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  • Sancerre French wine

    Chavignol French wineSancerre

    Sancerre is one of the best-known Loire winegrowing areas and also one of the best-known wines of France. Since its early beginnings as an AC wine in 1936 Sancerre white has made the area part of the French wine-growing elite.

    Sancerre rose and red only gained their recognition in 1959. The French vineyards for white, rose, and red Sancerre (approx. 2,400 hectares) are located within 11 communes, of which Sancerre, Chavignol, and Bue are the best known. The area is noted for its attractive landscape of gently undulating hills with chalk or gravel-bearing soils. The grapes used here are Sauvignon Blanc for

  • Sancerrois French Wine

    The centre

    The wine area in the centre of France has three isolated areas of vineyards: the Sancerrrois (Gien, Sancerre, Bourges, and Vierzon), Chateaumeillant (above Montluçon) and the Haute-Auvergne (between St-Pounçain and Roanne).

     

    Sancerrois

    The appellations of the Sancerrois are Pouilly sur Loire, Pouilly Pume, Sancerre, Menetou-Salon, Quincy en Reuilly, and C6teaux du Giennois VDQS.

  • Saumur Rouge/ Cabernet/ Champigny French wines

    SAUMUR BLANC

    This is a dry white French wine produced with Chenin Blanc grapes, both with and without the addition of Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Served chilled, this subtle and fruity French wine is best as an accompaniment to lobster, crayfish, and freshwater fish. Drinking temperature for this Saumur Blanc French wine: 8-10°C (46.4- 50°F) .

    Por those who do not want to spend endless time searching for a white Saumur then the best to try is to be found at Souzay-Champigny. Very traditional style Saumur Blanc Sec is made here at the Chateau de Villeuneuve. So much power and grandeur is not to be found elsewhere along the Loire (and perhaps difficult to improve upon throughout France).

  • Sauternes, Barsac en Cerons French Wines

    Premier Cru Classe SauternesLate harvesting of grapes is a practice that is carried on throughout Europe. The practice was already used by the Greeks and Romans, long before a single drop of Sauterne was made. Botrytis was probably already present in the area before the first French wines were made. The process is a natural one that can only occur where the climate is warm and humid.

    Botrytis is a stubborn, unreliable fungus though, that cannot be relied upon to appear in the same way in the same place each year. Sometimes it does not occur at all. Producing really fine sweet wines is very labour intensive and painstaking work that also requires a great deal of good luck. French wine-growers consider themselves blessed if the overripe grapes become infected by botrytis. The water in the grape is eviscerated by the fungus and evaporates in the warm air. The concentration of aromatic substances and sugars increases as the grape shrivels. This French wine derived from such grapes is very aromatic, full, comforting, powerful, and very alcoholic.

  • Savennieres French Wines

    SAVENNIERES

    This dry, sturdy wine is one of the best French white wines. The Chenin Blanc thrives at its best here in part due to the terroir of steep, rocky hills that are interspersed with slate and sand. The south to southeast siting is also ideal. Two exceptional French vineyards are permitted to carry their own name on the label: these are the Grand Crus of Savennieres-la-Couleede-Serrant and Savennieres-la-Roche-aux-Moines.

    Savennieres French winesThe first is special in being owned by just one person, Nicolas Joly, the guru of organic winegrowing in France. Savennieres wines are a perfect accompaniment to lobster, crab, crayfish, freshwater fish, or other shellfish. Drink temperature for this Savennieres French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

  • Savoie - French Wine

    Savoie

    The vineyards of Savoie only amount to about 2,000 hectares but these are spread across a large area. From Lake Geneva in the north, the wine country spreads itself out to the foot of the Alps in the east and the as far south as the valley of the Isere, south of Chambery, about 100 km (62 miles) south of Lake Geneva. It is a shame that wine from Savoie is not better known. The predominant white wine is fresh and full of flavour. The scattered vineyards and hilly terrain make both wine-growing and making difficult so that these wines are not cheap. Savoie French wines are subtle, elegant, and characteristic of their terroir like no other wine.

     

    The region Savoie

    The vineyards of Savoie resemble a long ribbon of small areas in a half moon facing south-east. The climate is continental in nature but is moderated by the large lakes and rivers. To the west the vineyards are protected from the rain-bearing westerly winds by the Jura mountains and other hills. The high level of annual sun hours (1,600 per annum) are an important factor. The vineyards are sited between 300 and 400 metres (984--1,312 feet) above sea level. The soil is a mixture of chalk, marl, and debris from Alpine glaciers.

     

    Wine-making

    The most important appellation is Vin de Savoie (still, sparkling, and slightly sparkling). There are 18 Crus which are permitted to use their name on the label.

