The new sales director of Mirabeau, Peter Edwards, is adamant that while many producers are replicating the style and colour of Provençal rosé, only pink wine produced in the French region “delivers the true flavour”.
Speaking to the drinks business at Bibendum’s tasting this week, Edwards said that while many producers outside of the French region were making Provence-style wines, “only rosés made in Provence deliver the true flavour”.
“There will be impersonators but I feel it’s all about recognised brands, price is secondary to that,” he said, adding that having a bar at Goodwood Racecourse this year had shown that people are happy to trade up and go for brands they know.
Mirabeau was founded in 2010 by British couple Stephen and Jeany Cronk, who left their home in south-west London to pursue their dream of making wine in the south of France. It now has five rosés in its portfolio (four still and one sparkling) including its Mirabeau Classic and Mirabeau Pure 2015 – both of which are a blend of Grenache and Syrah. Bibendum supplies Mirabeau’s Côtes de Provence Rosé Azure exclusively to the on-trade.
Edwards joined Mirabeau in June after working for the LVMH Group for almost 18 years, most recently as Moët Hennessy UK Ltd’s on-trade sales manager.
He told WLC that Mirabeau was having a successful year with its wines now exported to 45 different countries and boasting a UK retail partnership with Waitrose.
In July, it teamed up with frozen popsicle specialist Lic to launch its wine in frosé form.
“The popsicles include 90ml of wine and are now available in 91 Waitrose stores around the country,” said Edwards.
“Lic have patented a special tech in the popsicle sleeves which enable them to be made and delivered in ambient form and frozen either at home or on-site”.
With plans to scale up production, Mirabeau will also be bringing its canned wine to the UK “hopefully in Q2”.
“They’re in the US at the moment and are available in packs of 4x250ml for US$24.99 at Wholefoods,” added Edwards.
Sales of canned wine are rising year-on-year in the US, up 43% from June 2017 to June 2018. The trend has taken a bit longer to cross the pond, but with the likes of The Uncommon releasing a canned English wine, it looks set to pick up.
Edwards added that Mirabeau had received its first global listing of rosé by the glass from magnum at Living Ventures’ Sunset Bar in Manchester.
“Provence rosé doesn’t age as obviously as Champagne does in magnum – it’s more about the show and performance side,” he said.