The London-based retailer has added wines from Chile’s Viñedos de Alcohuaz, Argentina’s Bodega del Desierto, Australia’s Circe and Mullineux from Swartland in South Africa as part of its strategy to ensure it offers wines that cannot be found in mainstream stores.
Viñedos de Alcohuaz, appealed to the Berry Bros team because it offers contemporary wines using traditional methods, resulting in wine styles – and prices – that are not usually associated with Chile.
Guy Hooper, the winery’s consultant, told OLN: “The wines cast a new light on what our expectations are in Chile. They are totally different and they demonstrate the style and quality from a new generation of winemakers in Chile.”
The winery is believed to be Chile’s highest, located 2,200m above sea level in the country’s Elqui Valley.
The two wines listed by Berry Bros are the 13.5% abv Viñedos de Alcohuaz Rhu, a blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah and Grenache (rrp £36.95), and the 13% abv Grus (rrp £21.95), which is the same grape combination but with added Malbec. The grapes are crushed by foot in stone pools and the wines are aged in cement.
“These two wines are focused on Mediterranean varieties of grapes, which are more resistant to the sun – it’s a big challenge we face in Chile, too much sun,” said Hooper. “Chile can grow most grapes but it is important to plant the right thing in the right areas.
These two red wines are lower in alcohol and they are good food wines. At these prices they are really trying to push the UK consumer up to premium prices for Chile.
“But the UK is a key market for us and I think we have the right partner with Berry Bros. They are hand-sell wines.”
The retailer hopes its new additions from Circe will encourage customers to explore Australia’s premium wines. Berry Bros also noted that it is recording strong sales of English sparkling wines and it expects this to ramp up as Christmas approaches.
Buying director Mark Pardoe MW told OLN: “We carry quite a big range of around 12 English sparkling wines, so we are supporting it in a major way. As the market evolves we are looking at following people who are doing groundbreaking stuff, so Gusbourne is one we have stocked for a while and then there’s Hambledon.
“The production there is about to increase to an interesting commercial level. We also look at smaller boutique wineries. It means we can offer English sparkling in volume and for individual interest which makes for an exciting category.”
Berry Bros & Rudd has added a Texan bourbon to its premium spirits. Texas Legation celebrates the historic alliance between the Lone Star state of the US and Britain’s oldest wine merchant. It is distilled by brothers Jonathan and Robert Likarish at their Ironroot Republic distillery and blended by Douglas McIvor of Berry Bros.