News in brief

19 October, 2007

Bestway has rolled out a rosé version of its house Champagne Lelac, which joins the original brut Champagne. Both are blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The brand has also been redesigned. A six-bottle case of the brut costs £56.99 plus VAT, and the rosé is £66.99.

Paul Cross has joined Myliko Wines as the company's new national sales manager. Cross joins from CWF where he held the position of sales manager for some two years. Prior to CWF he was national account manager for PLB.

A Chilean wine brand has been launched in the UK. The four-strong range, imported by WineXcel, is called G7 and consists of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. G7 refers to the seven generations of the del Pedregal family who have run the winery and vineyards of Carta Vieja since 1825. The range, which was launched at Wines of Chile's annual trade tasting on Oct 16, will retail at £4.99.

Justerini & Brooks is to distribute Rudi Schultz Wines in the UK. Created by South African winemaker Rudi Schultz, the grapes for Schultz's signature label are sourced from his boutique winery in Bottelary Hills, Stellenbosch. The first wine to be rolled out to the off-trade will be Syrah 2005. "Syrah from the Bottelary Hills is one of our best expressions of terroir," Schultz said.

Wine from the US's Sonoma-Cutrer has been released to the UK off-trade for the first time. Russian Rivers Ranches 2005 is being made available initially in Waitrose and Whole Foods Market stores. The super-premium Chardonnay, which retails at £16.99, was previously only available to the restaurant trade. The wine is made from a blend of Chardonnay grapes from the estate's own vineyards around the Russian River in the Sonoma Coast appellation. It is "reminiscent of a fine Puligny Montrachet and can be drunk now or enjoyed over the next few years," the company said in a statement.

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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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