    The Roussette de Savoie appellation (which uses solely the local Altesse grape) has an additional 4 Crus. Savoie is a wine region well-worth making a detour to visit, if only to discover the four unique native grape varieties: the white Jacquere, Altesse or Roussette, Gringet and red Mondeuse. In addition to these native grapes, Aligote, Chasselas, Chardonnay and Molette are grown for white wines and Gamay, Persan, Joubertin and Pinot Noir for the red and rose French wines.

    VINS DE SAVOIE BLANC

    ABYMES

    APREMONT

    CHIGNIN

    JONGIEUX

    CHAUTAGNE

    CRUET

    MONTMELIAN

    ST-JOIRE-PRIEURE

    These French white wines are all made from the Jacquere grape. These are fresh, very aromatic wines. The colour varies from barely yellow to pale yellow depending on the terroir and from light and comforting with floral undertones such as honey-suckle that lightly prick the tongue to fully-flavoured and fruity. Chill this wine to 8°C (46.4°F). and drink when still young.

    MARIN

    MARIGNAN

    RIPAILLE

    CREPY

    The Chasselas grape (known from the best Swiss wines) typifies the white French wine. The colour is pale yellow and the nose reminds of ripe fruit, sometimes even of dried fruit. There is a full and fresh taste.

    Certain French wines such as Crepy in particular prick the tongue. Locally they say of a good Crepy: 'Le Crepy crepite,' or in other words it crackles.

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  • St-Emilion French Wines

    The vineyards of St-Emilion surround the picturesque village of that name. The ancient Romans were certain of the quality of the local vineyards, as witnessed by the famous poet and consul Ausonius. The vineyards surrounding St-Emilion are situated on a plateau of calciferous soil and on hills of chalk-bearing loam or clay soils. West of St-Emilion the underlying ground is gravel. This is the area of the great French wines. Most St-Emilion wines though originate from sandy-sediments and ferruginous sandstone beds which reach to the Dordogne.

  • St-Pourçain French Wine

    St-Pourcain French wineVins d'Auvergne

    Finally in France we make a short visit to the Auvergne. We leave the upper reaches of the Loire and drop down towards its tributary, the Allier. There are two French wines growing areas here: St-Pourçain and the Côtes d' Auvergne.

    Although the neighbouring wine districts of Côtes de Porez and Côtes du Roannais are officially part of the Upper Loire, they have been dealt with under the section on Beaujolais, which they more nearly resemble.

  • Ste-Foy-Bordeaux French Wines

    Ste-Foy-Bordeaux Wine

    This French wine area is situated to the south of Bergerac. The small town of Ste-Foy appears to consist oftwo parts. Port-Ste-Foy is on the right bank of the Dordogne, hence in the Bergeracois, while Ste-Foyla-Grande is in the Bordelais on the left bank. The soil of Ste-Foy varies from clay bearing alluvial deposits for the reds to chalk bearing strata on which the whites are grown. The underlying strata are gravel, sand, and calciferous clay. This explains the difference in types and taste of the Ste-Foy wines. A remarkable and positive fact regarding this French wine-growing district is their quality charter that is signed by the communal winegrowers.

    Red Wine BordeauxThe red French wine is the most widely produced, using Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Most of these are fairly dark, very fruity, with a bouquet of red fruit and vanilla, which merge into more complex aromas such as leather, fungus, coffee, and spices, when mature. Drinking temperature for Ste-Foy-Bordeaux French wine: 16°C (60 .8°F).

  • The Beaujolais 'satellites' Wine - French Wine

    The Beaujolais 'satellites'

    Although they do not officially fall under the Beaujolais classification, the following three wine regions produce wines that closely resemble Beaujolais in both character and taste. All three of the red wines are made With the Gamay grape.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    CÔTEAUX DU LYONNAIS

    This ancient vineyard is a victim of the expansion of Lyon. It is a friendly, light, but generous wine with pronounced f ruity nose. Drink this French wine chilled to about 53.6°F (12°C). Chardonnay   and Aligote whites are also produced here.

    CÔTE ROANNAISE

    This is a very clear, ruby red coloured wine that is strong on fruit and has a light, pleasing taste. Chill this French wine to about 53.6°F (12°C).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     

    CÔTES DU FOREZ

    These are light, friendly wines that are very fruity. The rose is ideal to serve with informal lunches and picnics. The red wine is ideal for warm summer evenings, for instance with a cold buffet. Serve borth French wines at about 53.6°F (12°C).{jcomments on}

  • The Bergerac French Wines

    BERGERAC ROUGE FRENCH WINES

    This red French wine mainly originates from the slopes and high plateaux. It is predominantly fine fruity wine with nose and aromas of strawberry, blackcurrant, and other small red fruit. This French wine is enjoyable when drunk young. Drinking temperature: 12-14°C (53.6- 57.2°F) .

