About French Wine

Where does one start when discussing wine and France? As well as being one of the two leading wine-producing countries in the world (along with Italy - the numbers are extremely close every year), it is the spiritual birthplace of so many famous wines, from the great red and white Burgundies to the esteemed red wines of Bordeaux as well as the world's finest sparkling wine, Champagne.

While these wines have been celebrated and praised for many decades and can be found on the finest wine lists around the world, there have been problems for French wines in overall sales - the belief that French wines are necessarily expensive does not help. This is especially true with younger buyers, as strict French wine laws have meant that the country's producers are limited regarding innovation. Thus France has lost market share to numerous New World Countries such as the US, Chile and Argentina and even to its neighbor, Italy.

Still, French wines are undisputed as far as respect around the world and there have been some marketing campaigns lately that have driven sales for wines such as Cotes-du-Rhone and those from Provence. It is obvious that French wines will always be held in great regard by consumers and critics alike.
Top Picks for France
220717
Chateau Moulin de la Rose
2014 St. Julien
Brown brick red color. Earthy aromas and flavors of cassis and pomegranate, spiced nuts, cocoa, and sandalwood with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, long cedar, earth, and olives finish with earthy, medium tannins and moderate oak. A stately red with treasure chest of flavor and terroir.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218985
Retrofollies
2016 Rose Coteaux Varois de Provence
Dusty pink coral color. Floral, attractive aromas of spring blossom, juicy bartlett pear, raspberry, and clove with a supple, crisp, dry medium body and a complex, very long raspberry, currant, key lime pie, and chervil finish with well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious and perfumed rose with a great sense of place.
96 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217486
Domaine Sarrabelle
2011 In Vinum Gaillac AOP
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried blueberries, toffee, delicate dried flowers, and toasty cedar and leather with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, engaging, medium-long peach skin, cedar, nutskin, and black tea finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A plush, complex, velvet brick of a red wine with evolving waves of flavor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217245
Bouché Père et Fils
2004 Champagne
Light gold color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced apples and lemons, fresh brioche, and almond cookie with a supple, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, amusing, very long Meyer lemon, sweet cream, delicately spiced nougat, and chalk finish. A rich, vibrant vintage Champagne with truly mouth-filling flavor that drinks like a Tete de Cuvée – impressive!
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220711
Enclos de Viaud
2014 Lalande de Pomerol
Garnet black color. Attractive, toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of chocolate coconut macaroons, caramel buttercream, and crusty blueberry pie a la mode with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long toffee, spiced cherries, tobacco, and cedar mulch and earth finish with moderate oak. A vivacious, flavor-packed Pomerol with full-throated articulation of fruit, oak, and terroir.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220289
Chateau Abelyce
2014 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Dark deep purple color. Elegant, complex aromas of expensive cigar wrapper and sweet spearmint with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and an involved, medium-long fine leather, dried red fruit, smoky earth and peppered vanilla, and cinnamon candy finish with well-integrated, fine tannins. A wingback leather chair of a wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219328
Château du Père Antoine
2014 Cuvée Oliva Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
Violet color. Oaky, elegant aromas and flavors of violets and chocolate berry nut tart, horn, gremolata, and sugared plum with a tannic, soft, bone-dry full body and an elegant, long cedar, green peppercorn nuts, cassis custard, and praline and cedar finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. Delight in this wines complexity and beauty after laying it down for a few years.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216467
Racines de Lauriga
2015 Côtes Catalanes IGP
Garnet black color. Inviting, interesting aromas and flavors of peanut brittle, berry chutney, and caramelized apricots with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length black cherry and raspberry, marinated beets, roasted nuts and cedar, and melon finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and light oak. A lively, savory red with excellent structure and layers of flavor.
95 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220713
Chateau Segur de Cabanac
2014 St. Estèphe
Violet color. Earthy, fruity aromas and flavors of cocoa-dusted berries, chocolate mint and graham crackers, praline, and fallen tree in a forest with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, medium-length cassis tart a la mode, whole nuts, and earth finish with dusty, leafy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, savory St. Estèphe with great poise and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220709
Chateau Prieurs de la Commanderie
2014 Pomerol
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of mocha gelato, toasty pistachio brittle, and berry tart with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, captivating, medium-long chocolate cherries and orange peels, cocoa powder, vanilla nuts, and delicate spices and cedar finish with silky, soft, dusty tannins and light oak. A supple and rewarding Pomerol that entices for another sip; will improve with time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab