Own-label wine specialist PLB is entering branded spirits for the first time. The company has taken over the UK sales and marketing for the Dominican Republic’s Matusalem rums, previously handled by Inspirit Brands, and is on the verge of a deal to handle a premium vodka. Adam Wyartt, who joined from Italian grappa and sambuca producer Francoli Distillers in June, will head the spirits division. Matusalem Solera 7 – made using the same solera system of ageing and blending as sherry – will be the main brand targeted at c-stores and multiples.

Wyartt said it would compete on a similar price level to Havana Club 7-year-old. “We want to be build the right kind of awareness and be in the sort of accounts to give it a bona fide chance of success,” he said. PLB will also be importing Matusalem’s Platino white rum, Clasico Solera 10, and Gran Reserva Solera 15.