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Red Squirrel goes up against larger rivals with £12 in-house blend

Published:  26 July, 2017

Niche wine importer Red Squirrel has released a new range of £12 in-house blended wines through which they hope to compete with the grey squirrels of the wine world.

The new French range is a first for the Red Squirrel team.

They have previously worked on own label wines Cantina Orsogna Pecorino and a Loire Sauvignon Blanc by Raymond Morin, but the launch of two new white and red white pairs marks the first time the specialists have blended the wines themselves.

Made in partnership with winemakers in Gascony and Languedoc-Roussillon, the first of two labels is Pas d’Histoires, consisting of a white Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier blend and a red made mostly of Carignan (97%) with a hint of Syrah from herbicide-free vineyards between Béziers and the Med.

Pas d’Histoires roughly translates to ‘no worries’, and the second label, La Bonne Franquette - which means ‘traditionally homely’ - are French idioms recalled by MD Nik Darlington from growing up in France.

The four wines, all of which retail for £12, aim to reflect an easygoing style of wine tightly aligned to the laid back character of la France profonde, aka the deep French countryside.

But the idea to also came about as a result of the importer finding it increasingly difficult to compete with larger companies on price without the same economies of scale.

“We recognised that the prevailing economics of the wine trade in this country were making it harder and harder for a small importer like ourselves to provide wines at £12 RRP or below,” Darlington said.

“Creating your own wines seemed to be the reserve of the massively bigger companies but we didn’t see why that had to be the case. So while we have started small with this range, we see huge potential for it and hope we can fill a gap not just in our own offering, but on people's shelves and wine lists too.”

The wines are now available to the independent off-trade and on-trade.