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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. Chateau Bernadotte, Haut-Medoc, 2008

    Chateau Bernadotte, Haut-Medoc, 2008

    The vintage 2008 of Château Bernadotte is a round and mellow wine with blackcurrant fruit.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
    Country France

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  2. Château Léoville Barton, Saint Julien, 2008

    Château Léoville Barton, Saint Julien, 2008

    Another very good year from this château which really needs a bit more time to reach its peak although it is delicious drinking now with a couple of hours decanting.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  3. Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, 2008

    Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, 2008

    Since the year 2000 this wine has shown great improvement. Manual harvesting and a strict selection process restricting yields has helped enormously.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  4. Château Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Médoc, 2008

    Château Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Médoc, 2008

    An unclassified claret with a very good reputation. The overwhelming majority of the wine is aged in new French oak with a small percentage aged in tanks.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  5. Château Teyssier, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2008

    Château Teyssier, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2008

    This wine has a deep ruby/purple colour and its combination of soft berry fruits and earthiness makes for an irresistible wine.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  6. Maison Nicolas Potel, Morey-St-Denis, 2008

    Maison Nicolas Potel, Morey-St-Denis, 2008

    This village red Burgundy from Morey St. Denis is produced from the fruit of old vines with an average age of 50 years. Rich red fruits and black fruits, cocoa beans and toasted notes from the barrel ageing are also noticeable.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Pinot Noir
    Country France

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  7. Paul Avril Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2008

    Paul Avril, Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2008

    Another very good vintage of this wine which deserves a very good winter game dish to showcase its quality.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Châteauneuf du Pape Blend Red
    Country France

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  8. Château Les Gravières, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2008

    Château Les Gravières, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2008

    This 2008 vintage of the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Les Gravières displays good, ripe fruit notes on the nose which is characteristic of this full-bodied wine. It has ample acidity with sweet tannins that are still a bit grippy and a good complexity of red berries, with hints of pine and earth.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Merlot
    Country France

    Regular Price: £24.49

    Special Price:

    £20.49

    Out of stock

  9. Château Puy Castera, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc, 2008

    Château Puy Castera, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc, 2008

    In the Haut-Médoc there is a cru bourgeois estate, Château Puy Castera, that instead of suffering from an obsession with its position in the hierarchy of Medoc wines…

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    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  10. La Croix Bonis de Château Phélan-Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2008

    La Croix Bonis de Château Phélan-Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2008

    La Croix Bonis is the third wine of the famous Château Phélan-Ségur and comes from some of the best plots of land in St Estèphe. It is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with the classic Bordeaux notes of cassis and cedar and a great structure and a dry finish.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

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