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  • Anjou-Saumur French Wines

    ANJOU-SAUMUR

    Great French wines were made here more than fifteen centuries ago. With its 27 appellations the area around Anjou and Saumur has something for everyone. It is a true journey of discovery from which newcomers to wine drinking and connoisseurs will both experience pleasure. The underlying ground is extremely complex around Anjou. Crudely speaking there are two main types: the 'blue' of Anjou which is blue slate and eroded igneous rocks from the Massif Central, and the 'white' Anjou of Saumur, Vouvray, and Montlouis with underlying beds of chalk and tufa.

    The most widely grown variety of grape is Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) for white French wines and both Cabernets for reds French wine. You will also encounter some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines here and there and some Gamay for red wines.

  • Another French Wines

    CLAIRETTE DU LANGUEDOC

    The white Clairette grape is one of the oldest varieties and Clairette de Languedoc is one of the oldest and smallest appellations of Languedoc. The vineyards are situated on the hills of the Herault valley, south of Lodeve, approx. 30 km (19 miles) from the sea.

    Drinking temperature this French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

     

    MUSCAT DE MIREVAL

    This is a vin doux naturel from Mireval, between Montpellier and Sete. The vineyards are on the southern slopes of the Gardiole mountain which dominates the Vic lake. The ground is chalky with alluvium here and there and also rocks. This French wine is also made using the Muscat Petit Grains. It is a comforting, fruity wine that is almost like a liqueur.

    The charm of Muscat de Mireval is in its refined floral and fruity aromas of jasmine, lime blossom, citrus fruit, and raisins. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6°C (42.8°F).

     

    MUSCAT DE FRONTIGNAN

    The Prontignan vineyards are slightly more southerly than those of Mireval, immediately north of Sete. This Muscat wine is stronger than the previous two and is even more like a liqueur. The bouquet is somewhat less aromatic than the other Muscat wines and generally somewhat coarser, though there are exceptions. The nose does contain recognisable notes of citrus fruit, overripe Muscat grapes or even of raisins. The best Muscat de Prontignan wines develop a superb nose of exotic fruit such as passion fruit, and peach, and are very elegant. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6°C (42.8°F)

     

    FAUGERES

    The vineyards of Paugeres are slightly to the north of Beziers, situated on a gently rolling ridge of hills of shale. The area is off-the-beaten track, hilly, but both inviting and intimate. A lithe and silken red wine is produced in the small villages that both smells and taste of ripe fruit and liquorice. After several years of maturing the wine tends towards spicier aromas and notes of leather. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 14- 16°C (57 .2-60.8°F) .

    Paugeres also produces a little rose which combines the velvet smooth and fruity character of the red wine with a mellow freshness. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 12°C (53.6°F).

     

    ST CHINIAN

    Red and rose St Chin ian wines are produced at the foot of the Montagne Noire, north-east of Beziers. There are two different types of St Chinian: a light, playful wine that is lithe and comforting, with much fruitiness and a heavier, more powerful wine with nose of ripe fruit, bay laurel, and flint. The first type is drunk when young, preferable chilled(12-14°C/53.6-57.2°F) while the latter is better left a few years before drinking at 14-16°C (53.6-57.2°F) for a good taste and a good French wine. Drink the St Chinian rose at 12°C (53.6°F).

     

    MUSCAT DE ST-JEAN DE MINERVOIS

    The vineyards of St-Jean de Minervois lie amid the maquis and wild Provençal herbs at a height of 200 metres (656 feet) . The soil is a mixture of chalk and shale on a base of red clay. Here too the grape used is exclusively Muscat Petit Grains. A superb, very aromatic French wine is produced in this very small area of 159 hectares. Intense aromas of citrus fruit, fresh Muscat grapes, exotic fruit, and menthol are characteristic of Muscat de St-Jean de Minervois. In spite of its liqueur-like properties, this Muscat is still exceptionally fresh-tasting. Drinking temperature for this French wine 6°C (42.8°F).

     

    MINERVOIS

    The vineyards of Minervois, which are largely arranged on terraces, are situated in a triangle formed by Carcassonne, Narbonne and Beziers. The production is mainly of red French wine but if you search you will also find rose or even the rarer white Minervois. The red wine is fruity, refined, elegant, and well-balanced. There are as many different types of Minervois as there are different terroirs. In the Minervois the wine gives you a free lesson in geology with gneiss, chalk, shale, lignite, and alluvial deposits mixed together in the soil to give the Minervois its own character. Drink this rose French wine (12°C/53.6°F) and the red French wine at 14-16°C (57.2- 60.8°F).

     

    CABARDES

    Excellent rose and red French wines are produced from 331 hectares to the north of the fine Medieval town of Carcassonne. Drinking temperature for French wine: 14- 16°C (57.2- 60.8°F) .

     

    MALEPERE

    This is the most westerly wine-growing area of the Languedoc, located in the triangle formed by Carcassonne, Limoux, and Castelnaudary. Malepere is in the process of achieving Appellation Controlee status. The rose and red French wines from here are fairly light and fruity. Drinking temperature for this French wine: rose 12°C (53 .6°F) , red 14- 16°C (57 .2- 60.8°F) .

