The two wineries, both of which are well represented in the duty-free market, launched the new product in the hope of boosting sales of their white wines to international travelers. The gift box, which hit the market late last month at $30 to $40, contains a survey that the wineries will use to create an international Chardonnay club with quarterly mailings.
The two wines -- which are each 100 percent Chardonnay made in a similar style that includes aging in oak barrels -- were juxtaposed to illustrate the differences that result from climate and terroir. "This was not designed as a competition, but to provoke discussion by tasting two wines together in a way they may not have been before," remarked David Prentice, managing director at Domaine Laroche.
Though French wines are usually labeled by region, this is not the first time Laroche has marketed a Burgundy wine by its varietal instead. "Everyone outside of France thinks it's a great idea," said Prentice. "The French are a little more cagey about promoting a grape instead of terroir -- as though we're selling our soul to America. I think France has to be a little more open-minded."
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