Napa, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2012) Hess Select wines are now shipping to distributors with a new, fresh, contemporary and colorful look along with line extensions in the popular $15 - $20 Pinot Noir and Red Blend categories, with a Malbec sourced from the Hess family’s vineyards in Argentina planned for early 2013.
The “Next Generation” brand refresh is likely to appeal to both traditional Hess Select consumers as well as younger wine consumers seeking wines of consistently great flavor, accessible pricing and an authentic, family based history said Derek Bromley, Senior Director of Marketing.
“Hess Select wines are top performers in their respective categories, widely recognized by consumers for always over-delivering on quality and value,”
noted Bromley. “What’s in the bottle won’t change, with vineyard sourcing and winemaking style remaining just as it is today.” Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon is ranked number three in the $14-20 category (Nielsen, 52 wks ending 7/21/12) while Hess Select Chardonnay in the familiar green label ranks number six in the crowded $10-14 category (Nielsen, 52 wks ending 7/21/12).
A new partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its Seafood Watch sustainability program will be featured in 2013 around the theme “Sustainable Wines Pair With Sustainable Seafood,” he added. The winery’s three-decade long history, as a leader in sustainability that began when the vineyards were planted, will receive increased attention, Bromley noted.
Joining the existing line-up of Hess Select Monterey Chardonnay, North Coast Sauvignon Blanc and North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon is a new Central Coast Pinot Noir with a suggested retail of $19.99 and Treo, a winemaker’s red blend that honors the next generation of Hess family leadership at the winery. Treo, with a California appellation and suggested retail of $16.99, allows Hess winemakers to create a red blend each vintage reflective of the personality of the season. The inaugural vintage is predominantly a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah with small amounts of Malbec and Mourvèdre.
The Treo offering also honors the next generation of the Hess family to lead the winery, explained Bromley. As founder Donald Hess takes a step away from day to day leadership, family members Christoph Ehrbar and Timothy Persson have assumed leadership roles, forming a “trio” building on the values and vision of The Hess Collection while leading the winery forward.
The new Hess Select Central Coast Pinot Noir is being introduced first in nine key markets, including CA, CO, TX, IL, NY, NJ, MA, FL and AZ. The Hess Select Malbec will feature fruit from Hess Family Estate vineyards, a mile above sea level in the Calchaquí Valley in Salta, Argentina.
Hess Select wines have served as an introductory tier of wines for The Hess Collection winery for more than two decades. In the newly refreshed trade dress, each varietal receives a smaller, more vibrant and distinctive label that Bromley says offers a cleaner, more contemporary look. The new image, he says, is more upscale while maintaining a familiar thread that recognizes the deep affection and loyalty consumers have for the brand, especially the Chardonnay, he adds.
Care has been taken during the refresh not to lose the brand equity of something so identifiable as the Hess Select Chardonnay green label, which moves from a dark green to a different, but still memorable shade of green. The Hess Select Sauvignon Blanc, which in vintage 2011 moved to screwcap, is a bright blue that evokes the wine style. Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon, which had been a dark red, is now a brighter shade, while the new Pinot Noir is badged in teal. Hess Select Treo has a warm mustard capsule with a deep black label.
The new Pinot Noir and Treo will begin shipping in September, and new packages should be on the shelves in most markets during the holiday season.