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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 2005 Front Label
    Guigal Condrieu 2005
    Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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  • Chateau de Campuget Viognier 2005 Front Label
    Chateau de Campuget Viognier 2005
    Viognier from Languedoc, South of France, France
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    • Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon 2005 Front Label
      Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon 2005
      Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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      • Domaine de Champal Condrieu La Coste 2005 Front Label
        Domaine de Champal Condrieu La Coste 2005
        Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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        • Maison Brotte Condrieu Domaine du Versant Dore 2005 Front Label
          Maison Brotte Condrieu Domaine du Versant Dore 2005
          Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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          • Jaboulet Condrieu Les Cassines 2005 Front Label
            Jaboulet Condrieu Les Cassines 2005
            Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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            • Domaine Les Goubert Cotes du Rhone Cuvee de V 2005 Front Label
              Domaine Les Goubert Cotes du Rhone Cuvee de V 2005
              Viognier from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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              • Pierre Gaillard Condrieu Fleurs d'Automne 2005 Front Label
                Pierre Gaillard Condrieu Fleurs d'Automne 2005
                Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
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