The new product, called Bon Rouge Premium, is possibly the most expensive wine in PET bottles. Launched in limited quantity in August, the wine comes with three times more resveratrol and a low alcohol level of 11%.
It is said that every 100ml of the wine contains 1.2 mg of resveratrol, which is a substance present in grapes skins. Some studies have shown that it produces antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Chateau Mercian has previously launched several products featuring high anti-oxidant content, some of these products came in PET bottles with a price tag around ¥1200 (USD 11).
A company spokesman said Japanese consumers are seeking good quality and value-added wine products and are prepared to pay more for the health feature of these wines.
The winery, owned by the giant Kirin drinks group, had conducted research on resveratrol for more than 20 years since launching the Bon Rouge series in 1996.
Chateau Mercian was established in 1949 as one of Japan’s earliest private wineries. It focused on making sweet wines in its early years before finding success in still white wines.
In 1966, Mercian's 1962 vintage of still white won the first ever gold prize by a Japanese winery in international wine competition.
It was until 1989 that the company released its first still red. Known as Château Mercian Kikyogahara Merlot made from the international Merlot variety is still being produced every year to this day.
The Bon Rouge series launched in 1996 is an entry level table wine which as supposed to be consumed when fresh and young.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)