     

    COTES DE BERGERAC ROUGE

    It is mainly the better Bergerac reds that fall under this name. These are French wines with an intense colour, more structure, greater complexity, that have a bouquet of preserved fruit like plum and prune. These French wines are invariably high in both alcohol and tannin. Drinking temperature: 14- 16°C (57.2-60.8°F).

     

    PECHARMANT

    The vineyards of the quality red wine of Pecharmant are favourably sited in an amphitheatre of hills. The soil determines the quality of the wine. Sand and gravel that have been deposited from the erosion of granite have been washed frequently in the Cotes de Bergerac red winescourse of the centuries by the sea and rivers. It is this hard top layer, that is impermeable by water, which gives the wine its typical terroir derived taste.

    French wine from Pecharmant is generally dark in colour and very concentrated, being high in tannin, and therefore bitter and undrinkable when young. It can certainly be laid down and when more mature it is fuller and has a broad assortment in its nose and taste. Drinking temperature: 16-17°C (60 .8-62.6°F).

     

    BERGERAC ROSE

    Manbazillac liquid gold wineBergerac Rose is generally quite pleasing but a fairly simple French wine. It is produced by the saignee method. Pollowing the short maceration it is always a fresh, companionable wine that is salmon pink and possesses broad aromas of fruit. Drink this simple French wine at 12°C (53.6°F) .

     

    BERGERAC BLANC SEC

    The vineyards of Bergerac Blanc Sec are sited on both banks of the Dordogne, principally on the hills and plateaux. The increasingly widely used modern method of vinification such as maceration pelliculaire imparts greater richness in both taste and aroma than the wine otherwise would possess naturally. Drinking temperature for Bergerac Sec French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F) .

     

    MONTRAVEL

    The superb dry white Montravel is produced in the extreme west of the Dordogne. Here too modern French wine-making methods produce a wine that is very aromatic, and also velvet smooth in the mouth. Ordinary Montravel can be drunk young as a fruity French wine but can also be kept a couple of years. Better quality Montravel, which is first aged in oak, needs to be kept somewhat longer. Drinking temperature for Montravel French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F) .

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  • The Bergerac French Wines

    Montravel French wineMONTRAVEL

    The superb dry white Montravel is produced in the extreme west of the Dordogne. Here too modern French wine-making methods produce a wine that is very aromatic, and also velvet smooth in the mouth. Ordinary Montravel can be drunk young as a fruity French wine but can also be kept a couple of years. Better quality Montravel, which is first aged in oak, needs to be kept somewhat longer. Drinking temperature for Montravel French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F) .

     

    COTES DE MONTRAVEL

    The slightly sweet Cotes de Montravel white French wine provides a subtle change between the dry white Montravel and the sweeter white Haut- Montravel. Drinking temperature: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

     

    HAUT-MONTRAVEL

    Haut-Montravel originates mainly from the banks of the river. It is generally a smooth French wine that is high in sugar but it has sufficient acidity to provide balance and enable the wine to be kept. Drinking temperature: 8- 10°C (46.4- 50°F) .

     

    COTES DE BERGERAC

    Cotes de Bergerac Moelleux, which is mainly produced with Semillon, can originate from throughout the area. It is darker in colour than the companion dry wines and it often has a greater bouquet, more finesse, and more body. The quality of the French wine is partially determined by the soil, but also by the grape variety and method of vinification.

    This French wine is ready to drink after four or five years but it can also be kept much longer. Drinking temperature: 8- 10°C (46.4-50°F) .

     

    ROSETTE

    Rosette Moelleux, comes from the sunny slopes north of the town of Bergerac but is rarely encountered outside the district. This is a pity because a good Rosette is always a masterpiece, pale straw yellow with an overwhelming bouquet of flowers and fruit.

    The elegant civility of this French wine and its fine acidity are in perfect balance. Drinking temperature for Rosette French wine: 9- 10°C (4S.2- 50°F).

     

    SAUSSIGNAC

    Haut-Montreal French wineSaussignac is very small area, consisting of a small valley between the vineyards of Monbazillac and the first vineyards of the Bordelais. This French wine from this district is mainly produced from old vineyards. Saussignac Moelleux is well balanced, lithe, and has a subtle aroma of honey, lime blossom, and grapefruit. Drinking temperature for Saussignac French wine: 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F). Saussignac Liquoreux are comforting, rounded wines that are broad and fat, with aromas of acacia and peach.