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  • Another Touraine French Wines

    ST-NICOLAS-DE BOURGUEIL

    The lighter red French wine is a lot like the related Bourgueil. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

     Bourgueil French Wines

    CHINON

    Cabernet Franc here produces a full-bodied wine with aromas of red fruit (redcurrant, wild strawberry, and raspberry), freshly-sliced green pepper (paprika), and violets. Chinon must either be drunk very young (within a year) or after three to five years. In the interim period of two or three years the wine often has less taste and does not release its bouquet. Drink this Cabernet French wine temperature: 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C) . Chinon rose is very fresh and fruity and delicious with meat, pate, terrine, and especially pork and veal. Drinking temperature: 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

  • BAN DOL ROUGE - French wine

    BAN DOL ROUGE

    Red Bandol must contain at least 50 per cent Mourvedre, which can be made up to 90 per cent of the volume with Grenache and/or Cinsault. The remaining 10 per cent may be Syrah and Carignan. The character of red Bandol is determined therefore by the Mourvedre grape.

    Where other grape varieties provide almost baked aromas to the wine because of the great number of hours of sun, Mourvedre retains its fruity bouquet, making it an ideal choice for the Bandol vineyards. Bandol red is very full of tannin when young so that it needs to be aged for at least 18 months in oak. Many find Bandol red too expensive and the wine too harsh. These are people who do not have the patience to lay these French wine down for at least six but preferably ten years before drinking. Only then is Bandol at its best.

    The bouquet is a sublime combination of red and black fruit (wild cherry), peony, humus, and heliotrope. When these French wine is older (more than ten years), classic aromas of truffle, pepper, vanilla, liquorice, cinnamon, and musk come to the top. A good vintage Bandol red can be kept for at least 20 years. Do not drink these French wine when young but at a mature age and serve at approx. 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .

     

    BAN DOL ROSE

    The same strict proportions of grapes apply to this French wine also. A Bandol Rose combines the essential elements of Mourvedre (wild cherry, red and black fruit, peony, heliotrope, and pepper) with its owncharm, power, freshness, and depth. Serve this French wine at approx. 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).

     

    BAN DOL BLANC

    This white French wine is exceptionally fresh, full-bodied, and impertinent. The wine is made with Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Bourboulenc. Grapefruit and lemon together with floral notes can be detected in the bouquet. The taste is full of flavour, fleshy, and whimsical. Do not serve this French wine to cool (approx. 10-12°C/50-53.6°F).

     

    CASSIS

    This much-loved French wine has nothing whatever to do with the popular blackcurrant soft drink. Cassis is the name of an idyllic harbour town on the Mediterranean. The harbour is encircled by imposing cliffs which protect the vineyards of one of France's most delightful white wines. Of the 175 hectares of vineyards, 123 hectares are devoted to white French wines. Rose and red Cassis are also produced. Both are surprisingly fruity, lithe, and pleasant.

     

    CASSIS BLANC

    A good Cassis Blanc is not readily found outside its locality because local demand exceeds the supply. Thise French wine smells of beeswax, honey, ripe fruit, cedarwood, may and lilac blossom, almond, and hazelnut. The taste is very fresh and full-bodied . The acidity that is clearly present provides a good structure to the Frech wine. Drink white Cassis at 10-12°C (50-53 .6°F).

     

    Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence

    This extensive area lies to the south of Durance, stretching to the Mediterranean in the south and the Rhône in the west. The soil is chalky and the changeable landscape is characterised by small mountains and alluvial valleys. The mountains run parallel to the coast and are covered with scrub, wild herbs (maquis), and coniferous woodland. The valleys have a subsoil of broken rock and gravel, interspersed with calciferous sandstone and shale, mixed with sand, gravel, and alluvium. The French winegrowing area is fairly large, covering approx. 3,500 hectares.

     

    CÔTEAUX D 'AIX-EN-PROVENCE ROSE

    This French wine is light, fruity, and very pleasant. The better C6teaux d'Aix-en-Provence rose is full-bodied and powerful, with dominant floral notes. Drink this French wine young at approx. 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F) .

     

    CÔTEAUX D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE ROUGE

    This is an exciting French wine that can be somewhat rustic. The wine is none too elegant and lacks finesse but is characteristic of its terroir, with fruitiness, power, and sultry notes of leather, pepper, spices, and herbs. The tannin is muted, so that the French wine can be drunk while young. The better wine is however at its best after about three years. Drink this French wine at about 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F) .

     

    CÔTEAUX D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE BLANC

    This fairly rare white French wine made with Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grolle, Sauvignon and Ugni Blanc is often full-bodied, charming, and at the same time elegant. It smells of blossom such as may and/or shrubs such as privet and box. The taste is fresh, full, very romantic, and very characteristic. Serve it about 10-12°C (50-53.6°F) .

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  • Bâtard Montrachet - Red French Wine

    BÂTARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU

    This other member of the Montrachet family needs to be laid down for some years before it can be fully enjoyed.

     Then the colour is clear, pure golden yellow and the heady bouquet is readily released from the glass. It has a nose of exotic fruit, croissants with butter, exotic wood, almond, and honey. The taste is fresh and silken with a hint of tannin and a prolonged aftertaste. Drink this French wine at about 55.4°F/13°C.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    BIENVENUES-BTARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU

    The French wine is golden yellow with a green tinge. It has a very fruity bouquet together with hints of toast, butter, citrus fruit, and sometimes a characteristic t1inty undertone.

