Agency's Taste: Charles Taylor Wines

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Charles Taylor Wines was established in 1986 and is agent and importer for a selection of leading estates from traditional regions of France and Germany.

It supplies in excess of £6 million of wine annually, both ex-cellar and under bond, to national retail chains, supermarkets, airlines, regional wholesalers and independent merchants.

Managing director and buyer, Charles Taylor MW, says: “Even in these recessionary times we have seen growth across our portfolio as demand has increased for dependable, high quality, traditional wines.”

Unlike most London based agents, it does not sell to the on-trade, instead leaving this market clear for its customers.

: “Quality has always been our benchmark for selection rather than price,” says Taylor. “We find a natural synergy with small to medium family estates but also deal with larger estates and cave co-operatives where there has been a long standing wine-making team who share our philosophy for quality above all else.”

Range: The company specialises in representing growers from the traditional regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône together with world class producers from Champagne, Loire and Germany.

Pricing: Great value petit château Bordeaux is available at € 2.33 ex-cellars to the finest Grand Cru Burgundy and Cru Classé Claret in excess of £ 1,000 per case in bond.

Bestsellers: Jean-Claude Chatelain’s Pouilly- Fumé, Chablis from Domaine Billaud-Simon, and Château La Rose du Pin as well as St Aubins from Gérard Thomas.

Key people
: Jessica Bingham is national accounts manager and Ned Llewellyn is responsible for national trade sales.  Alexandra Douglas and Louisa de Faye Perkins organise marketing and tastings and are supported by the team based at the Westminster office.

How has the recession affected business
: “We have taken advantage of the property slump to buy and refurbish a £3 million office building in Westminster.  We have also been able to strengthen our allocations from top producers, for example our sales of Pouilly Fumé in the UK have increased by 50% due to a slow down of sales in the USA”, says Taylor.

Survival strategy
: Taylor continues: “Sustained continual growth, maintenance of our high quality levels as well as our standard of service.  Looking after and supporting our customers is very important to us.”

Carol Emmas

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