The sparkling wine market seems to be splitting more and more clearly into two camps: everyday sparklers - a market big-name brands from Down Under are keen to crack - and top-end Champagnes.
The latter camp is still the overall winner, with MoŽt Hennessy's star performers MoŽt & Chandon and Veuve Cliquot still claiming first and second places. After a strong performance last year, when sales grew 13 per cent, Veuve Clicquot is looking a bit more iffy this year, with sales growing well below inflation at 1 per cent and volumes dropping 4 per cent.
MoŽt's volumes only climbed 4 per cent, but 8 per cent sales growth, consolidating its market share at 9.5 per cent, means the brand is still sparkling as much as the jewelled London taxis that have been promoting it since before Christmas.
Bollinger has also done well, with 20 per cent sales growth pushing it up to seventh place in the league, but Lanson and Nicolas Feuillatte have seen 5 per cent and 4 per cent tumbles respectively. Lanson's means a slight recovery from last year, when sales dropped 8 per cent as its ownership passed to Boizel Chanoine.
Jacob's Creek hiked sales 32 per cent, climbing from fifth to third place - and if it keeps up that sort of growth next year it could be challenging Veuve Clicquot for second place. Fellow Aussie Hardys Crest stayed in 10th place with 12 per cent sales growth, while further down the table Banrock Station and Beringer saw 73 per cent and 93 per cent sales increases respectively.
Among the New World sparklers only Montana's Lindauer dropped 1 per cent of its value, but that picture may change when stablemate Montana sparkling, a Chardonnay-dominated wine , hits shelves this spring.
Widespread consumer sampling, a £250,000 press ad campaign and an excellent first Christmas on full distribution have sent CodornŪu's sales soaring 65 per cent in 2006, outstripping a volume increase of 54 per cent.
In August 2006 the cava brand appointed PR agency Westbury, and marketing manager Jo Maclean says independent press reviews and a number of International Wine Challenge medals have given the brand a real boost.
CodornŪu's success stands in sharp relief against a 17 per cent drop in sales for Freixenet, the only other cava brand in the top 10.
Top 10 sparkling wines
Brand Supplier Sales £m % Change
1 MoŽt & Chandon MoŽt Hennessy UK
2 Veuve Clicquot MoŽt Hennessy UK
3 Jacob's Creek Pernod Ricard
4 Lanson Lanson International UK
5 Freixenet Freixenet UK 16.2
6 Martini Asti Bacardi-Martini
7 Bollinger Mentzendorff
8 CodornŪu CodornŪu UK
9 Nicolas Feuillatte Thierry's
10 Hardys Crest Constellation
Nielsen MAT to Dec 30 2006, GB off-trade