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French Wine

Learn about French wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...

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Nearly synonymous with fine wine and all things epicurean, France has a culture of wine production and consumption that is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the world’s most beloved grape varieties originated here, as did the concept of “terroir”—soil type, elevation, slope and mesoclimate combine to produce resulting wines that convey a sense of place. Accordingly, most French wine is labeled by geographical location, rather than grape variety. So a general understaning of which grapes correspond to which regions can be helpful in navigating all of the types of French wine. Some of the greatest wine regions in the world are here, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône and Champagne, but each part of the country has its own specialties and strengths.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the king and queen of Burgundy, producing elegant red and white wines with great acidity, the finest examples of which can age for decades. The same two grapes, along with Pinot Meunier, are used to make Champagne.

Of comparable renown is Bordeaux, focused on bold, structured red blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc including sometimes a small amount of Petit Verdot or Malbec. The primary white varieties of Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

The northern Rhône Valley is responsible for single-varietal Syrah, while the south specializes in Grenache blends; Rhône's main white variety is Viognier.

Most of these grape varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into other parts of Europe and New World appellations.

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  • Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • RP94
    • JS94
    • WS93
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    • JD93
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  • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    • JS92
    • RP91
    • JD91
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  • Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 2011 Front Label
    Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 2011
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
    Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2011
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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    • V98
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    • WE97
    • JD95
    4.4 11 Ratings
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  • Chateau Cheval Blanc  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Cheval Blanc 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • JD96
    • RP95
    • WS94
    • JS94
    • WE92
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    Currently Unavailable $649.98
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  • Chateau Meyney  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Meyney 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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    • JD90
    • RP90
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  • Chateau Rauzan-Segla  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Rauzan-Segla 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    • WE94
    • JS93
    • JD93
    • WS92
    • RP92
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  • Chateau Angelus  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Angelus 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • WE93
    • WS92
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  • Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2011 Front Label
    Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2011
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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    • JD95
    • WS94
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  • Guigal La Mouline Cote Rotie 2011 Front Label
    Guigal La Mouline Cote Rotie 2011
    Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
    • RP98
    • JD98
    • WS96
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP95
    • JD95
    • WS92
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  • Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2011
    Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • WS95
    • JD95
    • RP94
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