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  • Côteaux du Languedoc - French Wine

    Various white, rose, and red wines are produced from 8,255 hectares of vineyards between Nîmes and Narbonne. Certain of these French wines (St-Chinian and Paugeres reds and the white Clairette du Languedoc) are permitted to bear their own AC label.

    The other French wines carry the Côteaux du Languedoc AC combined with the name of their terroir or just plain Coteaux du Languedoc AC.

    Each terroir has its own added value and character but it is characteristic of all Coteaux du Languedoc wines to be fresh, lithe, pleasing, and friendly in their taste.

    The terroirs:

    CÔTEAUX DE ST -CHRISTOL

    CÔTEAUX DE VERARGUES

    ST-DREZERY

    PIC ST-LOUP

    CÔTEAUX DE LA MEJANELLE

    ST-GEORGES-D'ORQUES

    (All north of Lunel and Montpellier)

     

    ST-SATURNIN

    MONTPEYROUX

    (North of Clermont-I'Hérault)

     

    CABRIERES

    PICPOUL DE PINET (BLANC)

    (North of Séte)

     

    LA CLAPE (ROUGE & BLANC)

    QUATOURZE

    (South of Narbonne)

     

    Try them all: each wine has something different to impart of sea, herbs, shrubs, the soil, the lakes, and the sun. The red wines are dominated by Syrah, either on its own or in company with Grenache, insault, Carignan and (increasingly) Mourvedre. The whites are made with Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Rolle, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Picpoul. This last grape variety gives its name to the well-known Picpoul de Pinet.

    Drinking temperature: white French wines 10°C (50.0°F ), French rose 12°C (53.6°F), and French red at 14- 16°C (57.2- 60.8°F).

     

    MUSCAT DE LUNEL

    This is a relatively small appellation area (307 hectares) which produces an exceptionally fruity Muscat wine that is a vin doux nature!. The ground is strewn with boulders with a subsoil of red clay. The vineyards are situated on a ridge of hills around the town of Lunel, between Nîmes and Montpellier.

    Only the very scented Muscat Petit Grains grapes are used to make this French wine. The characteristic nose of a Muscat de Lunel is of citrus fruit and floral scents, completed with notes of honey, preserved fruit, and raisins. The best Muscat de Lunel wines sometimes also have a pleasing bitter and peppery aftertaste. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6°C (42.8°F).

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  • Côtes d'Auvergne French Wine

    Côtes d'Auvergne VDQS

    Vines have been growing on the sides of the old volcanoes of the Auvergne for more than two thousand years. Wine-growing started to flourish again in the Auvergne recently after a long period of disasters and troubles stretching back to the phylloxera epidemic, World War I, the economic crisis of 1929, and World War II that followed. A new generation of quality-seeking wine-growers and makers is re-establishing a reputation for quality that had been lost by a previous generation that was more concerned with volume production. These new young growers are not only better educated and more professional, they are also proud of their business, their terroir, and of their wine and you can tell this by drinking their French wines.

  • Côtes de Beaune French Wine

     Côtes de Beaune FRENCH WINE

    Côtes de Beaune French wineThe Côtes de Beaune, between Lad oix-Serrigny and Maranges is mainly known for white French wines.

    This is yet another example of a little known French wine and yet we are in close proxinlity to the world­ famous vineyards of Corton. The wine is ruby red in colour with a hint of amber. The bouquet is seductive, containing herbs, leather and humus in the upper notes. The taste is fruity with a lingering aftertaste. Drink this Ladoix French wine at about 60.8°F(16°C).

    Uncork the wine some time before drinking to allow it to breathe. Some white Ladoix is also made which is dry with a light vegetal nose with hints of hazelnut and other dried fruit. It is a charming and concentrated French wine.

     

    ALOXE-CORTON FRENCH WINE

    This is a firm, concentrated French wine that travels well. The colour, though strong and deep, is slightly unusual-somewhere between ochre and rust. This results from the strong presence of iron in the soil. All manner of fruit is present in the nose: cherry, plum, raspberry, blackberry, and blackcurrant. This is a superb French wine, full and powerful, with suggestions of herbs and wood in the lingering aftertaste.

     

    PERNAND-VERGELESSES FRENCH WINE

    PERNAND-VERGELESSESThere are both white and red French wines from here. The white wines are rarer and less well-known. They are a wonderful golden colour, characteristic of Chardonnay, with a pale tinge of green. The nose is reminiscent of honey, honeysuckle, citrus fruit, and an explosion of tropical fruit in the better years. Early on the wood perhaps dominates too much but this changes after a year's ageing in the bottle. The taste is rich and full, with great tenderness and charm.  

    The red French wine is ruby red and has a remarkable nose evoking sloes, Russian fur, hazelnut, blackcurrant, herbs, and chocolate. The wine has a fabulous taste that is full and fatty, velvet soft and powerful simultaneously, with a very prolonged aftertaste.

     

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  • Cotes de Duras French Wines

    Aquitaine: the wines of the Dordogne and Garonne

    In the part of this book dealing with wines of Southwest France it was explained that the wines of Duras and Bergerac have their own entity alongside the wines of Bordeaux and those that are truly of the south-west.

