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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 Vincent Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2008 Front Label
    Domaine Vincent Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2008
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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  • Maison Nicolas Perrin Hermitage Blanc 2008 Front Label
    Maison Nicolas Perrin Hermitage Blanc 2008
    Viognier from Hermitage, Rhone, France
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    • WE90
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  • Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Premier Trie Clos du Bourg 2008 Front Label
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Premier Trie Clos du Bourg 2008
    Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, Touraine, Loire, France
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  • Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune 2008 Front Label
    Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune 2008
    Riesling from Alsace, France
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    • JS95
    • RP93
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  • Hugel Gewurztraminer Jubilee 2008 Front Label
    Hugel Gewurztraminer Jubilee 2008
    Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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    • RP90
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  • Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2008 Front Label
    Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2008
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • RP96
    • WE95
    • WS92
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  • Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec 2008 Front Label
    Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec 2008
    Chenin Blanc from Touraine, Loire, France
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    • Dom. Barmes-Buecher Steingrubler Riesling 2008 Front Label
      Dom. Barmes-Buecher Steingrubler Riesling 2008
      Riesling from Alsace, France
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      • Louis Jadot Batard-Montrachet 2008 Front Label
        Louis Jadot Batard-Montrachet 2008
        Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • BH93
        • RP91
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      • Marc Colin Batard Montrachet 2008 Front Label
        Marc Colin Batard Montrachet 2008
        Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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        • Hugel Riesling Jubilee Grand Cru 2008 Front Label
          Hugel Riesling Jubilee Grand Cru 2008
          Riesling from Alsace, France
          • RP91
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