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    Red Hermitage(French Wine) is somewhat harsh when young and requires some years rest; depending on the quality, this can be 5, 10, or even 20 years.

    Those with sufficient patience are rewarded with a very great wine with a sensual bouquet in which leather, red and white fruit, and wild flowers are present in the upper notes. The taste is largely of preserved fruit.

    Serve at 60.8-64.4°F (16-18°C). These white French wine is ready for drinking much earlier than the red but can also be kept for some time. Its smell is reminiscent of a sea of flowers with suggestions of vanilla and roasted almonds. It is a powerful, rounded wine with considerable aromatic potential. Drink at approx. 53.6°F (12°C) .


    This red French wine is dark coloured and has an exciting bouquet in which red fruit, freshly-ground pepper, sweetwood, preserved fruit, and even truffles are present. The undertones are almost animalistic.


    This is the only appellation which also makes sparkling wine. It is more of an amusing wine than an exciting one that is best drunk when young.


    Gigondas is made from Grenache, supplemented with mainly Syrah and Mourvedre. The red wine is a wonderful colour and has a bouquet filled with fresh red fruit through to animal undertones and when older some fungal notes. It is a full, powerful, and well-balanced wine that is a little harsh when young. The wine needs keeping for a few years.

    The roses are fresh, cheerful wines with a great deal of extract. Drink these when young.


    The whites and roses are drunk when young for any occasion. These red French wine with its characteristic scent of ripe red fruit such as cherry, and hint of sweetwood, has more power. Drink it at approx. 62.6°F (17°C).


    Although 13 different varieties of grape are permitted, the red wine is generally made from Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah, Muscardin and Counoise, while the whites use Clairette and Bourboulenc.

    These red French wine has a very complex bouquet containing red fruit, leather, anise, sweetwood, and herbs, and equally complex taste that is rounded, unctuous, with a prolonged aftertaste. Wait for five years after harvest before drinking the red but consume the white wine while still young.

    The white wine is very aromatic and rounded with a nose that has floral undertones such as camphor oil and narcissus. True estate bottled Chiiteauneuf-du-Pape bears the arms of Avignon on the bottles: the papal crown and cross-keys of St Peter.


    Lirac is growing in popularity. These are good French wines at a relatively low price.



    Tavel is one of the finest roses of France. The pink colour tends towards terracotta tiles or even orange. Hints of apricot, peach, and roasted almond can be detected in the bouquet. Drink this wine at approx. 55.4°F (13°C) .

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  • That France countries to be the best known wine producing country of the world is probably due to the conditions for cultivating vines in its vineyards.

     Cotes de Duras French WineNowhere else in the world has such ideal circumstances for cultivating grapes as France for a good French wine. Winters are not too severe nor are summers too drym there is ample rain, and plenty of sun. The tremendous vatiesty of soil types also plays its part in centuries of successful viticulture in France: thick layers of chalk in Champagne, sedimentary layers with lots of shells in the Auxerrois (Chablis), marl, clay, pebbles and gravel in Médoc, bluer and grey shale in Muscadet, tufa in Anjou and Saumur, slate slopes in Collioure and Banyuls, warm boulders in southern Rhône for French wine.

    Furthermore there is sufficient water throughout France, indirectly from the sea or directly from the may rivers and underground reserves.

    Read more about French wine

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  • This French wine region lies in the heart of the French Basque country and was known already at the time of Charlemagne. The village of Irouléguy was then a trading centre for these Basque wines. Winegrowing fell into decline following the phylloxera epidemic until a number of growers decided in the 1950s to establish a co-operative. The vineyards of the once famous Irouléguy were restored or replanted. Enormous investment was made to improve the quality of the wine and in the 1980s further great efforts were undertaken to reach greater heights. New vineyards were planted, mainly on terraces. In addition to the efforts of the local co-operative venture, various private initiatives were also undertaken such as those of Etienne Brana, whose business has become world famous. In recent decades the wine-growing and making in Irouléguy is so improved that it can be fairly described as one of France's premier wine-growing areas.


    The French wine-growing

    The vineyards around Irouleguy are situated in the neighbourhood of St-Jean Pied de Port and StEtienne de Baigorry. They are mainly sited in terraces with soil of red sandstone, clay, and shale, interspersed with some chalk. The green of the vineyards set against the red-oxide sandstone makes for a taste French wines.

    The climate is set between moderate oceanic weather and the extremes of the mountains and continent. The winter is fairly mild with plenty of rain and snow. The spring is wet with occasional harmful periods of frost. Summer is hot and dry. The greatest risk lies in thunderstorms which can cause destruction, when combined with hailstorms.

    The autumn is often hot and dry, which is ideal for harvesting and ripening of healthy grapes. These circumstances combined with the difficulty of access to many of the vineyards means that the output is fairly low here.


    The French wines from Irouléguy

    Brana's Irouleguy red wineAbout two thirds of the production from Irouléguy is of red French wine. The wine's character is derived from the Tannat (maximum 50%), Cabernet Pranc (Axeria) and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are three categories of red French wine from Irouléguy: ordinary, the cuvees and the estate bottled wines in escalating levels of quality. The simplest Irouléguy is sturdy, high in tannin, fruity (blackberry) and spices. The better cuvees are more full-bodied, are aged longer in oak, and benefit from several years ageing in the bottle. The top estates (Brana, Ilarria, Iturritxe and Mignaberry) make outstanding wines with powerful bouquets of spices and black fruit (blackberry and plum) with a hint of vanilla. The taste for this French wine is complex, full, and rounded with a perfect balance between the fresh acidity, fruitiness, alcohol, body, and strong but rounded tannin. Enthusiasts never stop talking about the aftertaste.