    CRIOTS-BTARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU

    This is a very rare white wine that in many respects resembles   the   Bienvenues-Biitard-Montrachet, certainly sharing its flinty smell and taste.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET

    Once only red French wines were made here, today the reds and   whites   are   of equal   importance.   White Chassagne-Montrachet is a pale golden colour and it possesses a very intense nose in which buttered croissants, flowers, lemons, and later roasted almond and herbs can be recognised. Some wine also has a noticeable mineral scent and taste. The white Chassagne-Montrachet is generally a fresh, juicy, and very refined wine of great character.

    Red Chassagne-Montrachet is dark red and has a bouquet of ripe cherry, blackcurrant, and other woodland fruit, with a hint of liquorice. Most it is well structured, full , and fatty.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    ST-AUBIN

    Red French wine is also made here but the reputation is mainly due to the white wines. The colour is pale golden yellow and the nose     recalls  acacia blossom,   yellow plum, and almond. This later develops into dried fruit and honey. This is a fine, fresh, and generous wine, with sometimes a tendency to plumpness and mineral undertones. The taste and aftertaste are very aromatic.

    SANTENAY

    This is a ruby red wine with aromas of red fruit and fruits of the forest such as blackberry and bilberry. The French wine can be somewhat harsh in tanin when young but this changes after several years ageing i.n the bottle. Once fully mature a good Santenay develops a very exciting bouquet incorporating wild fungi including truffie.

    The white French wine is generally not among the best whites but choose one from a Premier Cru vineyard for these are well worth drinking. llis a fulsome and fruity wine with clearly recognisable Chardonnay characteristics: butter, croissants, toast, hazelnuts. citrus fruit, and white flowers.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    MARANGES

    Thisislesswell-known wine-growingareawhich producesbothred and white Frenchwines. Forthewhite wineschooseformeference from aPremierCruvineyard.Itshould thenbefruityrapricot and almond),iresh,andhave asomewhatfattytastebutbefullof tendernessandelegance.

     RedMaranges(certainlythe premier cru wines)areofoutstanding quality.Thebesthaveaveryintensecolour,nose,andtaste.Thewineisveryaromaticwithsuggestionsofriperedfruitandblackcherry,liquorice,andherbs.

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  • Beaujolais Wine - French Wine

    Beaujolais

    Although Beaujolais is officially within Burgundy, it is usually treated as an independent French wine area. We do this because Beaujolais wine has its own identity which is further strengthened by the considerable publicity that surrounds this individually-minded Burgundian brother.

     The most famous   Beaujolais is the new wine or Nouveau, which is introduced each year with much ado. There is much more though to discover in the Beaujolais, with at least twelve different appellations.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The area

    Beaujolais starts about 6 miles (10 kilometres ) south of Macon, in the department of Rhône. It is a relatively small area about 37 miles by 71/z miles (60 km long by 12 km) wide that spreads itself across a ridge of hills that border the valley of the Saône. The area is subdivided into two sub-regions: in the north Haut-Beaujolais where the best wines are made, the 10 crus, and Beaujolais Villages. The   soil   is predominantly granite and quartz fragments on a bed of slate.

    The southern part or Bas-Beaujolais has soil that is a mixture of clay and chalk. The everyday white, rose, and red Beaujolais are produced from these vineyards.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The vineyards

    Only about 2% of the vineyards are planted with Chardonnay. The extremely rare white Beaujolais is made from these grapes. The remainder of the vineyards   are   planted with the Gamay grape. Some   rose   but   mainly reds are made from Gamay.

    The preparation of Beaujolais

    In recent decades the growers of Beaujolais have realised that improvement and above all greater environmental awareness in the protect­ ion   of their   vineyards, combined   with   better equipment and hygiene in the wine cellar improves the quality of the wine. Consequently far less sulphate fertiliser is now used and wine-makers control temperature far better duringvinification.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    This protects the characteristics of   the   soil,   climate, and grape far better. Unfortunately there are still growers in Bea u jolais who want to make a profit as quickly and as cheaply as possible - a scandal  for those hard -working growers who seek to improve the quality of their wine.

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  • Bergerac French Wine

    Wine-growing

    Bergerac is full of surprises and presents every visitor with the beauty of the natural surroundings, the zeal and passion of the winegrowers, the eternally sought after truffles, other fungi, pate de foie gras, and wild boar of the Perigord, and the emotions that are unleashed with each sip of wine.

    Delight Bergerac WineThe soil of this area is chiefly a mixture of loam and chalk, loam and granite sand on the plateaux, granite sand in the Perigord and river-washed sediments and pebbles. There are terraces with poor soil and a top layer of sediment on the right bank of the Dordogne. The south-facing slopes are covered with stones. The soil on the left bank is very chalky, especially on the slopes of the hills, interspersed with some loam. Everything is present here, just as in the bordering Bordelais, to guarantee high quality for this French wines: plenty of sun, enough rain, harsh winters are not common (the exceptions being 1956, 1985, and 1987). The humidity is fairly high through the proximity with the Atlantic Ocean and the abundance of water in the Dordogne and its many tributaries.

    However good a terroir is it does not actually make the French wine. Vines have been grown in Bergerac for 2,000 years. French wine-making has almost been elevated to art through the input and experience of generations of wine-makers here. Currently most of the younger French wine-growers seek to retain much of the centuries old tradition while adapting to the latest vinifcation techniques. With the different combinations of varying terroirs and grapes, there is a wide range of types of French wine from just 11,000 hectares (12 AC wines).

    Montravel French wineThe grapes used for red French wine are Cabernet Sauvignon (sturdiness, tannin, colour, bouquet (blackcurrant and cedarwood), Cabernet Pranc (prolific bouquet of strawberry and freshly-sliced green pepper, with high alcoholic content), and Merlot (bouquet: cherry, red berries, plum, juicy with a velvet smooth texture).

