About French Wine

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

Perle de Mer 2017  Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
95 points
Best Buy
Light straw color. Aromas of bouquet garni, crispy plantains, apple chutney, and wool with a round, vibrant, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, complex, long wet stone, pineapple conserve, apricot skin, heirloom pear, jasmine, and white pepper finish with no oak. A round, lengthy, and poignant Muscadet fit for only the finest seafood.
95 points $17 Best Buy
Chateau Lalande de Gravet 2015  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
95 points
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso bean, toasted sandalwood and pencil shavings, berry pie crust, and hint of lilac water with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a distinctive, very long cinnamon roll, craisin and dried tomato, cedar, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A remarkably complex, spicy, and satisfying young Saint Emilion with an even brighter future ahead of it.
Chateau Les Vimieres 2014  Haut-Médoc
95 points
Deep purple color. Aromas of cedar, black cassis, plum, sweet violet, and anise with a chewy, lively, dryish full body and an effortless, layered, very long bramble, leather, grilled meats, and black pepper finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A brooding wine with a breathtaking finish that will continue to improve with time.
Champagne Devaux NV Grande Reserve Champagne
94 points
Light gold color. Aromas of French canelé pastry, brioche with apricot preserve, gunsmoke, and butter-poached apple with a round, racy, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a tingling, distinctive, long yuzu marmalade, salted parker dinner rolls, and dried pineapple finish. A NV champagne that will stand the test of time; smoky, svelte, and stimulating.
Chateau Haut Bernones 2015  Haut-Médoc
94 points
Brilliant garnet black color. Attractive, fruity, floral aromas and flavors of huckleberry relish, chocolate figs and cherries, wildflower honey on buttered cranberry nut toast, and toasted meringue with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, subtle, long chocolate orange peels, caramelized nuts, and fine minerals finish with crunchy, fine tannins and light oak. A juicy and fruit-forward Bordeaux red that charms and delights the senses.
Chateau Moncets 2012  Lalande de Pomerol
94 points
Garnet black color. Peppery, elegant aromas of suede, incense, blueberry compote, sweet pea blossom, wild mint, flint, and smoky tobacco with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long fine leather chair, graphite, peppered pastrami, and herbs de Provence finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A bright and complex gentle-giant Bordeaux that is ready to drink or cellar.
Chateau Calvimont 2015  Graves Rouge
94 points
Dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas of cranberry orange scone, candied strawberry, leather, and red cassis with a round, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, nuanced, long chocolate licorice, espresso, sasparilla, ripe cherries, cured pork, and cinnamon finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A ready-to-drink Graves that will be even more delightful after cellaring.
Enclos de Viaud 2015  Lalande de Pomerol
94 points
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of melted toffee, dark berry compote, and spiced caramelized carrots and yams with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a subtle, long plum tartlet with creme Anglaise, nuts, and leafy earth finish with earthy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A supple, sensual red Bordeaux with instant appeal and a long path of pleasure ahead.
Terre du Lion 2015  St. Julien
94 points
Ruby black color. Inviting, mature aromas of tannery, fruit and nut press, dried plums, samoas girl scout cookies., and sautéed mushrooms with a lightly tannic, tangy, fruity full body and a polished, distinctive, medium-long dried cranberries, charred green onions, cassis, and anise finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. Cellar this wine and greatly anticipate the superb expression to come.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2014  Margaux
94 points
Opaque deep purple color. Mature aromas and flavors of grilled plums, ancho chile, cinnamon-sugar tart, raw mushrooms,leather, and carnation with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry full body and a medium-length wet grass finish with earthy, grippy tannins and moderate oak. A serious wine that will blossom with time.