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.
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.
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.
Champagne Devaux NV Cuvée D Champagne
93 points
$62
Golden yellow color. Inviting aromas and flavors of buttered brioche, smoked apricot preserves on greek yogurt, honey, musk, and pressed wildflowers with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a refreshing, medium-long finish with notes of spritz of lemon, pickled ginger, quartz, key lime pith, and pineapple on Hawaiian rolls with a suggestion of oak flavor. A super bright, slightly smoky Champagne with thick, sensuous aromas.
Champagne Devaux 2008 D Millésimé Champagne
93 points
$110
Golden yellow color. Aromas of bruleed lemon, baked cantaloupe, coriander, rye, coconut cream pie on a graham cracker crust, and lemon custard with a satiny, vibrant, fizzy, medium body and a seamless, complex, medium-long peach confiture and jasmine finish with crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. An interesting Brut Champagne that should develop lots of nuance and intrigue after a slumber in the cellar.
Antech 2015 Emotion Sparkling Rosé Crémant de Limoux AOC
93 points
$19
Best Buy
Silvery amber color. Fresh aromas of lemon curd on fresh crumpet, strawberry preserves, and nougat with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long white strawberry, clementine, and delicate anise cookie finish. A vibrant and flavor-packed sparkler that will make a wonderful aperitif.
93 points $19 Best Buy