    To avoid dispute and confusion and not to take sides, both wine-growing areas are listed separately here. Both have closer social and economic affinity with the capital of Aquitaine (Bordeaux) than that of the south-west (Toulouse). The daily trade and business of Bordeaux in the daily business of both areas and the economic importance of Duras and Bergerac all play an important role.

    Cotes de Dures Wines

    Cotes de Duras

    The wine-growing area of Duras appears to be wedged between the vineyards of Bordeaux to the west, those of Bergerac to the north, and south-west vineyards of Pais Marmandais. Duras is not a large French wine region with about 2,000 hectares. Centuries of experience makes this area special and the wine superb. Although the folk of Duras are proud of their wines you will find little fuss about it in the local media. The people prefer to work quietly away at improving their vines and their French wines. Duras (AC since 1937) is aimed more at the connoisseur rather than those attracted to a wine by its label. Only those prepared to make the effort to seek out quality and the simple pleasure of wine without a fuss will experience the delight of the superb Duras wines.

    The vineyards of Duras are sited at the tops of the gently undulating hills (white wines) and the southern slopes (red wine) . The subsoil is extremely varied but the tops of the hills consists of a calciferous sandstone while the slopes are a mixture of compacted clay and chalk with many fossilised shells. The climate is similar to that of Bored, except that it is generally hotter and drier in Duras. The predominant white French wine grapes are Sauvignon, Semillon, and Muscadelle (with the odd trace of Ugni Blanc, Mauzac, Ondenc, and Chenin Blanc) while Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a small amount of Cot (Malbec) is used for the rose and red wines. The majority of the production is of red French wine (54%) and dry white (42%), with sweet white accounting for (2.5%), and rose (1.5%).

    Cotes de Duras Sec is a light, fresh, elegant, and fruity dry wine with a wonderful pale yellow colour that is tinged with green. This French wine, which is dominated by the Sauvignon Blanc, is certainly one of the best Sauvignon wines from Aquitaine. Drink this French wine at 8-10°C (46.4-50°F).

    Cotes de Duras Moelleux is a rare sweet white French wine dominated by Semillon. It is a harmonious, wholly sweet wine with a nose of honey, vanilla, toast, apricot, peach, preserved fruit, almond, walnut, hazelnut, and figs. The texture is fatty, almost unctuous, and the taste lingers long on the palate. The French enjoy this French wine as an aperitif with goose and duck liver pate. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6-8°C(42.8-46.4°F) .

    Cotes de Duras rose, created by the saignee (early drawing) method, is fresh, fruity and very aromatic (black currant and acid drops). It is an ideal French wine to drink with summer dishes. Drink this French wine at temperature10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    Cotes de Duras red can be a very pleasant, lithe, elegant, and fruity wine, made by steeping in carbonic acid gas (maceration carbonique). Today though most wine is vinified by traditional methods which produce a fuller, fleshier wine with loss of the fruity character. Always drink the first type chilled when young (12°C/53.6°F). This traditional French wine can be kept for five to ten years. Drinking temperature for this traditional French wine: 14-16°C (57.2- 60.8°F) .

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  • Côtes de Nuits for Red French Wine

    Côtes de Nuits

    Cotes de NuitsThe Côtes de Nuits is world-famous for its red French wines and home to a great assortment ofterroirs and styles. The area starts in Marsannay and ends at Corgoloin. The soil is chalky with a lower layer of marl.

    The French red wine is somewhat heavy and rough when young but after several years ageing it becomes gentler, more rounded, and plump, with the aroma of red fruit, in particular cherry, blackcurrant, and redcurrant, with the occasional hint of prune, liquorice, cocoa, or coffee.

    The best known wine is the Rosé de Marsannay. This French wine is pale pink with some orange. The smell is fresh and pleasant while the taste is reminiscent of red fruit. The white French wine is very fresh, full-bodied, and impetuous but more supple and rounded when mature. The wine is intensely coloured, has a characteristic Chardonnay scent with exotic fruit, such as pineapple and grapefruit, and a big taste.

     

    FIXIN FRENCH WINE

    Fixin is best known for its red French wines. This is usually a fleshy, powerful wine with quite a lot of tannin when young which enables it to be kept. When young the wine is ruby red and has the nose of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. When mature the scent is of plum or even leather.

     

    GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN FRENCH WINE

    Cotes de Nuits Wine LabelThis French wine is an attractive ruby red that is pure and clear. The characteristlc aromas are of black cherry, blackberry, and other small fruit, with an occasional hint of liquorice.

    It acquires a bouquet of spices, including nutmeg, and leather through maturing in oak which takes on earthy tones, bushes, wet leaves, and toadstools when it has reached a respectable age.

    This French wine is high in tannin but not so that it disturbs the taste, in part because of the fullness of the French wine. The taste is very full and fruity. The wine can be kept for 10-20 years after its harvest. The Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Cazetiers is highly recommended.