    Both French wines need to lay for a minimum of five to ten years before they are drunk. They are then absolute gems to be drunk at 9- 10°C (48.2 .2-50°F).

     

    MONBAZILLAC

    The honey sweet, liqueur like Monbazillac Liquoreux comes from the south bank of the Dordogne. The vineyards are on the northern slopes at a height of 50- 180 metres (164-590 feet), opposite the town of Bergerac. The good position and microclimate ensure plenty of moisture and warmth in the vineyard in autumn which enables Botrytis cinerea to develop, which is essential for the creation of truly great liqueur type French wines.

    Monbazillac should certainly not be drunk too cold, say 6-8°C (42.8- 46.4°F) for the lighter types but 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F) for the richer French wines. This enables the sumptuous scent of acacia and honey to develop fully and the broad range in the taste also has the chance to be fully appreciated.

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  • The Cahors French Wine

    Cahors

    The vineyards of Cahors are among the oldest in France, enjoying great fame as early as the fifth century. This French wine could be shipped throughout the world without loss of quality because it was robust, complex, and highly concentrated. Consequently wine from Cahors was much prized in America but especially in Tsarist Russia.

    Nothing happened around Cahors for many years after the phylloxera epidemic of the late nineteenth century, with the vineyards falling into neglect and little more than 'plonk' for daily consumption being produced. A halt was called to this neglect after World War II.

     

    Ideal circumstances

    The vineyards lie between the 44th and 45th parallel. This latitude guarantees a fine, full-bodied wine in the northern hemisphere.

    Other important influences on the success of the vineyards is their position midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. This protects them from the moist influence of the westerly winds and from the generally rainy autumn weather of the Mediterranean climate, so that the grapes can ripen fully. There are two different soil types for Cahors: the valley of the Lot has underlying chalk with a topsoil of alluvium with outcrops of boulders and scree; and the chalk uplands or Causses with a fairly shallow upper layer of stones and marl.

     

    The grapes

    Only red wine is produced in Cahors. The basic grape variety is the Auxerrois, which is also known elsewhere as Cot Noir. This must be a minimum 70 per cent of the vines in order to qualify for AC Cahors status. The Auxerrois imparts the backbone to this French wine, the strong tannin, its colour, and its potential for ageing.

    Traditional Cahors red is made using solely Auxerrois or this grape combined with Tannat (known from Madiran and Irouleguy) which has many of the characteristics of Auxerrois. The more modern style of wine often contains a substantial amount of Merlot, which makes this French wine more rounded, more comforting, and more aromatic.

     

    The wines

    The modern style Cahors is best drunk while young. Its tannin makes it the perfect accompaniment for goose and duck. Drink this good french wine at 14°C (57.2°F).

    The tradition-style Cahors is much broader and complex. If drunk while young this French wine is dominated by tannin so it is better to wait five to ten years with better wines. These are rounder, velvet soft, fullbodied, and powerful. The bouquet is much finer when more mature. Drink this French wine at 16°C (60.60.8°F).

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  • The Côtes du Rhône Crus - French Wine

       Each of these thirteen great wines has a character of its own. Often the French wine is legendary one that offers the drinker the chance to become acquainted with the region, the soil, the variety of grape, and to meet the wine-maker in person.

    The climate is a mild continental one on the steep, rough slopes around Tain-L'Hermitage with granite beneath the soil. In the southern part of the Rhone the soil is chalky, overlain with sediments in places and the climate is warmer and drier in proximity with the Mediterranean.

     

    CÔTE ROTIE

    Côte Rotie is solely red French wine and comes from two very steep granite hills, the Côte Blonde and the Côte Brune. According to legend the domain of the estate owner Maugiron was divided in the MiddleAges between his two daughters: one was blonde, the other brunette. This is said to be how the hills got their names. Côte Rotie is dark red and has a bouquet in which raspberry, herbs, and a suggestion of violets can be discerned. When older, the upper notes are of vanilla, and apricot or peach stones.

    These French wine is fairly full-bodied with plenty of tannin but well-rounded with a tremendous experience of taste and prolonged aftertaste. Open the bottle in advance of drinking.

     

    CONDRIEU

    This white French wine originates from steep granite slopes which cannot be cultivated other than by hand. The grape used is Viognier and the wine is a pale golden colour and possesses a powerful nose of wild flowers, irises, violets, and apricot. These French wine has considerable strength and is well-rounded. Since 1990 the rare Condrieu Vendanges Tardives Cuvee les Eguets has reappeared, made with sympathy by Yves Cuilleron.

