Wynns John Riddoch

Bordeaux distribution deal for Wynns & Jim Barry

May 26, 2020
By Alana House

Wynns Coonawarra Estate and Jim Barry wines are to be distributed by some of the most powerful and influential négociant houses in Bordeaux.

John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon and Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz will be launched through La Place de Bordeaux in September 2020.

Both wines have a longstanding reputation on the secondary wine market – they are classified as “Exceptional” in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine, the highest ranking in the collectible wine market.

When John Riddoch and the Armagh are launched through La Place de Bordeaux they will join Californian and Italian wine icons in reaching international fine wine buyers and collectors in more than 100 countries.

The deal has been facilitated by Australian wine brokers Tom Portet and Emma Thienpont, who have strong family ties with Bordeaux. Their company, Australian First Growths, was established to assist and promote Australian wine through international sales and marketing networks.

Portet said: “The launch of John Riddoch and The Armagh through La Place de Bordeaux is a new chapter in Australian wine history.

“It highlights the increasing recognition and potential of Australian fine wine in the international market. It also gives us an opportunity to tell our unique story to the most engaged fine wine buyers in the world.”

Participating négociant houses including CVBG, Borie Manoux, Louis Vialard & Joanne.

Thienpont said: “Wynns John Riddoch is one of Australia’s most visionary red wines. It exemplifies the modern era of winemaking where science, 19th Century ambition, a unique terroir and contemporary technology all interconnect to make something lasting and beautiful.”

Jim Barry The Armagh

Portet added: “Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz is an Australian classic combining power, generosity and elegance. It distils a strong family winemaking tradition, generations of winemaking and a feeling for a unique place. This highly expressive wine has incredible polish, balance and a proven track record for long term ageing.”

The deal is also timed to take advantage of a relatively weak Australian dollar and a noticeable movement towards value in the ultra-premium markets.

A pre-launch program though La Place de Bordeaux begins in June. Wine influencers and buyers will have the opportunity to taste the wines with Bordeaux negociants through various forums and private gatherings.

Thienpont said: “Australian First Growths will steer these two great wines through the Bordeaux system with the intent of building the prestige and moving story of Australian wine.

“It may seem like a small step but this breakthrough is massive! For over 100 years La Place de Bordeaux has been the traditional sales channel for the most prestigious wines from Bordeaux, and now around the world.

“By launching Wynns John Riddoch and Jim Barry The Armagh, a select number of Bordeaux Négociants have shown an enlightened belief that our best wines can compete with the greatest wines in the world. As an Australian living in Bordeaux, I think that’s very exciting.”

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