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  • Côtes du Frontonnais - Buzet French wines

    Côtes du Frontonnais

    Present-day Prontonnais is a combination of two older wine-growing areas close to Toulouse: Pronton and Villaudric. The Cotes du Prontonnais, between Toulouse and Montauban, is about 2,000 hectares and the soil here is fairly poor and dry, with lots of stone and gravel, which imparts fruity aromas for this French wines. The area under cultivation by vines will increase in the near future by about one third.

    A peculiar characteristic of the Cotes du Prontonnais wines (only rose and red) is the use of the ancient native Negrette grape, which accounts for 50- 70 per cent of the vines planted. This grape provides the wine's characteristic refinement and highly fruity nature. In addition to the Negrette they also grow Cabernet Pranc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Per Servadou, Cot (known locally as Merille) and to a lesser extent Gamay and Cinsault.

    The Prontonnais rose is fairly pale in colour and very aromatic. It is quite dry with a fine taste. Drink this French wine at 10°C(50°F). The Prontonnais red is found in two types. This modern French wine is light, elegant, lithe, fruity, and often smells of blackcurrant and plum. For a good taste drink this French wine at approx. 14°C (57.2°F) . The traditional Prontonnais red is more complex, more robust, and fuller. Its bouquet is somewhat less boisterous and the taste is often deeper. You can drink this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F) .

     

    Buzet

    The vineyards of Buzet cover about 1,700 hectares in the heart of Gascony, south of the town of Buzet, on the left bank of the Garonne. Almost the entire production is controlled by the local co-operative known as Vignerons du Buzet. The vineyards of Buzet are ancient and existed before the start of the first millennium. Buzet is an exception in south-west France in being the only area that was not driven out of wine-making for many years following the phylloxera epidemic. In fact the areas cultivated during those difficult times were actually larger.

    Buzet attained VSQS status in 1953 but with the individual style and sympathetic effort ofthe united growers they achieved AC status in 1973. The area is divided into two different soil types. This French wine produced from the stony and sandy soil of the terraces is elegant and delicate. That made from vines growing in the richer ground of clay, and alluvial deposits with outcrops of sandstone is fuller, heavier, and more aromatic. Buzet produces predominantly red French wines which are made by combining Merlot, Cabernet Pranc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This French wine is a ruby red and the bouquet is reminiscent of red fruit, vanilla, and preserved fruit. You can drink this French wine at temperature: 12-14°C (53 .6-57.2°F).

    The better Buzet French wines (chateaux or estates) are more full-bodied and richer in tannin. These can be kept for 10 to 15 years and have a more complex bouquet that tends towards humus, strawberry jam, tobacco, cedarwood, and the nose of wild game. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 14-17°C (57.2-62.6°F).

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  • Côtes du Marmandais

    Côtes du Marmandais

    The Cotes du Marmandais AC vineyards cover 1,800 hectares on the right bank of the Garonne on gently undulating hills with soil of gravel and pebbles, interspersed with calciferous sandstone, and chalkbearing clay.

    White Cotes du Marmandais, made with the Semillon, Sauvignon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc, are fine dry French wines that are fresh and fruity with a bouquet of white flowers and sometimes a note of almond. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10- 12°C.(50-53.6°F).

    The rose is fresh, fruity, and pale. For a good taste drink this French wine at 12°C (53 .6°F). Cotes du Marmandais red is produced with the Bordeaux grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Pranc, Merlot and Malbec, supplemented with the local Abouriou and Per Servadou, and when necessary with a little Gamay and Syrah. It is better value to buy the slightly more expensive cuvees such as Richard Premier, Tap de Perbos, or La Vieille Eglise. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 14- 16°C (57.2-60.8°F) .

     

    Côtes de St-Mont VDQS

    The Cotes de St-Mont were admitted to VDQS status in 1981. These red and rose French wines are made using Tannat and Per Servadou, supplemented when necessary with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc to provide greater roundness and finesse. This white French wine is blended from typical local varieties such as Gros Manseng, Arrufiac, Petit Manseng and Petit Courbu, with occasional use of a little Clairette.

    The red French wine area is on the eastern and southern facing hills which have two soil types. The stony ground provides a light red wine made by modern methods which is pleasing, comforting but unpretentious to drink well chilled at approx. 12°C (53.6°F). The heavier clay soil produces rounder, more fleshy French wines which can be readily kept. Drink these French wines at 12- 14°C (53 .6- 57.2°F) when young and at 16°C (60.8°F )when mature.

    The rose is soft, very pleasing, and aromatic. The taste is fruity and fresh for a French wine. Drink these French wines at 12°C (53.8°F) .

    The western hills with their soil of chalk and clay deliver very subtle, elegant white French wines. The aromatic properties of the young wine quickly changes to a complex bouquet. Drink this French wine at 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    In addition to the VDQS wines listed here there are also some good French wines known as vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne, which have justifiably established themselves in the past decade.

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  • Cotes du Roussillon for French Wines

      The soils of the vineyards of Roussillon are very complex and variable: chalk, clay, shale, gneis, granite, and alluvial deposits, causing great variety in the types and tastes of these French wines. The climate is extremely hot in summer and mild in winter but rain does not fall evenly throughout the year. An entire vineyard can be destroyed by a cloudburst. Winemaking in Roussillon in the past decades has changed greatly with significant improvement of the regulation of temperature before and during fermentation. The white French wine is light, fresh, and fruity: drink it at 10- 12°C (50-53.6°F) .

