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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 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, 1996

    Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, 1996, is a full bodied Bordeaux exuding sweet black fruits, with hints of tobacco, spice and oak, a degree of minerality and ripe tannins.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  2. Mont Tauch, Les Garrigues Grande Reserve Grenache Gris, Tuchan, 2013

    Mont Tauch, Les Garrigues Grande Reserve Grenache Gris, Tuchan, 2013

    Lovely rosé wine with depth and class from Languedoc-Roussillon.

    Details
    Colour Rosé Wine
    Grape Variety Grenache Gris
    Country France

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  3. 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.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Chardonnay
    Country France

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  4. Château Fleur Cardinale, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 1996

    Château Fleur Cardinale, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 1996

    Easy-drinking style of right-bank Bordeaux with a lovely, supple mouth feel.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  5. Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, 1996

    Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, 1996

    A complex wine with lots of personality and flavour,Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, 1996, has a nose of sweet cassis-like aromas coupled with subtle tones of tobacco, leather and earth.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  6. Château La Dominique, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 1996

    Château La Dominique, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 1996

    This is a smoky, oaky wine with red fruits and herbs on the nose. Dark ruby/purple colour.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Country France

    Out of stock

  7. Château La Fleur Chaigneau, Lalande-de-Pomerol, 1996

    Château La Fleur Chaigneau, Lalande-de-Pomerol, 1996

    Lalande-de-Pomerol is known for really good value Bordeaux and this Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon blend is a very good mature example.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  8. Château Martet Blanc, Sainte-Foy Bordeaux, 2013

    Château Martet Blanc, Sainte-Foy Bordeaux, 2013

    Bio-dynamically produced white Bordeaux that is 60% Sémillon. Great with seafood.

    Details
    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend White
    Country France

    Out of stock

  9. Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, 1996

    Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, 1996

    The Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, 1996 is an extraordinary wine with many layers of flavours. This luscious Mouton Rothschild unravels as you drink it to reveal stunning notes mostly of blackcurrants, leather and oak but so much more is revealed as it evolves in the glass.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  10. Domaine Raspail-Ay, Gigondas, 2013

    Domaine Raspail-Ay, Gigondas, 2013

    Another fine vintage Gigondas from this exemplary estate in the Southern Rhône.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety GSM Blend
    Country France

    Out of stock

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