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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.  Château du Domaine de l’Eglise, Pomerol, 2005

    Château du Domaine de l’Eglise, Pomerol, 2005

    A very good Pomerol that is drinking well now and which has many years of life left in it.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  2. Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac, 2005

    Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac, 2005

    This wine is proof that top quality Pauillac doesn't have to cost the earth. Lovely blackcurrant fruit with a firm tannic structure.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  3. Château Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac 5eme Cru Classé, 2005

    Château Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac 5eme Cru Classé, 2005

    This wine should be decanted for an hour or so before drinking but is an absolute triumph. Will continue to develop for another 10 years.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  4. Château Haut-Condissas, Haut-Médoc, 2005

    Château Haut-Condissas, Haut-Médoc, 2005

    This is a distinctly fruity Haut-Médoc with blackberries, delicate tones of licorice, smoke and earth. Silk-like tannins and an impressive concentration complement this wine's broad, expansive style.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Regular Price: £39.99

    Special Price:

    £31.99

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  5. Château Rabaud-Promis, Sauternes Premier Cru, 2005 (half-bottle)

    Château Rabaud-Promis, Sauternes Premier Cru, 2005 (half-bottle)

    Half-bottle of a very nice premier cru Sauternes that will drink for the next 15 years.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauternes Blend
    Country France

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  6. Château Vieux-Sarpe, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005

    Château Vieux-Sarpe, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005

    Château Vieux-Sarpe made a very good wine in 2005 which still has plenty of life left in it.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  7. Charles Thomas, Gevrey-Chambertin Champfranc, 2005

    Charles Thomas, Gevrey-Chambertin Champfranc, 2005

    2005 was a great year in Burgundy for Côte de Nuits reds and this example, which is still evolving, is available at an excellent price.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Pinot Noir
    Country France

    Out of stock

  8. Château Berliquet, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 2005

    Château Berliquet, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 2005

    2005 was a very good year in St. Emilion and this is a lovely, well-priced example.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  9. Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux 2ème Cru Classé , 2005

    Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux 2ème Cru Classé , 2005

    2005 was a classic vintage in Margaux. Elegant Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  10. Château Gloria, Saint-Julien, 2005

    Château Gloria, Saint-Julien, 2005

    This St.-Julien reveals notes of tapenade, spice box, cedar, sweet black cherries, and black currants. An opulent texture, terrific fruit, medium to full body, and abundant concentration suggest this stunning Ch. Gloria will provide plenty of pleasure over the next 15 years.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

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