    The rose is produced by the saignee methode, meaning that the red French wine is drawn off early and then vinified as white wine. Because the wine is drawn off so quickly, the grape skins have had just enough time to impart their wonderful red colour without adding tannin to the wine. This rose is very fruity. Drink this taste French wine at 12°C (53.6°F) .

    There are two different types of red wine. A light wine is often produced by steeping in carbonic acid gas maceration carbonique), which is fruity, slightly spicy, and particularly pleasing. For a good taste drink this French wine at 12- 14°C(53 .6-57.2°F) .

    The traditionally made red French wine is stronger and more rounded. The bouquet tends towards red cherry, plums, preserved fruit, and spices. This French wine can be kept for some time because it is aged in wood. Drink this French wine at 14- 16°C (57 .2- 60.8°F) .

     

    Cotes du Roussillon Villages

    The difference of this red French wine from the other Cotes du Roussillon wines is its specific terroirs, which mainly consist of the sides of hills or terraces of shale, chalk, and granite. The grapes used are the same as ordinary Cotes du Roussillon but the output per hectare is much lower. The appellation Cotes du Roussillon Villages may be used by 32 communes in the north of the department on vineyards extending to 2,000 hectares. These French wines are stronger, more powerful, and more complex than Cotes du Roussillon, and can be kept longer. For a good taste serve this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F) .

    Among the 32 communes of Cotes du Roussillon Villages, there are four which are permitted to bear their name on the label, in recognition of their higher quality.

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  • Echezeaux Grand Cru French Wine

    ECHEZEAUX GRAND CRU FRENCH WINE

    Echezeaux Grand Cru French wineThis French wine is an intense bright red with nose of fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry, and raspberry, together with fruit stones, cocoa, and cedarwood of cigar boxes. It is an extremely juicy wine that is f resh and well-structured, velvet­ smooth, with a finish of bitter chocolate. The wine continues to breath for some time.

    This French wine is a very dark but particularly bright and pure granite red. The fruity nose dominates the young wine with hint of burnt cocoa or bitter chocolate. After maturing in the bottle the bouquet takes on the smell of fungus, truffle, and leather, with a hint of cedarwood and tobacco. This is a very elegant, classic Burgundy with refined tannin and velvet soft texture, that is fresh and exceptionally harmonious. The afte rtaste lingers very long.

     

    VOSNE-ROMANEE FRENCH WINE

    This French wineis an attractive clear colour with fascinating reflections. There is an intriguing scent of wild cherry, redcurrant, raspberry, cocoa, nutmeg, leather, and various vegetal undertones. When older the wine often develops the distinctive nose of black truffle. It is a very rich, refined, and complex wine with velvety texture and prolonged aftertaste. Do not drink a Vosne-Romanee before it is 7-8 years old.

     

    RICHEBOURG GRAND CRU FRENCH WINE

    This French wine is an exciting dark  ruby   red colour, with strong nose of plum or prune, black cherry, red fruit such as redcurrant, and hints of cocoa, burnt vanilla, herbs, and animal scents. The taste is powerful too, tremendously concen­ trated, with great potential for laying down for a long time. Truly a wine to keep.

     

    LAROMAN EGRAND CRU FRENCH WINE

    This French wine is one of the smallest vineyards of France but one of the best. The wine possesses an intense ruby colouring with fiery reflections. The nose is reminiscent of red fruit, cherry brandy, and preserved fruit. Th is is an extremely intense wine that is velvety smooth and generous.

     

    LA ROMANÉE-CONTI GRAND CRU FRENCH WINE

    Romanee Conti Grand CruThe same applies to this French wine as La Romanée, albeit that tllis wine is perhaps somewhat finer and more elegant with a distinctive expression of its chmat. This is a .sublime wine for the happy few and one of the most impressive experiences a wine drinker can undergo.

     

    ROMANÉE-ST­ VIVANT GRAND CRU FRENCH WINE

    This French wine is an intense, dark   ruby   colour   in common with the other Romanee   wines.   The youthful nose is of black­berry, raspberry,   black, cherry, preserved fruit, and fruit liqueurs but this makes way later for a more vegetal bouquet with hints of moss, humus, truffle, and game.

    The texture for this French wine is full and firm, the taste is fresh, elegant, and juicy. Ripe fruit and a touch of exotic spices can be discerned in the aftertaste. Allow this wine to rest for at least 10-15 years.

