Champagne house Nicolas Feuillatte has launched a rosé version of its Cuvée 225 Brut Vintage in response to growing demand for sparkling rosé wine in the firm's key markets.

Cuvée 225 Rosé, which is from the 2004 vintage and aged for nine months in oak casks, will be made available exclusively to the on-trade in key markets.

The group is currently in negotiations to secure listings in bars and restaurants in the UK, Marc Dhainne, commercial and marketing director for Nicolas Feuillatte, told just-drinks today (24 June) at the Vinexpo wine show in Bordeaux.

In France, 225 rosé is priced at around EUR60 (US$84) per 750ml bottle.

The move comes in response to growing demand for rosé wine, particularly in the UK, which is Nicolas Feuillatte's largest export market.

"This is a good way to appeal to new consumers, and women especially." said Dhainne.

Nicolas Feuillatte already produces a range of rosé Champagnes, including Palmes D'Or 2002 Vintage, which is around twice the price of Cuvée 225.

Dhainne said that Cuvée 225 would still be positioned as a premium product on the market.

Commenting on the market for Champagne in the economic downturn, Dhainne said that some of Feuillatte's competitors have acted "foolishly" by "engaging in a price-cutting war".

Champagne exports by volume fell by more than a third in the first two months of this year, compared to the same period last year, according to figures from regional trade body CIVC.

"We are committed to maintaining our pricing strategy, and we believe that we will be better positioned once the economic crisis fades," Dhainne told just-drinks.