The premium range was launched yesterday

The premium range was launched yesterday

A senior executive at Treasury Wine Estates' (TWE) Penfolds unit has praised CEO Michael Clarke for his decision to bring forward the launch of Penfolds' premium collection.

Ali Wilkes, marketing manager for Penfolds in Europe, Middle East & Africa, said the move highlighted Clarke's leadership skills at TWE. Clarke, who was appointed CEO this year, announced in June that the release of the premium Penfolds Bin series and icon & luxury collection wines will change to October instead of March and May to give retailers more time to sell.

“It was a bold move and it took a strong person like Mike to make the decision,” Wilkes told just-drinks last night at an event in London to unveil the collection. “He was a catalyst for the change.”

The collection is made up of 12 wines, including the GBP450 (US$725) 2010 Grange. This year, TWE has launched a global marketing campaign to coincide with the launch. Yesterday, double-page ads appeared in national newspapers in Penfolds' major markets including the UK and Australia.

Wilkes claimed the new launch date has coincided with a high quality collection that has sparked a lot of interest from retailers. In France, wine retailer Nicolas, which operates about 450 stores, will stock the icon & luxury range for the first time.

“We don't usually get as much interest from France but this is great news for Penfolds,” Wilkes added.

Last month, TWE revealed it had pulled the plug on talks with two potential private equity buyers of the group

CORRECTION: This article was updated on 19 October. An early version incorrectly stated that the launch date for the collection was rolled back. The launch date was brought forward, giving two releases for 2014.