     

    CHÁTEAU-GRILLET

    This minuscule vineyard of only 3.3 hectares and 10,000 bottles per year is one of the smallest appellations and also one of the best white wines of France. The wine will have to be tried locally. The colour is a clear yellow and tends towards straw colouring when older. The bouquet is somewhat closed and only develops after a time. Once again apricot and white peach are discovered in the upper notes. The taste is a full one, fatty, very rich and complex.

    Remember to open the bottle a few hours before drinking.

     

    ST-JOSEPH

    This fine, harmonious and elegant dark red wine, with a subtle perfume of black currant and raspberry, later develops suggestions of leather and liquorice. Drink slightly chilled at approx. 59°F (15°C) . The white wine is a sunny yellow with a green tinge and its nose suggests wild flowers, acacia blossom, and honey. This is a fresh wine with great depths. Drink chilled at approx. 53.6°F (12°C).

     

    CROZES-HERMITAGE

    In terms of volume, this is the largest of the northern Crus. Although not of the same quality as its cousin, Crozes-Hermitage does come close to Hermitage in terms of its characteristic bouquet and taste. The white wine is a clear yellow with very floral nose and full, fatty taste. Drink chilled at approx. 53.6°F (12°C).

     The red French wine is dark red and very intense. The bouquet recalls red fruit, leather, and herbs. The taste is elegant despite the discreet presence of tannin. Drink slightly chilled at approx. 59 °F (15°C).

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  • The four regional appellations of origin of the Jura for French Wine

    CHATEAU-CHALON FRENCH WINE

    Jura wine regionThe village of Chateau-Chalon dominates this wine region both literally and figuratively. It is 450 metres (1,476 feet) above sea-level, in the centre of the Jura, and gave birth to the king of all Jura wines, the vin jaune (yellowFrench wine), which is exclusively made from Savagnin grapes.

     Vins jaunes may be made throughout the Jura but the best originates from Chateau-Chalon. This French wine is of the utmost highest quality and is not made every year. The preparation for making it in the village is the same as elsewhere for vins jaunes but the level of quality control is far higher.

    Vins jaunes, including those of Chateau-Chalon are put in dumpy 62 cl clavelin bottles, since this is all that remains of a litre of-young wine after maturing for six years and three months in a cask. The clavelins of Chateau-Chalon are the only ones to bear a decorative red seal around their necks for the best French Wine.

     

    L'ETOILE FOR FRENCH WINE

    No-one knows precisely why this village got its name (etoile means star in French). It is probably due to the five encircling hills that together form the shape of a star, or the five beautiful castles in the neighbourhood. Perhaps though the name is derived from shells and star fish remains found in the chalky soil of the vineyards. Very high quality and highly regarded white and sparkling wines are made from about 80 hectares in this village for the good French Wine.

     

    ARBOIS FRENCH WINE

    The vineyards surrounding the pleasant small town of Arbois supply the greatest volume of wines from the Jura. That these 800 hectares can produce exceptional quality wines with their own character is shown by the fact that wine from Arbois was the first in France to be permitted to bear an Appellation d'Origin e Contralee.

    The production is chiefly of white and red wine but some Pupillin rose is also made and this is good French Wine.

     

    CÔTES DU JURA AND FRENCH WINE

    French Jura WineA colourful collection of white, red, rose, and sparkling wines are covered by this appellation. It is astounding that so many different quality wines are made from such a small area.

    The wholly Chardonnay white French wine is pale yellow and smells of fresh grapes. After two to three years maturing in casks it develops its characteristic flinty smell. Wines made with Chardonnay and Savagnin have an even more clearly pronounced terroir scent and flavour. Those of just Savagnin are above all very delicate and aromatic for a French Wine.

    The Poulsard rose is elegant and subtle. Roses from this area often have a coral-like colour and are exceptionally juicy and full bodied. The red wine is quite peculiar. Made from Poulsard, it resembles a rose but is actually a true red wine. The scent and flavour are reminiscent of mould and wild fruits of the forest.

    By contrast, that made from Trousseau is warm, full of tannin, rounded, and full-bodied with the nose of red fruit. It is strongly alcoholic and be kept until quite old.

     

    SPARKLING WINE FROM THE JURA

    The Mousseux and Cremant originate mainly from !'Etoile and Vemois. These are available in brut, sec, or demi-sec and in white or rose French Wine. They are made by the traditional method with a second fermentation in the bottle.

