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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 Haut-Brion  1981  Front Label
    Chateau Haut-Brion 1981
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    • Chateau Beychevelle  1981 Front Label
      Chateau Beychevelle 1981
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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      • Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1981 Front Label
        Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1981
        Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
        • RP92
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      • Chateau Latour  1981 Front Label
        Chateau Latour 1981
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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        • Chateau Gruaud Larose 1981
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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          • Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut 1981 Front Label
            Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut 1981
            Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
            • WS96
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            Currently Unavailable $166.99
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          • Chateau Petrus 1981
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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            • Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1981
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
              • RP91
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            • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1981 Front Label
              Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1981
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
              • WS91
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              Currently Unavailable $230.99
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            • Clos Fourtet  1981 Front Label
              Clos Fourtet 1981
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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                Currently Unavailable $249.00
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              • Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981 Front Label
                Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981
                Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
                • WE92
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                Currently Unavailable $539.00
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              • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1981  Front Bottle Shot
                Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1981
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                • WS91
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              • Chateau Leoville Barton Saint-Julien 1981  Front Label
                Chateau Leoville Barton Saint-Julien 1981
                Bordeaux Red Blends from France
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                  Currently Unavailable $114.99
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                • Krug Krug Collection 1981 Front Label
                  Krug Krug Collection 1981
                  Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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                    Currently Unavailable $891.99
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