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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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  • Guigal Condrieu 2004 Front Label
    Guigal Condrieu 2004
    Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
    • RP91
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  • Lucien Albrecht Riesling Clos Schild 2004 Front Label
    Lucien Albrecht Riesling Clos Schild 2004
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • RP90
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    105
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  • Chateau Monbousquet Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Chateau Monbousquet Blanc 2004
    Bordeaux White Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • WS91
    • WE91
    • RP90
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  • Domaine des Baumard Carte d'Or Coteaux du Layon (375ML half-bottle) 2004 Front Label
    Domaine des Baumard Carte d'Or Coteaux du Layon (375ML half-bottle) 2004
    Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 2004
    Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • RP90
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  • Lucien Albrecht Pfingstberg Grand Cru Riesling 2004 Front Label
    Lucien Albrecht Pfingstberg Grand Cru Riesling 2004
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • RP88
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    38
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  • Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2004
    Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP93
    • WS91
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  • Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2004
    Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • RP94
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  • Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume 2004 Front Label
    Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume 2004
    Chenin Blanc from Anjou, Loire, France
    • RP95
    • WS94
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  • Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2004 Front Label
    Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2004
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • RP92
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  • M. Chapoutier Ermitage de l'Oree Blanc 2004
    Marsanne from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • RP99
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  • Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde 2004 Front Label
    Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde 2004
    Rhone White Blends from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
    • RP92
    • WS92
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    159
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  • William Fevre Chablis Preuses Grand Cru 2004 Front Label
    William Fevre Chablis Preuses Grand Cru 2004
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • RP94
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  • Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2004
    Rhone White Blends from Hermitage, Rhone, France
    • RP95
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  • Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2004 Front Label
    Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2004
    Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
    • RP95
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  • Domaine des Baumard Carte d'Or Coteaux du Layon 2004 Front Label
    Domaine des Baumard Carte d'Or Coteaux du Layon 2004
    Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Domaine des Baumard Clos de Sainte Catherine Coteaux du Layon 2004 Front Label
    Domaine des Baumard Clos de Sainte Catherine Coteaux du Layon 2004
    Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
    • WS93
    • RP93
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