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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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  • Domaine Ramonet Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Champs-Canet (stained label) 2002 Front Label
    Domaine Ramonet Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Champs-Canet (stained label) 2002
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Domaine Rene Renou Bonnezeaux Cuvee Zenith 2002  Front Bottle Shot
    Domaine Rene Renou Bonnezeaux Cuvee Zenith 2002
    Chenin Blanc from Anjou, Loire, France
    • WS92
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  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 2002
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • RP90
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  • Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2002  Front Label
    Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2002
    Rhone White Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
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    • Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
      Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2002
      Chardonnay from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Perrieres 2002 Front Label
        Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Perrieres 2002
        Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • BH95
        • RP90
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      • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre 2002 Front Label
        Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre 2002
        Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP93
        • BH92
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      • Didier Dagueneau Pouilly Fume Pur Sang 2002 Front Label
        Didier Dagueneau Pouilly Fume Pur Sang 2002
        Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France
        • WS96
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      • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Charmes 2002 Front Label
        Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Charmes 2002
        Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP95
        • BH94
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      • Domaine Blain-Gagnard Criots-Batard-Montrachet 2002 Front Label
        Domaine Blain-Gagnard Criots-Batard-Montrachet 2002
        Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Colin-Deleger Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
          Colin-Deleger Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2002
          Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • WS96
          • RP93
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