    White French wines are made with Semillon (sensitivity for noble rot; bouquet: honey, apricot, peach, or mango, with good balance between sweetness and acidity), Sauvignon Blanc (finesse and bouquet of green apple, new-mown grass) and Muscadelle (intense aroma of honeysuckle and acacia).

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  • Blanquette de Limoux - French wine

    BLANQUETTE DE LlMOUX METHODE ANCESTRALE

    This Blanquette is made according to an ancient method in which the wine from 100 per cent Mauzac grapes ferment until there is only 100 grams of sugar per litre remaining. The fermentation is stopped by tapping the must and filtering it. This French wine that is not fully fermented is then bottled and through warmth a second fermentation occurs in the bottle. When the right balance between alcohol (5- 7%), sugars (approx. 70 grams per litre) , and the pressure in the bottle is achieved, the fermentation is abruptly halted by chilling the bottle. The colour of this French wine is straw yellow and not always clear. Since this is an ancient traditional method with little modern technology the wine can contain sediments of unfermented sugars and dead yeast cells. The scent is similar to a ripe Goudreinet apple. The taste is fresh due to the 4.5 grams per litre of acidity and the presence of the carbonic acid gas combined with fruitiness and softness imparted by the sugar residues. This French wine is low in alcohol (7%). Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6°C (42.8 °F).

    LlMOUX

    In addition to the better-known sparkling French wines, excellent white wines are also produced here. These must contain a minimum 15 per cent of Mauzac grapes but may be supplemented with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. The local Cave des Sieurs d' Arques manages to achieve sublime heights with this still Limoux wine, of which four different types, each with its own terroir are made. The Terroir Mediterranee is a rounded, harmonious and lithe wine with much fruitiness. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 12°C (53 .6°F) .

    The Terroir Oceanique is somewhat lighter coloured than the others. It has wonderful scents of citrus fruits that are fine and elegant. The taste is fruity with a hint of iodine. This French wine is very fresh and elegant. Drinking temperature for French wine:12- 14°C (53 .6- 57.2°F).

    The Terroir d'Autan is yellow with golden tinges. It has intense aromas with a finish of preserved fruit, and is broad, rounded, and fruity in flavour. Drinking temperature for French wine: 12-14°C (53.6- 57.2°F) .

    The Terroir Haute Vallee is yellow with golden tinges and has delicate scents of white flowers combined with a very harmonious taste that is rounded, fresh, and both subtle and complex. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 12- 14°C (53.6-57.2°F).

    The Cave Cooperative des Sieurs d'Arques also produces pleasing Vins de Pays and vins de cepage.

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  • Blayais and Bourgeais French Wines

    Two Bordeaux French wine areas are situated south of Charentes Maritime (the area famous for distilling Cognac): the larger Cotes de Blaye (including the Premieres Cotes de Blaye) and the smaller Cotes de Bourg. Both lie on the right bank of the mouth of the Gironde. Red French wines are produced in the south of this area and dry white French wines in the north.

     

    COTES DE BOURG

    This 3,600 hectares wine region is often called the 'Switzerland' of Bordeaux, because of the many rolling green hills. Both red and white French wines are produced here. The white French wines are extremely rare and to be honest best ignored as they offer nothing special in terms of quality. This Sauvignon white French wine is extremely fresh tasting and pleasing but best drunk as an aperitif. Drinking temperature: 9-10°C (48.2-50°F).

    The red French wine is deeply and attractively coloured and fairly aromatic. When young it is quite rough but after several years ageing in the bottle the harsh tannin mellows. The taste is then rounded, full, and sometimes even seductive. The better quality for this French wines possess class, refinement, and elegance. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8 °F).

  • Bordeaux Wine - French Wine

     IChateau Premieres Cotes Bordeauxn terms of producing fine wines Bordeaux is the largest and most important region of France for the best French wine. Throughout its long history Bordeaux has had connections with England, and during a 300-year spell from 1152, was under English rule.

      Bordeaux lies on the rivers Garonne and dordogne, which join to become the Gironde, before flowing into the Atlantic. The climate, influenced by the sea and rivers, is mild, slightly humid and summers tend to be long and warm.

     The soil in Bordeaux is generally gravel, clay or sand and limestone. Gravel’s warm and well-draining properties suit Cabernet Sauvignon, and can be found in the Haut-Médoc, while the clay and limestone soil of St Émilion and Pomerol is preferable for Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Petit Verdot grape adds ‘seasoning’ to the wines of theMédoc and Graves (Left Bank), while Malbec contributes colour and fruitiness in both Left Bank and Right Bank wines, such as those from the Côtes de Bourg. These grape varieties are blended together in varying percentages from château to château, to make Bordeaux red wines.

     FRENCH WINE *** wine Bordeaux

    Bordeaux French Wines

     The white French wines of Bordeaux are made from three main varieties of grape: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle, with some Colombard and Ugni Blanc being incorporated into the lesser wines. Sémillon’s lemon characteristics and relatively high alcohol content make it a popular choice for both dry ans sweet dessert wies. Lowish in acidity, it’s often blended with the early ripening Sauvignon, which is lively both in aromatics and acidity. Muscadelle adds a certain peachy, musky, and floral quality. Bordeaux also produces Rosé and Claret for the best French wine.