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  • Entre-deux-mers: between Garonne and Dordogne French Wines

    We leave the left bank of the Garonne and journey on to a triangle of land 'between-the-two-seas', meaning in fact the rivers Garonne and Dordogne. Anyone who has witness a flood of these rivers can understand what is meant by 'Entre-Deux-Mers'. The French wine-growing area of Entre-Deux-Mers is a huge plateau, criss-crossed by countless small valleys and streams that wind their way through the softly undulating hills. It is a fairly large area from which the main output is of the dry white EntreDeux- Mers AC. The other appellations are Cotes de Bordeaux St-Macaire, Ste-Croix-du-Mont, Loupiac, and Cadillac (all of which are sweet liquorous white French wines), Graves de Vayres (red, dry and sweet white), Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, and Ste-Poy Bordeaux (both red and sweet liquorous whites) In addition to the wines listed above the entire area of Entre-Deux-Mers also produces a great deal of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur (red, rose, dry and sweet white French wines).

  • Fitou Roussillon Maury French Wines

    Fitou

    This is the oldest established red French wine AC of the Languedoc. There is a clear differentiation between Fitou that is made from the coastal strip and that produced inland. A superb full-bodied, and powerful red wine is produced from approx. 2,500 hectares between Narbonne and Perpignan. The bouquet and the taste of the best Fitou have overwhelming influences of Provençal herbs such as bay laurel, thyme, and rosemary, sometimes with a touch of clove, and flint. The best Fitou benefits from lengthy maturing in oak and can certainly be laid down. This French wine is extremely popular with the French and English. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8°F) .

    Roussillon

    The vineyards of Roussillon are situated south of Corbieres, at the foot of the Pyrenees, on part of Catalonia that has been French since 1642. The vineyards stretch themselves out, beneath the hot and drying Mediterranean sun, across a variety of different types of soil and landscape, from the coast to deep inland. The coastal strip south of Fitou to Argeles-sur-Mer is an oasis of calm for both nature lovers and sun-worshippers. From Argeles to the Spanish border the landscape is more rugged and hilly, with the only haven being the picturesque bay of Collioure.

    Maury

    Once of France's finest wines - the red vin doux naturel - is produced in the country around the small town of Maury. The blue vines of Grenache that are kept pruned low produce very low yields of grapes but they are high in juice in the sun-baked rocky soil. Young Maury is granite red while more mature ones tend to the colour of mahogany. A good Maury is very aromatic: when young is develops above all fruity aromas (red fruit), later suggestions of cocoa coffee, and preserved fruits dominate.

    Although the cheaper Maury wines can be pleasant, it is better to choose the best ones for these are better value. One estate is worthy of particular recommendation for its velvet soft wine with an unparalleled and fascinating bouquet of spiced bread, liquorice, plums, and cocoa: Domaine du

    Mas Amiel. Drinking good temperature for this French wine: 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .

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  • French Wine

    France still seth the standards by which most of the world’s finest wines are judged, but ar far as store sales are concerned, australian wines are rapidly moving into pole position. 

    The French have certainly long been lovers of wine, from the red wine plonk for daily drinking of the vin ordinaire to the great wines from Bordeaux and Burgungdy. Life without wins is unthinkable to most of the French. Daily enjoyment of wine, with family of friends, or with a meal, is an essential pause in French life. Wine is the soul of the French always managed to save that soul.

     In contrast though, pick up almost any international wine list in a restaurant and French wines still dominate. It will be fascinating to see if French wines can fight back over the next decade.

    Wines France The system of Appellations d’origine Contrôlées (AC) used in France – which defines the region in which a wine’s grapes are grown, the varieties used, and the manner of production – may have its restrictions but it is still the first piece of information many people look for on a label. Vin de Pays, the lowest category of France wine, does not follow strict AC rules, but today it can hold many a pleasant surprise and bargain for the wine lover.

     

     Bordeaux  Burgundy   Alsace  The Rhône  The Loire Valley 

       Languedoc-Roussillon&Provence    Champage

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  • French Wine

    France still seth the standards by which most of the world’s finest wines are judged, but ar far as store sales are concerned, australian wines are rapidly moving into pole position.

     For centuries France has been regarded as the leading wine country. It was almost universally considered that only French wines were good. This was unjust because countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, Hungary, and Greece have long made wine of top quality but the French managed to persuade the world that their wines had something special, that bit of extra quality.

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  • French wine history

    French wineFrench wine’s success has been created on deservedly popular regions that are enshrined by the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) laws, but unwillingness to guard such system in a meaningful logic has slowly debased historic reputations at precise point in the history when the New World manufacturers are eager at establishing their own range of wines.

    France owns a total of 872 hectares of land under vine that also includes 70,000 hectares for the Cognac and 6,000 hectares for the Armagnac. It produces an average of approximately 57 million hectolitres of wine each year. From the mid of 1980s, there has been a drop in French wine production by 27% in response to moving away from lower-quality end of spectrum because wine consumers have started drinking less wine but they drink the better quality ones. The way that quality is classified is a highly contentious issue that is faced by the French wine industry.

  • French Wine Jura

    The area wine Jura

    The department of Jura lies in eastern France, in Franche-Comté between the Burgundian Côte d'Or and Switzerland.

     

    The five grape varieties from France

    Only five varieties of grape are penuitted Ior the prod uction of AOC (guarantee of origin) wines. Chardonnay, imported in the fourteenth century from neighbouring Burgundy, represents about 45% of the vines planted. This is an easily cultivated grape that usually ripens fully without difficulty around mid-September, containing plenty of sugars and therefore potentially a high level of alcohol, that produces very floral, fruity, and generous French wines.

