The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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Page 128 of 132

128 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 { tastings } I WAS IN A PARTICULARLY GOOD MOOD HAVING JUST WON 50 BUCKS on a slot machine. I must say though was already in a good mood to begin with, being whisked up to the 56th floor of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas—I knew what awaited me at the ding of the elevator : a Regency Wines Nevada Inc./Hillside Wines & Spirits LLC/BEJOT–sponsored Burgundy tasting presenting Moillard Estate and Chartron & Trébuchet, paired with a lunch set in Michelin-starred French restaurant Alizé at Palms Casino Resort. The elevators doors opened; I was early. I wandered over to two gentlemen speak- ing French. One of them was a regal looking man with kind eyes, this was Cédric Dechelette, Export Director of the BEJOT group. The other was the debonair Bruno Laclotte, President of Regency. After shaking their hands, I headed for the floor to ceil- ing windows that separated the dining room from the heavens and picked up a tech sheet and glass of 2012 Chartron & Trébuchet Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières on the way. There I stood at the edge, amazed that I was actually looking down at the behemoth towers of Sin City. But it was not the height that made my heart beat a little faster- it was the first sip of the Meursault and its price listed on the tech sheet. At $66 this was an excellent value for a Premier Cru. I asked Dechelette how BEJOT was able to provide such value. "Burgundy actually offers a lot of extremely good value. Certain appellations suffer of a lack of awareness; Burgundy is mainly known for some key appellations, very few out of the 100. Many appellations have their own "typicity"/character and are worth discovering. Even more so when, pricewise, they are cheaper than the classical and can be just as pleasing. Our challenge is to get the trade and journalists to consider these wines. But as soon as we are given the opportunity to show them and taste the wine, acceptance is often very good." The BEJOT Group has seized this challenge, buying up as much Burgundian vineyard as possible. They now own 300 hectares of directly run domaines-estates in Burgundy, giving them more control over quality in areas like Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais-Beaujolais. Simultaneously, they've been acquiring strong Burgundian brands such as Moillard, Chartron & Trébuchet, Pierre André and Moingeon. Laclotte recognized the great potential in partnership with the BEJOT Group, already one of the leading distributors of French wines; they're in more than 40 international markets. "They've set themselves up for long-term success by purchas- ing vineyards, providing them with great access to a large diversification of single vineyards/climats, and building a great wine making facility in Meursault; along with a marketing strategy to build affordable quality Burgundy brands. The value of the brands is in the glass!" I could go on and on about BEJOT, but this a story about a few of its more presti- gious brands and the incredible lunch at Alizé. Here's a blow-by-blow rundown: A Sweeping View and Monumental Value THE BEJOT GROUP FEATURES MOILLARD AND CHARTRON & TRÉBUCHET BURGUNDIES AT ALIZÉ IN LAS VEGAS by Jessie Birschbach / photos by Mona Shield Payne The Moillard 2012 Bonnes Mares: "The complexity is different, a kind of bak- ing spice in the middle of the palate. It blew everybody away." —Claudio Vigani, Wine Director of Alizè, Las Vegas. Cédric Dechelette, Export Director of the BEJOT Group.

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