Heavy-hitters Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve will publish their latest guide to France's best wines next week. After sampling more than 50,000 wines the pair have drawn up a selection of the "best of the best" for the 2013 edition of Le Guide Bettane & Desseauve des Vins de France.
In advance of the August 30 launch, they have revealed some of the guide’s highlights – from wines costing less than six euros ($7.50) per bottle to the best wines to cellar. The appellation of the year goes to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, while Burgundian white-wine specialist Arnaud Ente takes the title of “Man of the Year.”
Domaine Arnaud Ente is located in the village of Meursault in the Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy. Ente and his wife, Marie-Odile, work the four hectares of vines together with two employees. Earlier this year, the winemaker was described as a "rising star" by British wine writer Jancis Robinson MW.
Here, then, is a selection of Bettane & Desseauve's picks:
The best wines of the year:
The top wines for putting in your cellar and drinking in 10 years’ time:
The best wines for drinking now:
The best organic wines:
The best wines for less than six euros ($7.50):
Bettane and Desseauve established themselves as eminent wine critics while editing the French consumer wine magazine La Revue des Vins de France for 20 years. They resigned in 2004 after the publication was taken over by Groupe Marie-Claire and French media group Lagardère. For their annual wine guides they employ a team of eight additional tasters.
American wine critic Robert Parker has described Bettane as "the most important European wine critic."
*An English-language book, "Bettane and Desseauve's Guide to the Wines of France," is published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang at $35.