Learn about French wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...
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.
Most of these grape varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into other parts of Europe and New World appellations.
Jean-Luc Colombo Condrieu Amour de Dieu 2014Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2014Rhone White Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes Cotes de Nuits Blanc Clos St. Philibert 2014Chardonnay from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
Louis Latour Marsannay Blanc 2014Chardonnay from Marsannay, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis 2014Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry Crausot Premier Cru Blanc 2014Chardonnay from Givry, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France