Close Menu
News Sponsored story

Spring board: Bijou expands portfolio with two new reds

Having established a confident base in rosé, southern French wine brand Bijou is now leaping into the red wine category, offering lighter and fresher styles to keep up with contemporary consumer tastes.

SOUTHERN FRENCH wine brand Bijou is utilising the success of its rosé wines to expand its portfolio, launching two red Pinot Noirs into the UK market in 2024.

Both wines, Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose Pinot Noir and Eminence Pinot Noir, originate from plots in the Haute Vallée de l’Aude – unique terroir distinguished by a set of microclimates that give Bijou wines their signature freshness.

The vineyards surround the town of Limoux, which is considered the meetingpoint between the Atlantic Ocean influence from the west and the Mediterranean influence from the east.

Set in the upper reaches of the River Aude, leading up to the Pyrenees, this damper, cooler area benefits from higher elevation, with vineyards located 400- 450m above sea level.

A wider diurnal range also results in a longer growing season, allowing the Pinot Noir grapes to fully ripen while conserving their acidity and aromas. Just like its rosé wines, Bijou’s reds reflect the identity of the brand and the land on which the grapes are grown. Edward Vellacott, commercial director at Bijou Wine, says that as a “young and quality-driven southern French producer”, Bijou is “on a mission to discover unique southern French regions”. He explains: “Languedoc-Roussillon is extremely diverse, so when we came across these low-yielding vineyards in the foothills of the Pyrenees, we were convinced this would be the perfect spot for our next chapter. The cool climate in the Haute Vallée de l’Aude is perfectly suited to late-ripening varieties, in particular Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.” While most consumers might associate the Languedoc with big Grenacheand/or Syrah-based blends, Vellacott sees growing Pinot Noir in the region as a “fun challenge”, allowing the brand to “show another facet, rooted in delicacy and freshness”.

Lighter red wines also tend to be better suited to modern dining habits, Vellacott says, as consumers seek more fruitforward and easy-drinking styles, particularly as summer approaches.

Bijou first made a name for itself through the success of its range of refreshing rosé wines, which continues to grow. The brand works with sustainable growers in IGP Coteaux de Béziers, a niche production area between the Mediterranean and the Bassin de Thau where strong winds provide a cooling influence during the summer, “sweeping humidity in from the coast and resulting in a unique saline finish on our rosés”, Vellacott says. He also reports that the brand is committed to “innovating and staying ahead of the curve”, a mindset that is also reflected in Bijou’s sustainable packaging formats (250ml cans and 1.5-litre pouches), which carry a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional 75cl bottles.

The Bijou brand’s success continues to grow around the world, with new listings secured in premium beach clubs dotted around the Mediterranean just in time for summer, as well as the launch of Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose Sauvignon Blanc in the US, and partnerships with ecommerce giants in France and the UK.

Bijou wines are now present in more than 40 countries worldwide, and demand only seems to be going one way. As Vellacott puts it: “I guess we must be doing something right.”


Éminence De Bijou Pinot Noir

“An instantly appealing and fairly powerful Pinot Noir with layers of flavour, from ripe cherry to blackberry, wild strawberry to blood orange, along with a touch of toast and vanilla. While there’s a pleasant, fleshy richness to the wine, there’s also a balancing freshness, and some firm, fine tannins to bring a dry edge to the finish. A persistent and delicious barrelinfluenced Pinot for a keen price.” (Patrick Schmitt MW)

Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose Pinot Noir

“An appealing Pinot with scents of cherry and cranberry, and a light, bright mouthfeel featuring flavours of crushed strawberry and a touch of raspberry jam, followed by a hint of crunchy cranberry to bring a fresh note to the finish. While this is quite a delicate wine, it’s far from thin, and there is some soft, fleshy fruit along with some fine, dry, chalky tannin. An excellent example of finely-structured, fruity Pinot for sub-£15.” (Patrick Schmitt MW)

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No