There may well be the vital festive trading period ahead of us, but for those in the fine wine world, there is arguably an even bigger yearly event just a few weeks away and the annual Bourgogne campaign, which comes to a head with Bourgogne Week. Over the next few weeks The Buyer will be interviewing a number of leading fine wine merchants to get their feel on how this vital region is doing and what the 2020 campaign has in store. First up is Montrachet Fine Wine Merchants.
Louisa de Faye Perkins shares her personal insights on Bourgogne and why it is such an important part of what Montrachet Fine Wine Merchants does and a key way to start the new year with Bourgogne Week that falls in the second week of January.
Whatever you might have planned for the Bourgogne Wine Week, it’s important to be able to go into the new year with a clear picture of what the 2020 campaign might bring and how to get the most of your own Bourgogne wine sales. It’s why The Buyer has teamed up with the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) to give the platform to a number of different key importers and independent fine wine merchants to share their own feelings on what Bourgogne means to them and what are the key trends that the trade needs to be on top of. Starting with Louisa de Faye Perkins, director at Montrachet Fine Wine Merchants.
How was your Bourgogne performance over the last 12 months compared to the previous year?
We have had a terrific last 12 months with good sales in the 2017 Bourgogne vintage (especially for whites) and from our stocks of older vintages. Economic turmoil around the world (new 25% tariff on wine to US, troubles in Hong Kong, and even the Gilets Jaunes protesting in Paris and Lyon have enabled us to discover parcels of wines lying at our domaines which were previously destined for other markets. These have now been shipped to the UK and are selling very well.
What is particularly selling well for you from Bourgogne?
Large demand on whites from the Côte d’Or, especially Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault as well as good value wines from the Côte Chalonnaise such as Rully, Montagny and Mercurey and regionales appellations, especially those from the Maconnais.
Also good value reds, Givry, Mercurey, Auxey-Duresses as well as older vintages (2008/2009/2012/2013/2014) from Côte de Nuits which are delicious for drinking now e.g. Chambolle, Morey-Saint-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-Georges. We are also seeing strong sales of Grands Crus in older vintages.
Any particular tips to your customers on how to make the most of their Bourgogne range?
Too many restaurant lists only show young wines which are not yet at their best. At Montrachet Fine Wine Merchants we buy extensive stocks of Bourgogne each year to lay down so that we can offer our customers a comprehensive selection of wines with bottle age.
To show Bourgogne wines at their best it is important to have a range of quality levels starting with Régionales appelations which offer great value, Bourgogne Côte d’Or Blanc and Rouge from top domaines, Village, Premiers Crus and Grands Crus and well as a range of vintages to show the spectacular ageing ability. One of our best sellers this year has been a 2008 Bourgogne Pinot Noir from Bertrand Ambroise which at just over 10 years old is delicious for drinking now.
What do you think about having Régionales appellations from a particular geographical denomination?
Our producers place a great deal of care and attention on their work in the vineyard and the Régionales appellations with a geographical denomination allows us to differentiate especially between villages within the large Macon appellation. Their plots, soil types, exposition and terroir each adding a different dimension to the wine.
What would you say make them interesting in terms of quality and value?
The Régionales appellations help to understand the geographical origins of a wine and especially in these times of climate change where the grapes are reaching full maturity in even the cooler vineyards (e.g Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits) – are an indication of quality. The Régionales appellations are providing great value, delicious drinking and are an excellent starting point to encourage a love of Bourgogne wine.
How do you promote these kind of wines to the UK market?
We organise extensive and frequent (fortnightly) tastings at our offices in central London for both customers and press. We also do on-site staff training for our customers so their teams are knowledgeable about the quality and affordability of Bourgogne wines today.
The Régionales appellations have a great price/quality ratio and are an excellent spring board from which to begin a voyage of discovery into everything that Bourgogne has to offer.
We like to be able to offer a comprehensive selection across all price points and to highlight that there is value to be had in wines from Bourgogne.
How do you think the Régionales appellations express the terroir?
They give us the possibility to differentiate between the wines made from grapes grown in the heart of the Côte d’Or, in the hills of the Hautes Côtes, the warmer climes of the Côte Chalonnaise and the cooler, crisper wines from the Côtes d’Auxerre.
Can you give three tips on how to sell Régionales appellations wines to customers?
The Geographical Denomination helps to understand the style of the wine (e.g Côtes d’Auxerre will have crisp minerality). They provide an excellent opportunity to try wines from a top estate at an entry level price (Bourgogne Côte d’Or). Overall they provide a great value and delicious beginning to your Bourgogne adventure.
- You can find out more about the different activities, tastings, masterclasses and special dinners, taking place during Bourgogne Week by clicking here.
- You can follow what is happening during Bourgogne Week on social media at @BourgogneWines and #BourgogneWeek #BourgognePassItOn.