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  • The French vineyards of Aveyron

    ENTRAYGUES ET LE FEL VDQS

    This minuscule area in the heart of the valley of the Lot, between Rouergue and Auvergne, is one of the most picturesque wine-growing areas of France. The French vineyards are situated on steep hills surrounding the town of Entraygues and the village of Le Fel, and total about 20 hectares. Around Entraygues the soil consists of broken granite, while it is brown shale at Le Fel. Both soil types ensure good drainage and temperature regulation by means of the stony ground in this cold wine-growing area. This French wines from Entraygues, Le Fel, and nearby Marcillac were once famous and highly regarded in France. It took until the 1960s before this area started to re-establish itself following the phylloxera epidemic and the emptying of the French countryside.

    The white French wine is made using the old Chenin grape, which produces a fresh wine full of aromas of flowers, citrus fruit, and box. It is a full-bodied wine to be drunk at 10°C (50°F).

    The rose French wine is fresh and somewhat acidic. Drink it at 12°C (53 .6°F).

    The red French wine in common with the rose is aromatic and fresh-tasting. It possesses a fuller, more rounded taste though. This French wine from the Fer Servadou grape (Mansoi) and Cabernet Franc appears to have been made for the regional dishes of the Auvergne and Aveyron, where Montignac appears to remain unheard of. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8 °F).

     

    MARCILLAC

    This area around the town of Rodez was one of the classic French wines prior to the phylloxera epidemic. The 135 hectares of vineyards are typically on soil of red clay at the foot of high chalk plateaux.

    The dominant grape for this AC, which was recognised in 1990, is the Mansoi (the local name for the Fer Servadou). The individual character of both Marcillac rose and red wines, which is somewhere between rustic and modern fruitiness, is imparted by the combination of the Mansoi grape and the soil.

    The better Marcillacs are true discoveries for those who like some bite to their wine. The terroir can be tasted in the French wine which has aromas of raspberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, and blackberry, together with vegetal notes of green pepper (paprika) and green chillies.

    There are often also suggestions of cocoa which ensure an extremely complex finish. Spicy and rounded tannin strengthens the individualistic nature of this French wine which is best drunk at 16°C(60.8°F).

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  • The nine AC French wines

    CÔTEAUX DU CAP CORSE

    This is a minuscule wine-growing appellation area with a mere 30 hectares, situated on mountainous slopes to the north of Bastia. Red, rose, but chiefly white French wines are made here. The white, based on the Vermentinu grape, is excellent and very refined.

     

    MUSCAT DU CAP CORSE

    This French wine is produced in the same mountainous areas as the Côteaux du Cap Corse and also in the Patrimonio area. This appellation was officially recognised in 1993, although the local Muscat wines have enjoyed international fame for centuries. It is fine and very aromatic French wine.

    The best Muscat is made from grapes that are picked very late, ripened and dried under the sun in small boxes. This makes a full-flavoured, very aromatic wine, that is fatty and strong. It can be readily laid

    down and should be drunk chilled to approx. 8°C (46.4°F).

     

    PATRIMONIO

    This is one of the best known and often also best French wines of Corsica. Red and rose wines are produced from the Niellucciu group and the Vermentinu grape here produces a superb white.

     

    PATRIMONIO BLANC

    This is a pale yellow wine that is tinged with green, It has floral notes (may blossom and white flowers), a fresh and fruity taste and it is full-bodied and rounded, sometimes causing a light tingling of the tongue. Drink this elegant French wine at approx. 10°C (50°F).

     

    PATRIMONIO ROSE

    This French wine has a pale, clear pink colour and aromas of red fruit (cherry, redcurrant), and sometimes also of exotic fruit. Drink this fresh and fruity rose at approx. 10°C (50°F).

     

    PATRIMONIO ROUGE

    Two different types of Patrimonio red are made: a lighter one and the traditional more robust French wine. The lighter Patrimonio is generally ruby red, very fruity (blackcurrant, blackberry), velvet soft in spite of the presence of tannin, and very well balanced.

    When it is older the fruity nose develops earthly notes such as humus. Drink this French wine at approx. 16°C (60 .8°F) with red meat, game, casseroles, and hard cheeses. The more robust, traditional Patrimonio is darker in colour and has more tannin than the lighter version. When older its fruity bouquet develops into a complex nose of overripe preserved fruit, leather, and liquorice. Drink this 'strong man' of a French wine between 16- l8°C (60 .8- 64.4°F) . Both French wines are best decanted several hours before a meal.

     

    VIN DE CORSE CALVI

    Here very fruity red wines, fascinating, refined, and aromatic roses, and almost colourless, comforting, and approachable white wines are produced on very changeable soils of coarse stones, boulders, and gravel using Niellucciu, Grenache, Cinsault, Sciaccarellu, and Vermentinu grapes.

