Was it like if Daniel Humm joined Major Food Group, or more similar to Steven Spielberg deciding to partner with Wes Anderson in a new studio? One friend suggested that the analogy of Keith Richards teaming up with Gucci Mane would be the most apt. But whatever the correct comparison may be, the just-announced news that sommelier and Burgundy champion Daniel Johnnes has joined wholesaler Grand Cru Selections as a partner has been met with wide eyes in the wine world.
Johnnes is the James Beard Award-winning sommelier who helped put Burgundy wines in their current position at the top of the market through his efforts, first at Montrachet, and then for Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group as Wine Director. In addition to his long running La Paulée celebrations of Burgundy wines held in New York and San Francisco, Johnnes cultivated an import portfolio of top Burgundy names, with a lineup that now includes Roumier, Lafon, and Roulot. All of those producers and others will in the future be sold at wholesale by Grand Cru, as Johnnes, who currently resides in Lyon, France, has signed on to help oversee the French portfolio of the company that also represents J-L Chave and Marquis d’Angerville.
The combination is expected to cement Grand Cru’s transition from up and coming force in the wholesale business, to something more akin to having arrived. At the very moment when Burgundy is the most lauded for its wines, one of the key players in the import of the wines has made a major move.
Daniel Johnnes has assumed his role with Grand Cru Selections in a move that is effective immediately.