US beverage giant Constellation Brands has launched Robert Mondavi Private Selection, a new range of Californian wines aged in ex-spirit barrels.
The 2018 vintage Robert Mondavi Rum Barrel-Aged Merlot, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chardonnay and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon (RRP $25) are now available in BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market nationally.
The chardonnay became one of the top five selling chardonnays above $20 after a period on trial in BWS stores, according to Stuart Crabb, Constellation Asia Pacific vice president of sales.
“The proof is really in the sales… now it’s in every major retailer in Australia, which is no mean feat,” he said.
Crabb acknowledged that Robert Mondavi will be the second wine brand entering the spirit barrel segment in Australia, after Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel.
“But no-one else has got a bourbon barrel,” he said.
“I really think that Australians want to try different things… I think this is definitely for a more educated wine consumer who is paying above $20.
“This is one of the fastest growing segments in the total US wine market. I think you’ll see other competitors enter very soon.
“We wanted to be ahead of the market,” said Crabb.
All three Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines are sourced from premium vineyards along the Californian Monterey Coast.
Once picked, the grapes are blended, aged and then portions go into the barrel-ageing process.
The wines spend between three and 10 months within 100% American Bourbon and Rum barrels to deliver flavours of vanilla, toasty oak and baking spices, and provide further structure.