The Côte de Beaune is still relatively under-rated compared to the Côte de Nuits, says Mentzendorff managing director Andrew Hawes, who argues that it is still possible to find great and specific terroir, coupled to availability, at prices that have not yet experienced the dramatic escalations experienced in the Côte de Nuits. Key signature wines continue to be in short supply, however, which forces buyers to explore the region looking for an alternative which, in turn, leads to lesser known appellations deservedly receiving more attention.
“Again the beauty of the complexity of Burgundy is that there are so many price points that work on so many levels,” says Hawes.
How was the last 12 months for your Burgundy’s performance compared to the previous year?
The 2017 en primeurs campaign exactly one year ago again saw increased interest in the domaine wines of Chanson from the traditional merchants and the rest of the year has been marked by a steady succession of very nice new listings in the premium on-trade.
What has been behind those changes?
The Mentzendorff team continues its work of bringing the wines of Chanson to the attention of trade buyers and the increasing plaudits of the critics helps too, it’s now been 20 years since the Bollinger Family purchased the house and began an investment programme focused on achieving the highest quality in all areas of production, something that is now broadly recognised I believe, but opinions don’t change quickly in the wine trade, particularly in Burgundy.
How have you managed the shorter availability in recent years and what is the situation now for you?
Some of the key signature wines from Chanson’s 45ha domaine in the Côte de Beaune (Pernand Vergellesses Le Caradeux, Clos de Mouches) have been in short supply and indeed continue to be; however, it is part of the beauty of Burgundy that there is generally an alternative and the necessity to explore the region has led to lesser known appellations deservedly receiving more attention.
What is particularly selling well for you from Burgundy?
If I had to highlight one wine it would be Chanson’s Bourgogne Pinot Noir which has secured listings in many top wine lists and developed a following for its definitive & precise approach to this key varietal.
What focus do you put on the different appellations?
Chanson is a Beaune-based Côte de Beaune specialist with 45ha in this still under-rated (vs its northern neighbour) part of Burgundy; we have a broad palette of domaine wines from across the Côte de Beaune whilst also offering a commercial selection from across the region that is particularly strong in the Mâconnais.
Which of the appellations would you say are the most interesting in terms of quality, value and of availability?
I would again point to the Côte de Beaune, where one can still find great and specific terroir, coupled to availability at prices that have not experienced the dramatic escalations experienced further in the Côte de Nuits.
What do you have planned for Burgundy Week?
Continuing our work of bringing the wines of Chanson to the attention of more in the UK trade.
Which are the best price points from Bourgogne that work best for your customers?
Again the beauty of the complexity of Burgundy is that there are so many price points that work on so many levels.
Any particular tips to your customers on how to make the most of their Burgundy range?
Consider whether the wines offered truly represent the terroir of their appellation.