    TFrench wine maphe Savagnin (15% of the total) is highly regarded locally. This is a native vine and this local variant of the Traminer produces the finest wines to come from the Jura, the famous vins jaunes. This late­ ripening grape is often harvested as late as the end of October.

    The Pinot Nair was also brought from Burgundy, but in the fifteenth century for French wine. These grapes ripen quickly and are full of flavour but are virtually never used on their own but in combination with the Poulsard to impart more colour and body. Trousseau (5%) is also a native variety which thrives well on warm sandy soil in the northern part of the Jura. This vine blossoms fairly late and produces very colourful and concentrated juice. Trousseau wines(French wine) reach an unprecedented level of maturity after being laid down in a cool cellar for ten years. Unfortunately this wine is extremely rare and little known. If you get the chance to taste it you should certainly do so. 

    Finally, the Poulsard (20%), a native vine with grapes that impart a fine pale red colour to their wine that contains many fruity and unusual aromas. Poulsard is used to make light red wines but also for roses such as the famous Pupillin Rosé.

    Read more about French wine

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  • French Wine Regions

    Alsace wine region

    Alsace Wine RegionAlsace wine region with its villages, vineyards and towns linig the foothills of the Vosges mountains, is on of the most picturesque wine regions of France. This unique wine region of northeast France, which produces some of the greatest white wines in the country, still prides itself on making handcrafted wines and steers clear of outside investment.

    The wine region’s continental climate is exceptionally dry. Almost all Alsace wines are white wine and dry wines, whit exception of late harvest wines and some red wine produced from Pinot Noir.

    The soil of this wine region is extremly varied, with the best vineyards classified as Grand Cru.

     

    Burgundy wine region

    The hallowed ground wine region of Burgundy 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.

     

    Bordeaux wine region

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

     

    Wine Regions of FranceChampagne wine region

    The historic heart of Champagne wine region is Reims, about 93 milles (150 km) north-east of Paris. The geographical centre of the Champagne wine region is at Epernay, slightly south of Reims. Champagne is subdivided into four large areas: the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne, the Côte des Blancs, and finally the Côte de Bar in the department of Aube, between Bar-sur-Seine and Bar-sur-Aube.

    Each of these wine regions has its own geographic indentity resulting from countless variations in position, sun-hours, contour, soil, and finaly area unique with its own character and potential. There are more than 300 different terroirs, here referred to as crus, each equally unique and the subject of countless village interpretations.

     

    Cotes du Rhone wine region

    Côtes du Rhône (English: Slopes or Hills of the Rhône) is a wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for the Rhône wine region of France, which may be used throughout the region, also in those areas which are covered by other AOCs. In a limited part of the wine region, the AOC Côtes du Rhône-Villages may be used, in some cases together with the name of the commune.

    Côtes du Rhône are the basic AOC wines of the Rhône region, and exist as red, white and rosé wines, generally dominated by Grenache (reds and rosés) or Grenache blanc (whites). At the generic level, the official AOC Côtes du Rhône region stretches 200 km from Vienne in the north to Avignon in the south and from the foothills of the Massif Central in the west to the fore-slopes of the Vaucluse and Luberon mountains east of the town of Orange.

     

    Languedoc-Roussillon wine region

    Languedoc-Roussillon is a large wine region that sweeps across southern France from the Spanish border to the Rhône estyary. Commonly known as the Midi, it produces almost one third of all French wines and is currently a hot bed of innovation and exciting winemaking.

    Hillside locations are replacing the flatland vineyards which once produced an enormous amount of Vin Ordinaire. Emphasis is now being placed in lower yields, barrique ageing and more complex blending. Many Rhône varieties, such as Syrah and Grenache, are planted here to grow alongisde Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot ans Chardonnay.

     

    Loire Valley wine region

    In comparison of the rest of France, the Loire wine region has a cool climate. The area is capable of producing a wide range of wines, from light, dry, and crisp whites, to rosé, medium-bodied reds, and luscious dessert wines.   It is also a wine region where extremely good sparking wines are made. It was not until the 1940s that the Loire’s wines began to gain a reputation outside their local markets but since then, the region’s white wines, in particular, have featured on many restaurant wine lists.

     

    Provence wine region

    The French wine-growing region of Provence covers a large territory from Nice to Arles. It is no surprise therefore that Provençal wines vary so greatly in their colour, bouquet, and taste. The vineyards from this wine region are often widely scattered which makes working them more difficult. Most growers therefore belong to a co-operative to keep their costs down. The best wines generally come from smaller independent estates, which bottle their own wines in this wine region. The price of these wines is naturally dearer than those from co-operatives but the difference in quality justifies the extra cost.

     

    Corsica wine region

    Corsica wine region is situated on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Located 90 km west of Italy, 170 km southeast of France and 11 km north of the island of Sardinia, the island is a territorial collectivity of France, but many of the region's winemaking traditions and its grape varieties are Italian in origin. The region's viticultural history can be traced to the island's settlement by Phoceans traders in 570 BC in what is now the commune of Aléria. In the 18th century, the island came under the control of France.

