such as Limoux or Cremant, which have shown strong growth.

It has also listed a range of nine natural wines priced between £12.50 and £25, which Sapungui said was the first time the retailer had backed natural wines.

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