    Premieres Cotes de Boredeaux WineFRENCH WINE *** wine Bordeaux

    Bordeaux’s most famous red wines are the classified first growths, Cru Classé of the Médoc, such as Château Latour, and the Merlot-dominated wines of St Émilion and Pomerol, such as Château Cheval-Blanc and Château Petrus. Outstanding dry whites include Château Carbonnieux, but it is the sweet wines of Sauternes, which are proably better known, such as the first growth of Château d’Yquem.

    Shopping for French wine can be quite a challenge, as there is often an immense range to choose from. Sometimes a little planning will be in your favour. Just knowing the type or style of a French wine you want will make your buying decision that much easier.

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  • Burgundy French Wine

    Burgundy grapesThe hallowed ground of Burgundy(French Wine) is home to the greatest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world. Sadly though, in recent years not all of the French wines made here have met the standards of their predecessor. Having said that, there are some smart up-and-coming young producers around and today Burgundy finds itself on a bit of a roll.

    Burgundy was one if the first French wines regions to be know for its wine outside its boundaries. Favoired by kings and queens, the much sought-after wines of Burgundy werw also a passion for Thomas Jefferson. Situates in central France, Burgundy stretches from Dijon in the north, to just south of Macon in the south, The districts of Chablis, sixty miles to the northwest of Dijon, and Beaujolais, to the south of Macon, are both considered part of the region. Due to the influence of the church and the France law of inheritance, the wineyards of Burgundy are very fragmented.

     

    Did you know?

     The French wines in Sauvignon de St Bris, an Appwllation Contrôlêe in Northern Burgundy, are made from Sauvignon Blanc.

     

     Therefore the ‘nêgociant’ has an important role in the making and selling of the wines. ‘Domaine’ bottled Burgundy is a direct reflection of an individual grower, who often tends the vines, makes thewine, and bottles it.

     

    Burgundy grapes

     Burgundy GrapesChardonnay is the principal white grape suited to the calcareous/limestone soil of Burgundy. White Burgundy combines power and elegance but early maturing wines are also produced, along with the racy, cool climate white French wines of Chablis. The Alogtê grape is also planted, This makes crisp and lively white wines and is the classical base for Kir. Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc are also planted in small quantities. The major black variety in the region is Pinot Noir, except in Beaujolais where Gamy reigns supreme. In Burgundy, Pinot Noir is capable of producing wines of exceptional class, elegance and ability to age. It’s a difficult customer though and great care is required to grow and vinify this grape. Gamay on the other hand, provides colour, lots of fruit and acidity in Beaujolais and is also used in the Mâconnais.

    The most famous and expresive French wine of Burgundy include the those the Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Lafon.

    Bourgogne Passetoutgrains is a blend of a minimum of one third Pinot and Gamay.

     Throughout Burgundy there are terroirs with chalk, marl, clay, stony ground, and iron in places. The hard winters and hot summers together with the soil ensure individual characters and personality. The grapes here are Pinot Nair, Chardonnay, Aligote, and Gamay. Near St-Bris in the Auxerrois th.ey also grow a little Sauvignon Blanc. Burgundy is a complex patchwork of vineyards, referred to here as climat, villages, clos, and crus. There are also four Burgundy-wide appellations.

     

    APPELLATIONS REGIONALES

    Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligote (for white wine), Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, and Bourgogne.Passe­ Tout-Grains can be used for the appropriate grapes from throughout the area. Tbe better Burgundies come from specific Localities (such as Côtes de uHs, Côtes de Beaune).

     

    THE 53 APPELLATIONS COMMUNALES

    These wines bear the name of the parish or community such as Chablis, Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanee, or Vougeot).

     

    THE 561   PREMIER CRU APPELLATIONS

    In addition to the village or community appellation, these wines are permitted to identify the particular piece of land or climat. These climats are of sufficient quality that their French wines may be termed premier cru. Examples of these are Chablis ler Cru Montmains, Chambolle-Musigny Armoureuses, Puligny-Montrachet Folatieres, Beaune Clos des Mouches, and Beaune Greves.

     

    THE 32 GRAND CRUS

    These climats have became very famous by their constant quality over the centuries. It is sufficient for these wines just to bear the name of the climat. Examples   are   Chablis   Grand   Cru   Vaudesir, Echezeaux, Charmes-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, Bonnes   Mares,   Romanee-St-Vivant, Carton, Montrachet.

     

    The different French wine areas

    Burgundy is divided into nine different areas: Chablis,   Auxerrois,   Cotes   de Nuits,   Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, Miiconnais, Beaujolais­ Villages, Beaujolais, and Coteaux du Lyonnais. In reality the last three fall within Beaujolais, and Auxerrois is subsumed in Chablis.

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  • Carbonic maceration

    Carbonic maceration

    The general wine-making method in Beaujolais is carbonic maceration. The Gamay grapes are tipped into lare vats of timber, concrete or stain less steel as soon as possible after they are picked.

