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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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  • Jean Reverdy Sancerre la Reine Blanche 2009 Front Label
    Jean Reverdy Sancerre la Reine Blanche 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
    • RP91
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  • Dourthe La Grande Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Front Label
    Dourthe La Grande Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux, France
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  • Domaine Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Cuvee Silice 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Cuvee Silice 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France
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  • Lucien Crochet Sancerre 2009 Front Label
    Lucien Crochet Sancerre 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
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  • Domaine Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France
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  • Lucien Crochet Croix du Roy Sancerre 2009 Front Label
    Lucien Crochet Croix du Roy Sancerre 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
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  • Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
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  • Didier Dagueneau Sancerre Monts Dames 2009  Front Label
    Didier Dagueneau Sancerre Monts Dames 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, Loire, France
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  • Domaine Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris (375ML half-bottle) 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Cailbourdin Pouilly-Fume Les Cris (375ML half-bottle) 2009
    Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France
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