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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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  • Cave de Tain Hermitage Blanc 2010 Front Label
    Cave de Tain Hermitage Blanc 2010
    Marsanne from Hermitage, Rhone, France
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  • M. Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage La Petite Ruche Blanc 2010 Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage La Petite Ruche Blanc 2010
    Marsanne from Rhone, France
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  • M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers Blanc 2010  Front Label
    M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers Blanc 2010
    Marsanne from Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France
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    • M. Chapoutier Ermitage de l'Oree Blanc 2010 Front Label
      M. Chapoutier Ermitage de l'Oree Blanc 2010
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      • Cave de Tain Marsanne 2010 Front Label
        Cave de Tain Marsanne 2010
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        • M. Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc 2010 Front Label
          M. Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc 2010
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          • Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Roure Blanc 2010 Front Label
            Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Roure Blanc 2010
            Marsanne from Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France
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