      The entire bunch including stems is left intact. The weight of the grapes themselves gently presses the grapes at the bottom and the juice from these (10-30% of the total volume) begins to ferment slowly. The sugars in the juice are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide th ro ugh fermentation. The pressure of carbon dioxide increases and forces the 'cap' or grapes upwards. The soaking in carbonic acid gas causes the alcohol to break down natural colourants and tannin and these are absorbed in the subsequent fermentation.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The pressure of carbonic acid gas is highest at the top of the vat and the pressure causes metabolism within the grapes. These start to ferment internally, with alcohol being produced and the level of malic acid significantly reduced. Just as important though and a characteristic of this method of wine-making is that the presence of oxygen ensures the retention of o utstanding fruitiness in the aroma and taste. After the carbonic acid has soaked the grapes in a process that takes four to ten days, depending on the type of wine to be produced, the naturally pressed juice or 'vin de goutte' is drawn off. The remaining grape matter is then pressed gently and added to the initial tapping. Some cuvées may make wine consisting solely of the initially tapped natural pressing and these wines can usually be spotted by their 'heavenly' names on the label of 'Paradis'as the French call this sweet, very fruity, and aromatic french wine.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     When this initial fermentation is completed a second fermentation occurs in which the harsh malic acids are converted to more gentle lactic acid. The young french wine is then ready to drink at once as Beaujolais Nouveau or undergoes further handling to become Beaujolais, Beaujola is Villages, or Crus du Beaujolais.

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  • Chablis Wine - French Wine

    PETIT CHABLIS

    Chablis Premier CruThis light, fruity and fresh tasting French wine is drunk young. True Chablis can be laid down for maturing but is also very enjoyable in its first year. This French wine is fully matured after three years.

     

    CHABLIS PREMIER CRU

    Chablis Premier Cru is at its best after three to five years. It does not contain the depths of the Grand Cru but can be drunk much earlier for those too impatient to wait.

    A Premier Cru Chablis is golden with a definite tinge of green. The nose is fruity but above all vegetal : lemon balm, fern, and the suggestion of coriander. The taste is dry and reminiscent of chalk with a touch of iodine. Known Premier Crus are: Mont de Milieu, Tonnere, Sechet, Montee de Fourchaume, Montmains,Vaillons.

     

    CHABLIS GRAND CRU French wine

    Chablis Grand Cru French wineThese French wines need to be laid down for at least five years after bottling and can certainly be left for twenty years. These are rare French wines, very dry, with a good balance between strength and finesse. The colour is a very clean pale yellow with the minimum of green tinge.

    The nose tends towards fern and coriander with the occasional suggestion of preserved citrus fruit. The chalk soil is readily discovered in the flavour, with a pronounced undertone of iodine.

    The preserved citrus fruits put in a further appearance in the aftertaste. There are seven Grand Cru wines: Vaudesir, Les Preuses, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Bougros, Valmur, and Blanchots.

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  • Chambolle-Musigny Wine - French Wine

    CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY FRENCH WINE

    Chambolle Musigny les CharmesThis is a feminine, almost gentle French wine of a pure ruby red with a nose filled with fruit (raspberry and cherry) when young, tending towards toadstools, humus, or game undertones when more mature. It is a elegant and refined French wine.   The better wines originate from the Premier Cru climats, especially that of Les Amoureuses, a name and a wine to fall in love with. The colour tends towards cherry red and the nose varies from raspberry to cherry brandy with hints of truffle, toadstool, or other fungus.

  • Chignin Bergeron - French Wine

    CHIGNIN-BERGERON

    This superb white French wine made with Roussane grapes is worth a mention of its own. It is a very complex wine with suggestions of roasted nuts, toast, dried fruit, and occasional hint of anise or fennel. It is surprisingly fresh with a full flavoured taste, with a prolonged development of the bouquet. Do not drink too cold (approx. 12°C/53.6°F).

    ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE

    FRANGY

    MARESTEL

    MONTHOUX

    MONTERMINOD

    SEYSSEL

    The white French wines (Roussette de Savoie and Seyssel) are made with the Altesse (Roussette) grape. This ancient variety of vine is reputed to have been brought back from the crusades by a princess from Cyprus. The colour of the wine is pale yellow and somewhat pearl-like when young but this disappears

    in due course.

    The scent is reminiscent of a large bunch of wild flowers such as violets and irises with a hint of almonds. The taste is a full one and rounded. The wine sometimes also contains sugar remnants which makes it even more pleasant.

    VINS DE SAVOIE ROUGE

    ARBIN

    CHAUTAGNE

    JONGIEUX

    ST -JEAN-DE-LA-PORTE

    CHIGNIN

    CRUET

    ST-JOIRE-PRIEURE

    There are three different types of French wine here. The Gamay is fairly typical and characteristic of its terroir. It colour is cheerful and bright while the aromatic taste is correspondingly fresh . Drink chilled to approx. 12°C (53.6°F).

    The Mondeuse is much darker in colour with purple tinges. The bouquet and taste are more complex than that of the Gamay. You can smell and taste a mixture of red fruit, pepper, and spices. The tannin present can be somewhat harsh when the wine is young but this softens later. Good Mondeuse can be kept for a long time. Serve at 14°C (57.2°F). The Pinot Noir is somewhat rarer. It is ruby red and has a complex bouquet and and taste. Serve lightly chilled at 14°C (57 .2°F) .

     

    PETILLANT & VINS MOUSSEUX DE SAVOIE AYZE SEYSSEL

    Ayze is made with the Gringet grape, while Seyssel derives its charm from the Molette and Altesse grapes. Both are excellent lightly sparkling white wines of great elegance. Drink at 100°C (50°F).

     

    VINS DU BUGEY

    The vineyards of Bugey lie to the west of Savoie in the department of Ain. This VDQS French wine is relatively unknown and often also unloved because of its fresh acidity. The Bugey wine-growing district was once more extensive but today the small vineyards are scattered over a large area, mainly on land with broken chalk soils.

