The 2019 edition of the Guide Hachette des Vins is now available,
Every autumn sees the publication of the annual “Guide Hachette des Vins“, something which winemakers, merchants and wine lovers await with interest. It is in many ways something of a bible as far as French wines are concerned, being a description and rating of some of the best wines from across France, selected at blind tastings – less than 1 in 4 of the wines offered get through. This year’s edition is even bigger running to 1400 pages . But there is much to gain – updates on the regions, selected “favourites”, a guide to grape varietals and new this year are details of B&Bs (Chambres d’Hotes) and self-catering accommodation (Gites Ruraux) on vineyard estates. Plus the increasingly important category of “organic wines” (vins bio).The only problem is that the guide is in French – not available currently in English. The book also includes 35 vineyard maps and a Table of Vintages.
Within the pages the panel selects its “Coups de Coeur” (favourites) which represent some of the best wines tasted (at all price levels) – and these are distinguished by the display of the wine label on the page. So in the 2017 edition I find the Saussignac AC from Clos d’Yvigne is rewarded as a Coup de Coeur – made by Patricia Atkinson, author of “The Ripening Sun: One Woman and the Creation of a Vineyard and La Belle Saison – an author and an increasingly accomplished English wine producer in the Bergerac region, South West France.
Saussignac is a dessert wine from the western part of Bergerac which is made from botrytised Semillon and sometimes Muscadelle grapes. The one we know best is from Guy Cuisset at nearby Chateau Grinou. Recognition has also come from UK wine writers such as Jane McQuitty in the Times – “It’s amber-gold colour and rich, honeyed, butterscotch-scented style delivers classy, creamy fruit – just right with strawberries and cream. …”.