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Thierry's comes out fighting

Published:  23 July, 2008

Thierry's, the single biggest UK importer of French wine, has three new brands to fight the challenge of the New World.
Peter Darbyshire, MD of Thierry's, said that the company was planning a pincer movement' against the New World, and that French wine needed to reinvent itself by using the best components of the New World to compete.
The first brand, Terra Vecchia (RRP 4.49), includes Chardonnay/Vermentino and Merlot/Nielluccio blends, both from Corsica.

Tautavel is a new three-tiered range under the direction of Grard Bertrand, who has signed exclusive contracts with the four cooperatives and three producers of the appellation for the next 10 years. Such a move effectively gives him control of the AOC and enables him to use the appellation like a brand.

Only one distributor is permitted per country, and production will start at 700,000 bottles a year. The range starts with the Cuve Sang et Or (Blood and Gold'), at 6.99, followed by the Reserve, and finally Chteau Avernus.

The final range, Chamarr (French for bursting with colour', and also a species of butterfly), is being marketed as the New World of French Wine' and features three lines: Chamarr Selection (4.99), Rserve Spciale (5.99) and Tradition (6.99). The range is off-trade only and will be available in

the UK by May.

Darbyshire said that Chamarr picks up all the key attributes of New World wines', particularly the flexibility angle, seeing as some of the wines have no stated vintage or region. He added: Finally, they've understood that if you want to be like a brand, then you've got to behave like a brand and also invest like a brand.'