    Although there are a number of acceptable red and white still wines produced in Bugey, the sparkling Cerdon is the most interesting to mention. This French wine is constantly improving its quality.

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  • Collioure French Wine

    Collioure

    This fairly small appellation of 330 hectares is spread across four communes: Collioure, Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer, and Cerbere. Collioure is produced as rose, red, and white French wine, and is made with Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah. The red wines are very harmonious, full, warm, and fleshy, with aromas of ripe fruits, minerals, and exotic notes such as pepper, vanilla, and oriental spices.

    There are also special cuvées, produced from ancient vineyards of which the ground is rocky, including igneous types. These Cuvées Vignes Rocheuses are highly concentrated. Red Collioure can be drunk in two manners: young and cool (12°C/53.6°F) , or mature and at cellar temperature (16°C/ 60.8°F) . Collioure red is one of France's top French wines.

    The rather rarer rose is fresh, full-bodied , and extremely rich. Drink this French wine for a best taste at approx. 12°C (53.8°F).

     

    Banyuls

    The vineyards of this vin doux naturel are situated along the coast on terraces of shale. The vines grown on the 1,460 hectares of this appellation are mainly Grenache Noir, with some Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre. The rich, warm, and powerful character of Banyuls comes from 50 to 75 per cent Grenache Noir. The soil here is extremely poor and rocky with a thin layer of earth that is washed away by each heavy thunderstorm. The work here is hard and much has to be done manually. The grapes ripen ideally in the strong sun so that they are extremely high in sugar when harvested.

    The addition of alcohol to the must or mutage often occurs very early in the process, even before the grapes have been pressed. In common with Maury, the oxidation of the wine is the secret of Banyuls. The oxidation is encouraged by only partially filling the barrels or by leaving the French wine in the sun in large wicker-covered bottles to partially evaporate.

    Countless different cuvees are blended by the winemaker according to the type of French wine desired. Some Banyuls (rimages) are not exposed to oxidation. Instead they are vinified to retain their fruity aromas. Depending on the type, Banyuls can be very fruity (red fruit, cherry), or possess aromas of roasted cocoa or coffee, and preserved and dried fruit (raisins, almond, other nuts, prune, fig) . Young fruity Banyuls (rimages) are drunk as an aperitif at approx. 12°C for a good French wine taste . Mature to very mature hors d'age is better drunk slightly warmer at between 14- 18°C (57.2- 64.4°F).

     

    BANYULS GRAND CRU

    These superb jewels are only made in the years of the best vintages. They encompass and sublimate all the wonderful characteristics of Banyuls. A sip of this rich, intense wine is to sample paradise.

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  • Corbières - French wines

    Corbières wines

    Corbières French WineThe Corbières landscape is so hilly and sometime so inhospitable that not other form of agriculture than viticulture is possible. The vineyards, spread over 23,000 hectares, lie between countless silent witnesses to a tempestuous history. The strong wind blows eerily through the ruins of the old Catholic establishments and shake them to their foundations. 

    Higher up in Corbières the ground is chalk and slate. With the exception of the odd proud cypress that is forced to bend its head to the wild wind, there are few trees to be seen. The more mellow coastal strip of Sigean consists of chalk hills, while central Corbières is predominantly gravel and stone.

  • Corsica - French Wine

    Two faces

    The grapes used for the first eight AC wines listed are the traditional varieties of Niellucciu, Sciacarello and Vermentinu, whilst Vermentinu, Nielluccio, Sciaccarello and Grenache are used for the generic Vins de Corse AC. The Vins de Pays wines are dominated by Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

    Corsica is divided in two areas in terms of its terroir. In the north (Bastia, Calvi, Corte, and Aleria) have complex soils of clay and chalk around Bastia (Patrimonio AC) and blue shale on the east coast, while the south (Porto, Ajaccio, Sartene, Bonifacio en Porto-Vecchio) consist entirely of igneous rock and granite. This dividing line is only a guide of course since there are countless mini-terroirs and micro climates to discover on the island.

     

    Grape varieties for a good French wine

    The three 'native' varieties of grape on Corsica are not actually entirely native. The names may be different but in reality two of the three are wellknownfrom elsewhere.

     

    VERMENTINU

    The white Vermentinu grape, also known as Corsican Malvoisie, is a typical Mediterranean grape which is also cultivated in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, where it produces white wines of quality. This French wine are very floral, usually strong in alcohol, full-bodied, and with abundant taste but definite aftertaste of bitter almond and apple. In common with the Italian practice this grape is also often added to red grapes to make a fine rose, but also to enhance the flavour of red wine.

     

    NIELLUCCIU

    This is a world-famous grape that is better-known under the name of 'Jupiter's Blood' or Tuscan Sangiovese. This French wine from this Niellucciu can be recognised by its nose of red fruit, violets, herbs, and sometimes apricot. When it is older it develops characteristic flavours of game, fur, and liquorice. The taste is worldly, fatty, and lithe. Niellucciu is particularly used to produce Patrimonio wines.

     

    SCIACCARELLO

    Sciaccarello is also known locally as Sciaccarellu, which has a meaning akin to 'crackling'. These French vines thrive extremely well on granite soil, such as around Ajaccio. Sciaccarello wines are very refined and recognisable above all by the characteristic pepper taste and aroma.

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  • Corton Grand Cru - Red Frech Wine

    CORTON GRAND CRU

    This is an exceptionally   well-known  French wine, not because it is better than other Burgundies, but because the wine travels well without the quality suffering. The colour is an intense red and there are powerful aromas of preserved fruit, plum, musk, and humus as the wine matures, with a hint of pepper and herbs.