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  • Gaillac French Wines

    Gaillac French wine was already known in the fifth century, particularly in ecclesiastical circles. With the arrival of the Benedictine monks in the tenth century Gaillac became known as one of the best winegrowing areas of France. The vineyards cover 2,500 hectares on either side of the river Tarn, stretching from the town of Albi, north of Toulouse. The soil on the left bank of the Tarn is poor, consisting of stone and gravel, which is ideal for red French wine. The right bank of the Tarn is more complex and diverse with granite, chalk, and sandstone predominant. White, rose, and red French wines are produced, with the current production of Gaillac consisting for 60 per cent of red wine.

    The white Gaillac French wine is made with Mauzac grapes, which are also found in Languedoc (Limoux) and in various small southwestern wine-growing areas. Mauzac is supplemented here with the Len de l’el grape for its finesse and aromatic strength. The Len de l'el grape is also grown in both French and Spanish Catalonia. French wine from the right bank is wellbalanced and possesses rich fruitiness, floral bouquets, and is very fresh. The modern-style white wines are slightly less broad, lithe, and lingering in their aftertaste than the traditional Mauzac and Len de l'el wines. This French wines produced on the left bank are fruity, juicy, and warm. Drink Gaillac white at 10°C, and the sweet white at 8°C.

    There is also sparkling white Gaillac, available in two types: the methode artisanale is achieved without the addition of liqueur. The gas bubbles are created by the fermentation of the sugars already present in this French wine. This Gaillac methode artisanale is very fruity and full of character. Gaillac methode traditionnelle is produced with a second fermentation in the bottle after a dose of liqueur has been added to this French wine. This sparkling wine is perhaps somewhat fresher but less complex and above all less fruity. Drink it as an aperitif at about 8°C.

    Gaillac French rose is generally made by modern means using the saignee method (early drawing off during the steeping of the wine of a little red and subsequent vinification as white Frech wine). This is a friendly, fairly light, and easily drinkable rose. Drinking temperature for a good French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F) .

    Gaillac red Frech wine is made with the Duras grape, an old variety that made a comeback about twenty years ago, to which the native Braucol or Brocol (local names for the Per Servadou or Mansoi) is added. Duras imparts colour, backbone, and refinement to the wine while Braucol gives it fleshiness and rustic charm together with superb aromas of black currant and raspberry. The red French wine made by modern methods from grapes grown on chalky soils are light, aromatic, and easy to drink. This French wine has much in common with the Gaillac rose. A warm, stronger, but more lithe red with plenty of fruit aromas (preserved fruit, red currant and blackcurrant) originates from the granite soil of the hills. This French wine can be readily laid down. The red wine from the left bank is darker in colour and more richly flavoured, with bouquet of preserved fruit, spices, and blackcurrant. This French wine, which is robust and rich in tannin, needs to be aged in the bottle for some years. Drink the modern-style Gaillac French wine at 14-16°C (57.2-60. 8°F), and the traditional and robust red at 16°C (60. 8°F).

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  • Generic Burgundy - French Wine

    Generic Burgundy

    Before we continue   our   journey south let us consider a few of the generic wines of Burgundy.

    BOURGOGNE

    White Bourgogn e AC (Chardonnay) is an aromatic, fresh white wine. Drink it at about 51.8°F (11°C)and preferably within two years of the harvest.

    Red BourgogneAC (Pinot Noir) is ruby red and has a nose of red fruit and wood land fruit (raspberry, blackcuriant, blackberry, and redcurrant). It is a lithe, generous, and friendly wine. Drink at about 60.8°F /16°C within five years of the harvest.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    BOURGOGNE PASSE-TOUT-GRAIN

    The red French wine is made with a minimum of one third Pinot Noir to which Gamay grapes are added. The better wines though contain more Pinot Noir. It is a light, cheerful , and generous wine that should be drunk when young. For completeness, there is also a rosé variant.

    BOURGOGNE GRAND ORDINAIRE

    This appellation is rarely seen these days because it sounds too 'ordinary' for a Burgundy yet very acceptable whites, reds, and roses are to be found at a very reasonable price in this category.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     

    BOUR GOGNE ALIGOTE

    This French white wine is very popular in Burgundy and much further afield. This very fresh wine is often strongly acidic and has a bouquet of green apple, lemon, and may blossom with the occasional hint of flint.{jcomments on}

  • Graves French Wines II

    GRAVES BLANC SEC

    The dry white Graves is always fresh, fruity, and very aromatic with scents of box, laurel, peach, apricot, citrus fruit, ivy, mint, vanilla, toast, and almond. If drunk when young the acidity of Graves Blanc Sec is rather sharp. Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 10-12°C(50-53.6°F).

     

    GRAVES SUPERIEURES

    Genuine Graves Superieures are superb but you will not find them among the cheaper wines. Expect to pay about double the price of the special offer wines. These sweet (moelleux) to liquorous French wines are very aromatic with suggestions of hazelnut, vanilla, toast, honey, peach, and apricot, and they are velvet smooth. The presence of fresh acidity provides the wine with balance. Drinking temperature for this Graves French wine: 6-8°C (42.8-46.4 °F).

