2001 is the first vintage of Maison Hecht & Bannier. Following visit of hundreds of domains, days and nights of arguing conversations and wonders about their blends, Gregory Hecht and François Bannier bottle at the end of 2003 four cuvées of Southern France appellations : Minervois, Saint Chinian, Faugères and Côtes du Roussillon. Hardly a hundred cases of each wine, the miserable profit of a rigorous and drastic selection of each varietal on every best location. “Lovely spoon negoce” pokes a grower whom they buy two precious hectoliters of Mouvèdre for the Faugères blend. Following years will enjoy the blossoming of new cuvées and wines spreading out alongside the Mediterranean arc. Core principles remain unchanged : blending the fruit of several growers within an appellation, long ageing, severe work on blends to offer under a single brand the quintessenciel expression of each AOP. Craft hand-made negoce, boutique wines. Tasters may sometimes be overwhelmed by the wines but these cuvées claim their style and signature. “ Fascinating, ambitious, accomplished new negociant” wrote Jancis Robinson in 2005 with other famous wine writers who early enable a tremendous success of the company in USA, Canada and Japan.
Being demanding, make choices and pursue them, Gregory and François share these common values and skills that they learned from their previous experiences. Greg has been the wine buyer of Groupe Flo, the French largest catering company and the domains he was visiting still remember his meticulous tastings to elaborate his wine lists. François started his career in Champagne where blending is an art, at Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and then within the Remy Martin group for Charles Heidsieck. The two partners had met several years before as students in Burgundy where they also shared a passion for visiting the vignerons of Côte d’Or to find out the secrets and the finesse of Burgundian cellaring. A day, may be they could experience it with the unknown and beautiful terroirs of Méditerrannée. Well, that was fifteen vintages ago.