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.
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!
Domaine Beausejour 2019 Les Silex Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of pickled jicama, fresh cut grass, white grapefruit, white pepper, and hint of passion fruit with a satiny, vibrant, dryish light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of lime pie with meringue with moderate oak flavor. A spot-on Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire with great balance and concentration.
Alfred Tritant NV Mes Racines Grand Cru Brut Champagne Champagne
93 points
$58
Pale golden straw color. Aromas of honeyed brioche, dried mango, chamomile, lemon curd, buttercream, limestone, and toast with a velvety, vibrant, finely carbonated, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long dried apricot and toasted almonds finish. A bright, fruity, lengthy Champagne that’s an elegant and complex choice for fine celebrations.
Mod NV Réserve Champagne
93 points
$300
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of parker dinner rolls, salted butter, pie crusts, cantaloupe, and parmesan with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, charming, medium-long finish displaying accents of honeysuckle, hazelnut, apricot preserves, meyer lemon, and acacia blossoms. A rich and muscular Champagne with a transformative finish.
Mod NV Blanc de Noirs Champagne
93 points
$450
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of sultana studded brioche, toasted pine nuts and pineapple cake with a silky, crisp, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish imparting nuances of hazelnut creme, toffee, and lemon marmalade with a suggestion of oak flavor. A nicely mature Champagne with great nutty character; an excellent toast for special occasions.