     

    PESSAC-LEOGNAN

    Pessac-Leognan Cru Classe redSince 1987, the communes of Cadaujac, Canejean, Gradignan, Leognan, Martillac, Merignac, Pessac, St-Medard d'Eyrans, Talence, and Villenave d'Ornon have borne the appellation of PessacLeognan.

    All the grand crus of the former Graves (1959) fall within this appellation, including Chateau Haut-Brion. There are a total of 55 estates and chateaux that bear the Pessac-Leognan AC. This French wine produced from these is generally of higher quality than the rest of Graves. This is partly due to the poor soil of Pessac-Uognan, to the hilly landscape, ideal situation of the vineyards, good drainage, and adequate water in the lower strata.

    The total production area of Pessac-Leognan amounts to 950 hectares of which almost half has been replanted since 1970. At that time the vineyards of PessacUognan were threatened with suffocation from the smoke of the expanding city of Bordeaux. The survival plans of the remaining growers (almost

    Classe red all owners of grand crus) resulted in their own AC recognition in 1987. Since that time the vineyards have been well protected against further expansion of Bordeaux. This French wines belong in the top category but remain affordable.

    Pessac-Leognan Blanc is always a dry French wine. Sauvignon Blanc dominates here with the possible supplement of Semillon. The colour is a clear pale yellow to straw and the nose is particularly seductive: vanilla, toast, lime blossom, broom, grapefruit, apricot, peach, quince, mango, lychee, butter, and almond. The taste is fresh, fruity, fatty,and rounded. Drink this Blanc French wine at temperature: 12°C (53 .6°F) .

    Premier Grand Cru Classe Chateaux Haut Brion wine Label Pessac-Uognan Rouge is of exceptional quality. The colour is intense and exciting dark purple to carmine for a this French wine. When young there is a bouquet of ripe fruit such as blackcurrant and plum, together with vanilla, toast, almond, and a characteristic smokiness. These change as the wine matures to humus, prune, game, and truffle. Most wines use Cabernet Sauvignon as their principal grape with some Merlot and Cabernet Pranc. This French wine consequently keeps well. Drink this French wine at temperature: 16-17°C (60 .8-62.6°F).

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  • Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru - French Wine

    GRIOTTE-CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU

    Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de NuitsThe aromas of Griotte-Chambertin are complex and unusually subtle for a good French Wine. Hints of cherry brandy and preserved cherry have been discerned, with suggestions of leather and a pinch of nutmeg. When more mature there are also the aromas of truffle and animal scents. 

    The French describe this smell as 'gamey' because it is reminiscent of well-hung game. Tannin is clearly apparent yet muted, which combined with a high level of alcohol by volume, ensure a velvet soft, al most caressing wine. The sensations of the nose are echoed in the taste although Jess pronounced and accompanied by the elegant hint of wood. A good Griotte-Chambertin has remarkable style, richness, and complexity.

     

    MAZIS-CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU

    This rare French wine from Chambertin is both powerful and supple, well structured, complex, yet elegant and subtle.

     

    MAZOYÉRES-CHAMBERTIN FRENCH WINE

    This is an elegant and charming red French wine with average structure, not especially complex or powerful but certainly very fruity. It should not be kept too long.

     

    MOREY-ST-DENIS FRENCH WINE

    Although somewhat overlooked among the great character wines of Chambertin and the delicate sed ucers of Chambolle-Musigny, the wine of Morey­ St-Denis is worthy of greater recognition. It possesses a very clear red colouring, fruity nose (morello cherry) with hints of-wood, herbs, spices, fungus, and leather, and has a fulsome, soft as velvet, and very balanced taste. Furthermore this French wine is suitable for keeping for a long time. Specially recommended: the Premier.Cru 'Les Ruchots'.

     

    CLOS DE LA ROCHE GRAND CRU

    Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de NuitsThe French wine is a very dark ruby colour. The aroma recalls black cherry and sometimes a hint of animal scents such as musk. The suggestion of cedarwood cigar box is almost always present. It is a big but harmonious wine with plenty of tannin yet retains a velvety-soft texture. The French wine continues to 'breathe' in the mouth for some time.

     

    CLOS ST-DENIS GRAND CRU

    This French wine is a fine ruby colow• with the suggestion of a tinge of granite. It has a surprising and complex nose in which blackcurrant, blackberry, prune, occasionally musk, herbs, spices, coffee, but also sometimes violets or other flowers can be discerned.

     

    CLOS DES LAMBAYS GRAND CRU

    This French wine is somewhat modest and overlooked. It is a classic fruity Burgundy with suggestions of black cherry and hints of floral and animal aromas such as leather and musk. This is a full-bodied, rounded wine of some style.

     

    CLOS DES LAMBAYS GRAND CRU

    This French wine is somewhat modest and overlooked. It is a classic fruity Burgundy with suggestions of black cherry and hints of floral and animal aromas such as leather and musk. This is a full-bodied, rounded wine of some style.

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