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French Wine

France is synonymous with fine wines and, despite the popularity of wine from the New World, French wines remain the benchmark against which all other wines are judged. French wine production is steeped in history dating back to the 6th. century B.C. and traditions which go back to the time vineyards were planted widely by the Romans. The success of French wines is rooted in the geography and geology of the country. The influence of the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the land-mass of Europe on France's climate together with the rich diversity of propitious geology and soil types have enabled the establishment of ten wine growing regions of the best quality alongside a large number of other vineyard areas.

The German influence of Alsace, the celebration that is Champagne, the crisp herbal qualities of the Loire whites, the complexities of Bordeaux and Burgundy, the decidedly different wines of Jura in Franche-Comté, the fruitiness of Beaujolais and the power and sun-drenched ripeness of the wines from the northern and southern Rhône as well as the wines from Provence, the Languedoc and the South West exemplify the wide range of wines and styles of table wine that underline France's pre-eminence in the world of wine.

France was the first country to enshrine its wine production in law – the development of the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system in the 1920s successfully introduced minimum standards both in the vineyard and winery and related this inextricably with the concept of “terroir”, an idea which unifies geographical location, soil and sub-soil, grape variety, climate (including micro-climate) and viticultural practices. The number of AOC wines in France now numbers in excess of 300 some of which are from very small vineyard plots with tiny production levels. Others, such as AOC Côtes du Rhône, cover vast areas with a commensurate production volume.

Despite the large scale transition to other cash-crops in the flatlands of the south of France since the 1970s and an even greater emphasis on quality wine production France continues to be the world's largest wine producing country. The challenge of so-called New World wines from Australia, South Africa, Chile etc. has been the motivation for some producers to explore possibilities outside of the AOC system and plant different grape varieties to make what some perceive to be more popular, easier drinking, styles of wine. Such wines are now sold under the classification of I.G.P. (Indication Géographique Protégée) as part of new E.U. regulations governing their former title of Vin de Pays. Some of these wines can be very good indeed and command high prices in the market-place.

  1. Clotilde Davenne, Chablis, 2012

    Clotilde Davenne, Chablis, 2012

    Classic Chablis in a clean, fruit-driven style with no oak whatsoever with a layer of minerality as befits this appellation.

    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Chardonnay
    Country France

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  2. Terroirs de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2013

    Terroir de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2013

    Patrick Piuze makes fabulous Chablis and the 2013 Terroir de Courgis is a pale golden colour with a tropical fruit nose and a touch of yeasty bread aromas.

    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Chardonnay
    Country France

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  3. Clotilde Davenne, Chablis, 2011

    Clotilde Davenne, Chablis, 2011

    If you prefer wines where the fruit is not allowed to be obscured by oak, then you should try the 2011 Chablis of Clotilde Davenne, since she avoids the use of wood completely in her cellar, thus allowing the wines a better chance of reflecting their individual ‘terroirs’.

    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Chardonnay
    Country France

    Out of stock

  4. Terroir de Chablis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2011

    Terroir de Chablis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2011

    The grapes for Piuze's Terroir de Chablis, 2011, are harvested from the north facing slope of the Les Forêts vineyard and are picked exclusively by hand. This is a serious Chablis which has fantastic depth and a distinct mineral character underpinning the apple and citrus fruit.

    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Chardonnay
    Country France

    Out of stock

  5. Terroirs de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2011

    Terroirs de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2011

    Terroirs de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2011 is a dry and crisp Chablis, gold in colour with soft notes of apricot, apple and citrus on the nose whilst mineral tastes dwell on the palate. This white offers great value for money and is perfect for a summer drink.

    Colour White Wine
    Country France

    Out of stock

  6. Terroirs de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2012

    Terroirs de Courgis Patrick Piuze, Chablis, 2012

    Classic Chablis which expresses the qualities of its terroir, this is a simply superb single village Chablis.

    Colour White Wine
    Country France

    Out of stock

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