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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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  • Lillet Blanc Front Label
    Lillet Blanc
    Vermouth from France
    • WE92
    4.4 131 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    • Lillet Rose  Front Label
      Lillet Rose
      Vermouth from France
      • WE93
      4.4 51 Ratings
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    • La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Extra Dry Vermouth Front Label
      La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Extra Dry Vermouth
      Vermouth from France
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        • Chateau Guiraud Petit Guiraud Sauternes 2016  Front Label
          Chateau Guiraud Petit Guiraud Sauternes 2016
          Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
            4.7 21 Ratings
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            • Chateau Doisy Daene (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
              Chateau Doisy Daene (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
              Other Dessert from Barsac, Bordeaux, France
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              • D96
              • WE95
              • JS91
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              • La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc Vermouth Front Label
                La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc Vermouth
                Vermouth from France
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                  • Chateau Doisy Vedrines Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
                    Chateau Doisy Vedrines Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
                    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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                    • D95
                    • V94
                    • JS91
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                    • Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
                      Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
                      Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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                      • WE96
                      • RP95
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                    • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
                      Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
                      Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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                      • JS95
                      • V95
                      • D94
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                      Currently Unavailable $47.97
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                    • Chateau Coutet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
                      Chateau Coutet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
                      Other Dessert from Barsac, Bordeaux, France
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                      • V94
                      • D94
                      • JS92
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