A six-month review of its fine wine fixture showed strong performances from Spain, Italy, Argentina and France, according to Tesco, which has led it to increase its range and make the wines more accessible to a greater proportion of its customers. It said it would continue to focus on small producers and small parcels of wine.
"We are delighted with the success of the fine wine range as well as the consumer and trade reaction," said wine category manager Jason Godley. "84% of these wines have been recommended by wine writers and we have already sold out of a number of them."
Tesco plans to add at least five new producers to its fine wine fixture, with a particular increase in wines from France. At the end of last year drinks buyers hinted that French wine was picking up again, but only at the premium end. Somerfield's fine wine concept is predominantly built on French wines and wine merchant Majestic extended its fine wine section earlier this year, again including many French varieties, mostly priced over £20.
Godley said strong performances in Tesco had also come from the Argentinian Terrazas de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2003, priced at £9.99, Gewurtzraminer Herrenweg de Turkheim 2000 at £16 and Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico at £9.99.
Head of Wines of Argentina UK, James Forbes, said: "I am delighted to see that one of the biggest retailers in the world is supporting Argentinian wine, not only in its core range but also in its fine wines, and that customers are showing such willingness to buy."
Tesco said that it had already increased the fine wine range from 50 to 75 in its Kensington store in response to consumer feedback and an over-performing range, which averages between £35 and £80, with some priced at more than £100 a bottle.