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

Chateau Chantelune 2015 Jose Sanfins Margaux
95 points
$50
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of pickled raspberry, roasted beets, suede, and apple cider with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity fat body and a very long finish with touches of chestnut and mocha yogurt. An unctuous, seductive Bordeaux; fantastic concentration and length.
Ferme de Romilly  Extra Dry Cidre
95 points
Light gold color. Aromas of cantaloupe, dried sweet plantain, pressed flowers, chamomile tea, toasted pumpernickel, sundried tomatoes, and horse blanket with a slightly chewy, vibrant, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a nuanced, long crushed hazelnuts, dried mushrooms, tamarind, and artisan butter finish. A rustic and charming French cider that will be a hit among serious cider enthusiasts and wine-drinkers.
Ferme de Romilly 2015 Brut Cidre de Normandie
95 points
$14.99
Bright sedimentary gold color. Aromas and flavors of leather saddle, apple compote on runny brie, reduced lemon, and artisanal exotic wood with a round, vibrant, frothy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long finish conveying accents of apple kaffir, honeyed fruit medley, and earth finish. A funky yet restrained French-style cider that exudes the summer countryside.
95 points $14.99
Perle de Mer 2017  Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
95 points
$17
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 flavor. A round, lengthy, and poignant Muscadet fit for only the finest seafood.
95 points $17 Best Buy
Domaine des Bernardins 2017  Muscat
94 points
$40
Steely orange color. Aromas of ripe peach, honey-drizzled apricot, golden raisins, and lime peel with a round, crisp, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length orange blossom water and chamomile tea finish. A bright Beaumes de Venise Blanc that offers delicate notes of dried fruit and honey.
Domaine le Montoire 2018  Sancerre
94 points
$50
Emerald straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of citrus marmalades and peach blossoms with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an effortless, complex, long finish manifesting accents of tropical fruit melange, lemon curd, and hint of wheatgrass with no oak flavor. A sensationally fragrant and vibrant Sancerre that is a great example.
Champagne Devaux NV Grande Reserve Champagne
94 points
$43
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.
Ferme de Romilly  Rosé Cidre
94 points
Brilliant amber color. Rustic aromas of apricot fruit leather, petrol, yuzu zest, roasted agave, cherry stone, bee pollen, crushed hazelnuts, barnyard, and straw with a lightly tannic, vibrant, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and an intricate, very long heirloom apple, leather, and cantaloupe finish. An intriguing, fun n’ funky rose cider that’s akin to an orange wine; natural wine-lovers drink up!
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 finish with notes of chocolate orange peels, caramelized nuts, and fine minerals with crunchy, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A juicy and fruit-forward Bordeaux red that charms and delights the senses.
Shield  Demi Sec Cider
94 points
Bright golden amber color. Interesting aromas and flavors of caramelized apples, spicy nougat, sandstone and clay, and apple wood bark and sap with a satiny, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and an interesting, long finish with suggestions of starfruit, spiced apples, and minerals finish. A vibrant and complex French style cider with great flavor and drinkability.