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 Moulin de la Rose 2014  St. Julien
96 points
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.
Awards: 2017 Best Bordeaux Wine, 2017 Best French Red Wine
Retrofollies 2016 Rose Coteaux Varois de Provence
96 points
Best Buy
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.
Awards: 2017 Best Rose Wine, 2017 Best French Rose Wine
96 points $12.99 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.
Enclos de Viaud 2014  Lalande de Pomerol
95 points
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.
Chateau Abelyce 2014  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
95 points
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.
Château du Père Antoine 2014 Cuvée Oliva Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
95 points
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.
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.