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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 Olivier Blanc 2005 Front Label
    Chateau Olivier Blanc 2005
    Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • WS92
    4.3 5 Ratings
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  • Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2005 Front Label
    Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2005
    Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP95
    • WS94
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    129
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  • Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Hengst Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Hengst Grand Cru 2005
    Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
    • RP90
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  • Domaine Matrot Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Chalumeaux (375ML half-bottle) 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Matrot Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Chalumeaux (375ML half-bottle) 2005
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Chateau Valandraud Blanc de Valandraud No. 2 2005 Front Label
      Chateau Valandraud Blanc de Valandraud No. 2 2005
      Bordeaux White Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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      • Didier Dagueneau Pouilly Fume Pur Sang 2005 Front Label
        Didier Dagueneau Pouilly Fume Pur Sang 2005
        Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France
        • RP97
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      • Domaine Henri Boillot Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2005
        Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • V96
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      • Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
        Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses Premier Cru 2005
        Chardonnay from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP93
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      • Domaine Jean Chartron Chevalier-Montrachet Clos des Chevaliers Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
        Domaine Jean Chartron Chevalier-Montrachet Clos des Chevaliers Grand Cru 2005
        Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • WS96
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      • Domaine Henri Boillot Montrachet Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
        Domaine Henri Boillot Montrachet Grand Cru 2005
        Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • BH96
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      • Domaine Weinbach Cuvee Laurence Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (375ML half-bottle) 2005 Front Label
        Domaine Weinbach Cuvee Laurence Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (375ML half-bottle) 2005
        Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
        • RP92
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      • Domaine Matrot Meursault (375ML half-bottle) 2005 Front Label
        Domaine Matrot Meursault (375ML half-bottle) 2005
        Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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