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.
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 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.
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.
Chateau Moncets 2012  Lalande de Pomerol
94 points
$60
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 flavor. A bright and complex gentle-giant Bordeaux that is ready to drink or cellar.
Domaine de Pradas 2016  Gigondas
93 points
$45
Garnet black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of roasted berries on a cedar plank, peppercorns and pickling spices, fruit salad and sesame, and blossoms with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, engaging, medium-long finish that shows accents of cherry with medium, chewy tannins and no oak flavor. A ripe and rewarding Gigondas with a lot of flavor, personality, and sense of place.
Maison de Grand Esprit 2015 La Mystèriale Lussac St. Emilion
93 points
$45
Garnet color. Aromas of crushed raspberries, plum preserves, flaky pastry crust, acacia honey, and cocoa powder with a dryish full body and a medium-long black tea, leather, and earth finish. An earthy Bordeaux with brooding dark fruit.
Maison de Grand Esprit 2015 Grand Esprit Saint-Estèphe Bordeaux
93 points
$100
Indigo color. Perfumed aromas and flavors of rose tea, rosehip jam, cherry relish, cedar, licorice, sweet buns, and spearmint with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dryish medium body and a nuanced, medium-long finish with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. Layers and layers of flavor to explore in this delicious and elegant Saint-Estephe.
Champagne Devaux NV Cuvée Rosée Champagne
93 points
$52
Amber salmon color. Earthy aromas of cantaloupe, marinated shitake mushrooms, licorice, dried fig, and autumn leaves with a round, lively, finely carbonated, dry medium body and an even, amusing, medium-long passion fruit, yogurt with marinated strawberry, and dried lavender finish with light oak flavor. A crispy and stylish Champagne that will pair with most anything.