Three Elements That Have Increased Bordeaux’s Popularity

French wines have been doing well in the United States lately, with 2021 sales of Bordeaux wines increasing 67% in value and 24% in volume compared to 2020, according to the Bordeaux Wine Council.

BGPL USA, whose portfolio includes brands Barton & Guestier, Patriarche and Listel, said the same has been true for its wines, noting an uptick in sales distribution at popular US retail chains.

Vintner Magazine reached out to newly appointed Director of National Accounts Yohann Voutsinas, who oversees BGPL’s brand placement in the United States. He said he believes a focus on three elements has contributed to the success of BGPL USA-branded Bordeaux in the US: adaptability, innovation and authenticity.


What wine drinkers are looking for has shifted, Voutsinas told Vintner Magazine. He said he believed new generations of consumers are shifting to buying fruit-forward, easy and ready-to-drink wines. 

“Most wines previously required years of cellaring before optimal drinking. Nowadays, oenologists vinify them in the more modern fruit-forward style that can be immediately opened and enjoyed with friends outside at a picnic or at dinner with colleagues,” Voutsinas said. 

Voutsinas said BGPL USA works to understand its customers and adapt by offering those wines they are looking for, offering Barton & Guestier’s 2020 Bordeaux Rouge “Cuvée Rambaud” as an example of how the company’s winemakers pivoted to appeal to its market.

“Our oenologists did a wonderful job with this vintage and vinified it with maximum fruit extraction and 50% of the blend aged in oak for three months,” he said.


A creative approach to attracting new audiences has also kept Bordeaux fresh. BGPL USA’s “Woo” is a limited-edition collaboration on a Bordeaux Rouge with French artist Woo, who painted the labels. Voutsinas said the strategy helps create a product that appeals to both visual art collectors and wine aficionados alike.

“By linking two different leading French “savoir-faire,” wine which is an agricultural product and art, we showed the world we were not limiting Bordeaux to a specific customer base but expanding it to a broader audience,” Voutsinas said.


In terms of style and authenticity, Voutsinas said he thought it was essential to keep with the common thread of what made Bordeaux so successful decades ago. 

“We see this example with Napa producers who have been recently using the term ‘Bordeaux blend,’ which is very smart to avoid any confusions and target a broader audience being that some consumers might like Cabernet Sauvignon but not Merlot, and vice versa,” he said. “This attention to detail in sorting, vinification, aging and cellaring will give this very distinctive Bordeaux elegance and boldness.”

He said it was difficult but necessary to preserve a balance between innovation and authenticity.

“If you head in one direction or another too firmly, you will get criticized,” Voutsinas said. “At the end of the day, it is all about delivering approachable, distinct and enjoyable wines to our customers.”

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