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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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  • Louis Roederer Cristal Brut with Gift Box 2013  Front Bottle Shot
    Louis Roederer Cristal Brut with Gift Box 2013
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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  • Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill with Gift Box 2009  Gift Product Image
    Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill with Gift Box 2009
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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    • WS95
    • RP95
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  • Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rose 2008  Front Label
    Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rose 2008
    Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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    • D98
    • JS98
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  • Louis Roederer Brut Nature Philippe Starck Label 2012  Front Label
    Louis Roederer Brut Nature Philippe Starck Label 2012
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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    • WW95
    • JS94
    • WS93
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  • Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Montlouis sur Loire Les Hauts de Husseau 2015 Front Label
    Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Montlouis sur Loire Les Hauts de Husseau 2015
    Chenin Blanc from Montlouis, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS93
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  • Chateau Maris Brama Grenache Gris 2014 Front Label
    Chateau Maris Brama Grenache Gris 2014
    Other White Wine from Vin de France, France
    • RP92
    • W&S91
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  • Chene Bleu Heloise 2012  Front Label
    Chene Bleu Heloise 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Rhone, France
    • RP93
    • WS92
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