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Two experts for a beautiful book

The story of this guide is above all that of a beautiful meeting and a friendship between two men who met in the corridors of the monthly Revue du Vin de France. Thierry Desseauve was a journalist and then director of the famous review between 1989 and 2005. With Michel Bettane, in 1995 they launched the Classification of French wines, which very quickly became a reference guide for wine lovers. When they left RVF in 2004/2005, they decided to create their own champagne and wine guide, which quickly became a new benchmark.

A 5-point charter

From the genesis of the guide, Bettane and Desseauve have imposed 5 essential principles which they never derogate from :

- A guide truly written by those who have tasted the wines. No rewriting of anonymous comments gleaned here and there. The comments engage their authors who assume their point of view.

- A jury made up of real experts. So if Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve themselves taste a large part of the wines presented in the guide, they are surrounded by eight experts recognized for their competence. No jury composed hastily or professionals of the profession.

- The best just the best. The two main authors do not impose any quota by appellation, no privilege, only the best wines are selected.

- A guide that is readable and understandable by all. Using pictograms and clear texts and avoiding as much as possible professional jargon, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve invite discovery and open the doors to tasting.

- Make this guide a participatory guide. Readers are invited to give their opinion, formulate their criticisms and guide tasters towards new nuggets.

A two-level rating guide

A heritage from the period of La Revue du Vin de France, the Bettane et Desseauve guide offers two levels of rating. These are first of all the areas that are rated with a score out of 5. A 5 out of 5 indicates an "exceptional producer who represents the absolute pinnacle of quality in France and in the world" just that! Then it is the tasted vintages which are each rated, this time out of 20. Only the wines having obtained a score greater than or equal to 13/20 find their place in the guide, the others are retoked. A common method in guides devoted to wine, but which also allows not to point the finger at a failed vintage and not to offend with the producer. So when a vintage is not in the guide, you never know whether it is because of its mediocrity or because it has not been tasted. It would perhaps be wise to quote the cuvées not chosen, without giving them a rating so as not to offend certain egos.

The little extras of the Bettane et Desseauve Guide

To distinguish themselves from the competition, the authors have provided some very practical information. We thus find a selection of wines that offer immediate happiness, easy wines, often inexpensive, that we taste without asking any questions, simply for the joy they provide. The book also offers an apogee range which gives an idea of the aging potential of each wine.

Since 2012, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve have launched the My Bettane Desseauve site, which allows you to follow wine and champagne news. The traditional site evokes the guide and champagne in particular and allows the member to find exclusive tastings.

The best champagnes from the Bettane et Desseauve Guide

Guide to Bettane et Desseauve 2013 :

Oenothèque 1996 – Dom Pérignon

William Deutz Rosé 1999 – Deutz

Cave Privée Rosé 1989 – Veuve Clicquot

Salon 1999 – Salon

Coteaux Champenois Ambonnay 2009 – Egly-Ouriet

La Grande Année 2002 – Bollinger

Vintage 2002 Rosé – Dom Pérignon