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Les Dauphins unveils its first fizz

Published:  28 March, 2017

Rhône wine brand Les Dauphins has made its first foray into sparkling wine via its partnership with UK-based French wine specialist Dedicated Wines.

Les Dauphins Blanc de Blancs, created by winemaker Guillaume Valli, is made using traditional grapes such as Marsanne and Rousanne from the group's southern Rhône vineyards. Keeping with the Les Dauphins brand style and its Rhône heritage, the emphasis was on "bright and refreshing" flavours, said Les Dauphins.

The new fizz will make its debut in May with Waitrose, joining its stable mates Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Villages Grande Réserve and Les Dauphins Crus des Côtes du Rhône Vinsobres on the retailer's shelves

Les Dauphins Blanc de Blancs would be a "fun and friendly" new face in the fizz fixture, said Waitrose wine buyer Rebecca Hull MW.

"Sparkling wine sales are continuing to enjoy lively growth and customers are increasingly looking to broaden their repertoire from Prosecco, Cava and traditional Crémants," she said.

The launch would build on the "fantastic success" of the Les Dauphins brand, which was launched in 2011 in collaboration with Dedicated Wines, and had seen "target smashing" sales of its Côtes du Rhône red, white and rosé wines in all major international markets, said Dedicated Wines.

"The fantastic success of Les Dauphins has proved that consumers do want recognisable wine brands which deliver great quality," said Richard Evans of Dedicated Wines, adding the new fizz would contribute further to the "outstanding growth of informal sparkling wine".

The UK sparkling wine market was worth £1.2bn in 2016, with 132 million bottles sold, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

The Waitrose listing will be supported with consumer activity at food and wine festivals and on social media throughout the year.