     

    Ajaccio

    This French wine area lies on rough, rocky hills. Ajaccio is proud of its permanent resident - the Sciaccarellu grape - with which the greatest French wines from this area develop a nose that evokes roasted almond and red fruit such as raspberry.

    This traditional French wine is good for laying down. The white Malvoisie (Vermentinu) is also worth laying down.

     

    Vin de Corse Sarténais

    The Sciaccarellu, Grenache and Cinsault vines cultivated on these steep hills produce a full-bodied red wine and fresh rose. These French wines are mainly consumed by the local populace and are rarely seen outside the island.

    • VIN DE CORSE FIGARI

    The most southerly wine-growing area of France, just north of the town of Bonifacio. Sturdy red, rose, and white wines are produced.

    • VIN DE CORSE PORTO VECCHIO

    An elegant, full-bodied, and rounded red wine and fresh, refined, and very aromatic rose are made in the south-east of the island using the Niellucciu and Sciaccarellu grapes, together with Grenache. A very dry white wine that is intensely fruity is made here with Vermentinu grapes.

    • VIN DE CORSE

    In Corsican terms the vineyards around Aleria and close to Bastia are immense at 1,550 hectares. This is a relatively new appellation but the early results are promising. After centuries of neglect the vineyards have been re-established in places where the Greeks and Romans made their best wines, at the foot of 1,200 metres (3 ,937 feet) high rocky walls. All the types of French wine are produced here, including Vin de Pays.

    There are both very traditional winemakers and ultra-modern co-operatives which are gaining an increasing reputation in France and abroad for their less traditional but well-made wines. Even the Vin de Pays here is of quality. The demand for this AC is increasing as is also the case for the Vins de Pays and vins de cepages. Fewer inferior French wines are now being produced on Corsica with the growers having decided to improve their image.{jcomments on}

  • The Rhone Valley - French Wine

       Wine(actually French Wine) has been made for more than 2,000 years between Vienne and Avignon in the valley of the Rhone river. The basis of arguably the best known wine-growing region of France - Cotes du Rhone was established by the Celts, Greeks, and Romans.

    This very extensive French wine region with its many different terroirs and micro climates eventually became established as a distinctive entity.

     

    A fresh breeze

    The French wine from the district around Uzes in the department of Gard enjoyed so much fame in the seventeenth century that it was readily imitated. To protect its origins and quality it was officially recognised in 1650 and its area of origin strictly defined. After a further battle lasting more than a century the Appellation Cotes du Rhone Controlee eventually became a fact in 1937. In 1956 the feared winter mistral blew at speeds of more than 62 miles/100 km per hour for three weeks and the thermometer remained stuck at about minus 59°F (15°C). Disastrously this killed all the olive trees but since the vines had survived these conditions the ruined farmers decided to switch to wine-growing.

    This was the start of the enormous growth of Cotes du Rhone.

     

    23 types of grape

    There are at least 23 different varieties of grape permitted to be used in the wine-growing region of Cotes du Rhone plus the Muscat Petit Grain that is used for the naturally sweet Beaumes-de-Venise. In the northern part ofthe Rhone Valley red wine is exclusively made with Syrah but white wines are produced from Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne.

    In the south they use some Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsauit, and Carignan grapes in addition to Syrah for their reds with the Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc for the white French wines.

     

    The appellations

    Rhone wines are divided into four categories: the generic Appellation Cotes du Rhone Regionale, the better Cotes du Rhone Villages, the Crus, and the satellites that are geographically related but have their own identities (Clairette de Die, Cremant de Die, Vins du Diois, Coteaux du Tricastin, Cotes du Ventoux en Costieres de Nimes).

     

    CÔTES DU RHONE AC - FRENCH WINE

    About 80 per cent of the generic Côtes du Rhone produced are very good. Because this category represents such a wide diversity of terroirs, micro climates. and winemakers, the wine has an equally diverse range of aromatic properties.

    Generally these are comforting and friendly wines. The red is well structured, full of aroma and taste and very rounded. It can be drunk when still young but can also be left for a while.The rose wines come from the south of the region and they range from raspberry colour to salmon pink. These roses are always fruity and yielding. The white wine is dry, well-balanced, well structured, very aromatic, and thirst-quenching.

     

    CÔTES DU RHONE VILLAGES AC

    There are 77 communes in the southern Rhone Valley which are permitted to use Côtes du Rhone Villages on the label of their wines and of these sixteen may also use the village name on the label.

