McWilliam’s Wines is set to launch a fruity Australian red called Wildling, a 13.5% abv blend of Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes in a similar bottle to Gallo’s Apothic.
Matt Douglas, managing director at UK distributor Sogrape UK, said: “We are astounded by the performance of Apothic. It’s in all the supermarkets at the same price point, which is rare because supermarkets hate that.
“We are launching Wildling into the same area as Apothic. This is different though. This is Australian, not American. It’s not as big and rich, it’s more balanced. Californian wine can be hard work after a while.”
Sogrape is targeting retail – particularly multiples – with the new wine, that has an rrp of £9.99. “It’s not the cheapest wine on the shelf, nor is it supposed to be,” said Douglas.
McWilliam’s wine group export director Mark Hely added: “The approachable style of the red blend category has been hugely successful in the US, which means it’s on its way over to the UK whether the wine establishment likes it or not.”
The wine has 16.1g residual sugar per litre, which Douglas said would help cash in on the sweet tooth of a typical millennial consumer.
Off-Piste Wines is also hoping to emulate Gallo’s success with The Duke, which carries the subtitle Big Red Wine.
The Spanish blend of Shiraz, Garnacha and Merlot has 10g residual sugar and will be priced £9-£10.
Off-Piste owner Paul Letheren said: “People like to talk dry and drink sweet, as I know from my days of selling Yellow Tail.
Off-Piste has also released an international varietal-led wine range called Most Wanted, created by new product development manager Rachel Archer, who was involved in creating Copestick Murray’s successful I Heart range.
It is made up of a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay, an Albariño from Rías Baixas in Spain, a Prosecco, a Pinot Noir from Nelson in New Zealand and a Malbec from Mendoza, all priced between £7 and £10.
It is targeted at “generation Y” – meaning under-35s – as well as “the aspiring down category”, meaning older consumers who want to act younger. It is targeted at convenience stores.
McWilliam’s is also targeting younger drinkers with wines such as Butterball, Fresh as a Daisy and Piledriver, which focus on the taste profile more than the country, region and grape.
“It helps people make an informed purchase,” said Douglas. “Young consumers are coming along who don’t have the education from their parents or grandparents about wine. They are making their own decisions in the supermarket. The supermarket tries to help them but it’s difficult so we try to help them too.”