    This full, strong, fatty wine that is high in tannin needs to mature for some years in the bottle. The taste improves considerably with maturity. The aftertaste is full and very prolonged. This is a wine for winter drinking.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU

    The vineyards of this magnificent white French wine are reputed to have been established under instructions from Charlemagne. He was renowned for both sloth and a love of red wine. He spilt so much wine on his fine white beard though that he was forced, reluctantly, to switch to white wine which had to be a good one and hence his orders. This is a very pure, clear white wine with the characteristic nose of a Chardonnay in which hot butter, toast, roasted almond, hazelnut with occasional suggestion of honey and minerals are discerned. This is a very full, almost plump wine that is a perfect ambassador for the good Burgundian life. Do not drink this wine too cold (53.6-57.2°F/12-14°C).

    SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE

    This is a fine white French wine with a wide assortment of fruity, floral, and even mineral aromas. The wine is full and elegant and sometimes has a generous undertone. It is exceptionally full in taste with hints of white fruit such as apple, pear, or peach, and suggestions of freshly-toasted bread with melted butter.

    Perhaps the red Savigny wine is better known. It is an attractive ruby colour and has a nose suggesting wild fruit and a touch of pepper that are charac­ teristic of this area. It is a delightful, delicate, and supple wine.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CHOREY-LES-BEAUNE

    This is an wonderful wine to look at with its pure, clear,and attractive cherry red colour. It has an intense bouquet predominated by fruit (raspberry, pomegranate, blackberry, and cherry) which later change to the classic nose of preserved fruit, humus, and game. This is not a truly complex wine but the texture is good and the taste is f ull, supple, and above all velvet smooth.

    BEAUNE

    The very ancientvineyards aro und Beaune produce co untless fine red French wines. The strength ofth is district is to be found in the Premier Cru parcels of land of which Les Gravieres is the best known. The wine is richly   coloured, dark , and   clear. The youthful aromas of red fruit and herbs with occasional undertones of blackcurrant quickly gives way to stronger scents   which   are often reminiscent of smoke and tobacco. This is a very concentrated wine, strong and complex, that mellows after several years ageing in the bottle.

    The white French wines are pale golden in colour and very clear. The bouquet is reminiscent of butter, honey, almond, lemon balm, and later of hazelnut and roasted dried fruit. Do not serve this wine too chilled (55.4-57.2°F/13-14°C) .

    The red Clos des Mouches is a pale ruby red with a nose of ripe cherry,   herbs, and a suggestion of smoke. It is a full, elegant but powerful wine. Do not serve too warm (60.8-64.4°F/16-18°C).

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CÔTES DE BEAUNE

    This is a fairly rare red wine that is generally high in tannin.

     

    CÔTES DE BEAUNE VILLAGES

    Originates from vineyards in approximately sixteen communes. It is an excellent red wine that the locals prefer to drink when young - within three to five years of the harvest. Drink this wine at about 62.6°F (17°C).{jcomments on}

  • Côte Châlonnaise - French wine

      The Côtes Châlonnaise between Chagny, Montagny and Couches will probably surprise many a visitor.

    BOURGOGNE CÔTE CHALONNAISE

    This is a fairly recent appellation (1990) for white but especially red wines, spread through 44 communes.

    The white French wine is a light, floral and fruity Chardonnay (citrus and exotic fruit) with a lithe, fatty, and balanced taste. The very fruity cherry red wine is light, friendly, warm, and generous.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    RULLY

    These French white and red wines acquire an aromatic finesse through their chalk soils. The white Rully is a very pure and clear golden white with very seductive bouquet containing broom, almond, and citrus fruit with a fresh and elegant taste that has undertones of fruit and flowers.

    The ruby red Rully has a nose when young of red fruit such as blackberry, blackcurrant, and red- currant. Late this evolves into a riper fruit bouquet with suggestions of tobacco and moist autumn soil. The taste is typical of a Burgundy, fat and fresh, with elegant tannin and much fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    MERCUREY

    Most white Mercurey wines are a light, friendly, and above all uncomplicated aperitif French wine. The red Mercurey is an attractive ruby red colour and fruity aromas of blackcurrant, redcurrant, and cherry, often with a pinch of herbs.

     

    GIVRY

    Like its neighbours from Montagny, wine from Givry is an entirely under regarded Chardonnay white. Consequently it is modestly priced for the quality offered.

    There are a couple of whites from Givry that have gorgeous bouquets of acacia and may blossom, apple, almond, and sometimes also lime blossom and lilac. These full, fatty whites can be found in the totally reliable Guide Hachette. Drink this French wine with freshwater fish.

    Red Givry is very colourful with   an   intensely aromatic nose   of redcurrant and   blackcurrant. When older there are herbal undertones. This is a fleshy wine with considerable finesse and a pleasant fruity taste.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    MONTAGNY

    The best Montagny wine has a pale and unimposing colour but with an exceptional array of scents: apple, citrus fruit, fresh almonds, fern, hazelnut, and butter.

    The taste is lithe, elegant, fresh, and rounded.

     

    BOURGOGNE ALIGOTIDE BOUZERON

    This French wine is better than the general Aligote AC. It is an exceptionally pleasing fresh wine with a seductive nose of roses, peony, and white fruit, sometimes accompanied by cinnamon.{jcomments on}