Waitrose upgrades premium lines with new ‘No 1’ range

Waitrose has launched a new ‘top tier’ range of wines, spirits and cider, focusing on premium producers, which includes six new and 21 rebranded lines.

According to the retailer, the wines have been “enhanced and updated” from the original range with a new bold design.

The move comes as part of a wider rebrand of the upmarket retailer’s premium range, previously known as Waitrose 1, which now comprises around 650 products in total – around 200 products more than before –  including the BWS category for the first time.

Waitrose & Partners’ head of wine buying, Pierpaolo Petrassi MW, said the new No.1 wine range allowed it to introduce its customers to some of the very best classic wines and standout regions around the world.

“We want this range to be an indulgence for our customers, whether that be a special occasion, dinner party or a weekend treat,” he said. “Our award-winning team of buyers have worked with some of the world’s best producers to ensure authenticity; working with winemakers to craft some truly outstanding wines.”

The six news products comprise a Cederberg Private Cellar Syrah (RRP: £8.99), Sauvignon Blanc Astrolabe from the Awatere Valley (RRP: £12.49), a White Burgundy (Pouilly Vinzelles) and a Red Burgundy (Côte de Beaune) produced exclusively by Maison Joseph Drouhin, a Crusted Port (RRP: £19.99) produced exclusively by the Symington Family Estate, which it said shared the characteristics of vintage port but was ready for drinking sooner, an Argentinian Malbec and a Bordeaux.

The range includes three ports, six sherries, a cider and a perry, a blended Scotch, an Armagnac VSOP, a Cognac VSOP, eight red wines, three wine, one sparkling – a Cava Brut Castillo Perelada £10.99, and a Sauternes Chateau Suduiraut (RRP: £15.99). Interestingly there are no Champagnes, English sparkling  or Proseccos in the line-up.

In June, the retailer launched the ‘W’ range, an own label range of lesser-known grape varieties retailing for under £10, designed to push the boundaries, and complement is ‘classic’ medium Blue Print tier. At the time, Waitrose & Partners then wine buying manager James Bone described the own label ranges as a “small but important” part of the retailer’s portfolio, which accounted for around 12-15% of sales.

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