    The stipulations about the planting, care of the vines, yield, and wine-making for these white, rose, and red wines are more rigid. Certain of the best known Côtes du Rhone Villages are Beaumes-deVenise (red and rose), Cairanne (red, rose, and white), Chusclan (red and rose), Laudun (red, rose, and white), Rasteau (red, rose, and white), Rochegude (red, rose, and white),

     Seguret red, rose, and white), Valreas (red, rose, and white), Vinsobres (red, rose, and white) and Visan (red, rose, and white) . These wines are ideal for drinking with Proven~al dishes. Drink the red  French wine at approx. 60.8°F (16°C), the rose at approx. 57.2°F (14°C), and the white at about 53.6°F (12°C).

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  • The Ten Crus Wines - French Wine

    THE TEN CRUS

    Local experts say that an Easter must pass before these Wines are at their best. 'Les Crus du Beaujolais doivent faire leurs Paques.'

    The wine is rarely to be found in shops earlier than this in any case. The French wines of the ten Crus only fully develop after being allowed to rest for a few months.

    CÔTES DE BROUILLY

    Two of the ten Crus of Beaujolais are located on the slopes of the 1,200 feet high Mont Brouilly, on granite and slate soils. The 300 hectare of vineyards of Cotes de Brouilly are found on the sunny side of the extinct volcano. The wine is purple to mauve with a very refined and elegant bouquet of fresh grapes and irises. Leave a Cotes de Brouilly wine to rest for a time before opening. Drink it at approx. 55.4°F (13°C).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    BROUILLY

    The vineyards are somewhat more extensive here, covering approx. 1,200 hectares. The soil is mainly granite and sand . The wine is ruby red in colour and has a fruity nose in which red fruits such as plum, and occasionally peach are clearly discernible. The better Brouilly wines also have a hint of mineral in them. This is a full, darker wine with a firm taste. Drink it at about 53.6°F (12°C).

     

    REGNIE

    The 520 hectares of this vineyard were only recognised as Cru du Beaujolais in 1988. The ground is gently undul­ ating and relatively high (average 1,148 feet /350 metres). A fairly supple wine is made here which is both elegant and seductive. The colour is pure cherry red and the nose reminds of red fruit The colour is a pure ruby red with wonderful reflections and the taste is both velvet smooth and fleshy.

    Good Fleurie from the best vintages can be kept for ten years or more. Drink Fleurie at about 55.4°F (13°C).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    MOULIN-A-VENT

    This Cru derives its name from the recently and perfectly restored windmill in Romaneche-Thorins. The soil of the 650 hectares of vineyards comprises pink granite and manganese. This imparts a darker, more highly concentrated ruby red colo ur to the wine in which purple and dark red al'e also present when young.

    The nose is mainly reminiscent of flowers such as roses with a hint of raspberry. The taste is powerful and reasonably full of tannin. This firm texture enables Moulin-a-Vent to be kept for some time (up to 15 years). When mature this wine resembles Burgundy. Allow this French wine to rest for a couple of years before serving at about 57.2°F (14°C).

     

    CHENAS

    This French wine is almost unknown outside the area but this is not at all just. A very elegant wine is made with ref ined bouquet of peony and roses with occasional hint of wood and herbs on 260 hectares of granite soil. The taste is soft, generous, and friendly. Serve this wine at about 14°C (57.2°F). This wine too can be kept for quite a few years.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    JULIENAS

    This is the most northerly Cru of Beaujolais, border­ ing on the Miiconnais. Deeply ruby red coloured wine is produced from 580 hectares of stony soil with layers of clay and sediments. The French wine has a powerful full taste and the bouquet is dominated by frwty (wild strawberry, redcurrant,   and   raspberry) scents with floral undertones (peony and roses).

    Good Julienas can be kept for a few years. Drink this French wine at about 55.4°F (13°C).

     

    ST-AMOUR

    This is the last of these northerly Crus. The vine-yards   extend   for   280 hectares and border the chalky Miiconnais (Char­ donnay) and granite hills of Beau jolais   (Gamay).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     The soil is a mixture of clay, boulders,   granite, and sandstone. These French wine possesses   a wonderful ruby red colour and very aromatic nose of peony, raspberry, redcurrant, apricot, and also some­times a suggestion of kirsch. The taste is seductive, velvet soft, and full, with hints of herbs. Serve this wine at about 55.4°F (13°C).

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  • The valley of the Loire - French Wines

    France's longest river, the Loire, (approx. 1,012 km/632 long) has its source in the Ardeche. The wild mountain stream first flows northwards towards Orleans where it turns with a broad sweeping bend to the left into a majestic river as it then calmly proceeds towards the sea. The valley of the Loire displays a constantly changing face. The French vineyards are spread out from the flat land near the banks and on gently undulating hills alongside forests and every type of agriculture. Its nickname of 'Le jardin de la France' (the garden of France) comes from the colourful fields of flowers.