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AXA's Seeley looks to distributors

Published:  23 July, 2008

Christian Seeley, head of AXA Millsimes, is placing the second wine from AXA's second-growth Bordeaux, Pichon Longueville Baron, with distributors around the world because the Bordeaux place, the traditional distribution route, is not very good at selling second wines'.

Seeley has now placed Les Tourelles de Longueville with distributors around Europe and the USA. In the UK it will be represented by Bibendum Wines (on-trade) and Berry Bros & Rudd (off-trade).

The old system works fine for the grand vins, but it seems the ngociants are not sure what to do with second wines, so they sit in warehouses and don't get the benefits that quality distribution can bring,' he said.

I'm a firm believer that the second wines are getting better and better these days, across the board, and that they now represent great value for money. They are the perfect wines for restaurants, for example, since they bring a recognisable name to the list at prices that diners can actually afford.'

Although no other classed-growth estates that Seeley is aware of' distribute their wines this way, he said he expects that some might follow if it proves a success'.

Seeley stopped selling the wine en primeur and took the wine off the place in 2001 in preparation for the move.

It's important that we offer exclusivity in each market,' he said. He also gave his backing to recent reports that the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux is an exceptional one: It's looking very, very promising so far.'