August 2011: The “Guide Bettane & Desseauve des Vins de France 2012″ was published this month, with reviews on the seven Rives-Blanques wines selected …

Bettane and Desseauve are possibly the best-known wine-writing duo in France.  Their new 2012 guide to the best wines in the country particularly favoured the Rives-Blanques chardonnay, both oaked and unoaked.

The writers lament the fact that inspite of the promise of  France’s “new California’,   the wines of the Languedoc have fallen into a classic pattern:  viticulture at two speeds – one, a mass of indifferent wines with an uncertain future, and the other an elite of increasingly more refined expressions of terroir which can not fail to please.