    Just as with Collioure, ordinary Irouléguy red can be drunk when young with grilled fish, if chilled, especially if they are garnished with baked peppers. Drinking temperature for Irouléguy French wine: 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F). The cuvees and estate wines can be drunk at 16-18°C (60.8- 64.4°F) .

    Brana's Irouleguy wineThe rose Irouléguy French wine is fresh and quite dry. It was this wine that originally established the good name of Irouléguy.

    Here too there is a combination of Tannat with Cabernet Pranc and Cabernet Sauvignon French wine. The colour resembles red currant and the delicate nose is fruity too with red currant and cherry, while the taste is both fresh and fruity. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    The rare Irouléguy white French made with Xuri Ixiriota (Manseng) and Xuri Cerrabia (Petit Courbu) is richer and fuller than its cousins of Bearn. This white French wine of great class has a bouquet containing white flowers, white peach, citrus fruit, butter, hazelnut, and almond underscored with a hint of vanilla and a mineral undertone. Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 9- 10°C (48 .2-50°F).


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    JASNIÈRES French wineThis French wine-growing area is only 4 km (2  miles) long and several hundred metres/yards wide, along the hills of the Loir, north of the vineyards of Vouvray and Montlouis. Small volumes are produced here on a bed of tufa of a consequently rare white wine that is considered to be among France's best. This French wine is made from the Pineau de la Loire (Chenin Blanc) and it is distinguished by its finesse. The characteristic aromas are citrus fruit, almond, quince, apricot, peach, and sometimes also floral notes like rose or herbs such as thyme and mint. Depending on the season and the maker's preferences, the wine can be either dry or semisweet. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).


    La Grande Rue Grand CruThis French wine is Jess well-known and less complex than its companjons from Vosne-Romanee. The appellation jg relatively recent (1992) and it has yet to prove itself as a gain for the area.

    This French wine is perhaps more representative than Cotes de Nuits and the climat is somewhat larger. The colour is a clear bright ruby red and the wine has seductive aromas of cherry, other small red and black woodland fruits, with the suggestion of herbs and spices in both the nose and taste. After a number of years maturing in the bottle, a bouquet develops of toadstools and other fungus. This French wine is a little rough and boisterous when young but becomes soft and pliant after a few years.

    Drink this fine and fairly inexpensive French wine between 60.8-64.4°F(16-18°C).



    This French wine is granite red and has an jntense yet refined nose of cherry, wood, and spices which, when older, typically changes to suggestions of wild game. The taste is heady, fleshy, jwcy and velvety at the same lime. The aftertaste is often tilled with a great concentration of ripe fruit, with the suggestion of spices. Do not drink this French wine too young, certainly not before 10 years old, but also not too warm (60.8-62.6°F/16-17°C).

    The taste is heady, fleshy, jwcy and velvety at the same lime. The aftertaste is often tilled with a great concentration of ripe fruit, with the suggestion of spices. Do not drink this French wine too young, certainly not before 10 years old, but also not too warm (60.8-62.6°F/16-17°C).

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  • This area is actually part of the Côteaux d'Aix-enProvence, but gained its own AC in 1995. The landscape here is dominated by the rugged and picturesque Alpilles hills that are interspersed with vineyards and olive groves. The area gained its own AC because of its local microclimate and enforcement of stricter production criteria. Only the red and rose wines from a designated 300 hectares surrounding the town of Les Baux-de-Provence are permitted to bear this appellation.



    The colour is the first thing that strikes one. It is a superb salmon-pink, while the nose is reminiscent of redcurrant, strawberry, and other red fruit for thise French wine. The taste is fresh, fruity (grapefruit and cherry), and very pleasant. This is a rose that can charm most people. Drink it chilled at 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).



    The colour of this French wine is a fairly dark ruby red. The nose is complex and strong with hints of wood, vanilla, liquorice, plum jam, caramel, coffee, humus, and occasionally of cherry brandy. The taste is fairly coarse in the first five years because of the strong youthful tannin but after some years in the bottle the taste becomes more rounded, fuller, and more powerful. Drink this French wine at 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .

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  • Still and sparkling white French wines are produced in the 41 communes around Limoux. The climate in this area is clearly influenced by the Mediterranean, moderated by the influence of the Atlantic. It is much greener here than elsewhere in the Languedoc but from this apparent cool the local wines are somewhat tempestuous. Various Roman authors extolled the quality of the still wine of Limoux around the start ofthe first millennium. The natural conversion of still wine into sparkling was not discovered by a Benedictine monk until 1531. The first brut was produced at St-Hilaire, close to Limoux.



    This fresh sparkling wine must be produced with a minimum of 90 per cent of Mauzac grapes. The only grapes permitted to be supplemented are Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. After the initial fermentation and acquisition of the basic wine, tirage de liqueur is added to the wine. This causes a second fermentation in the bottle which adds bubbles to this French wine.

    The residues from the fermentation are removed after at least nine months in the process of degorgement. Depending on the desired taste (brut or demi-sec) either none, a little, or more liqueur is added. Blanquette de Limoux is pale yellow tinged with green, is lightly but enduringly sparkling and has a fine nose of green apple and spring blossom together with a floral, fresh, and fruity taste.

    Drinking temperature for this French wine at: 6- 8°C (42.8-46.4°F).



    This French wine is actually closely related to the Blanquette. The differences are in the proportion of grapes used: a minimum of 60 per cent Mauzac (instead of 90) and a maximum of 20 per cent Chardonnay and 20 per cent Chenin Blanc together with a minimum maturation of 12 months instead of nine. The colour is pale golden, while the nose is very aromatic with suggestions of white flowers and toast, the taste is complex, light, and fresh. This Cremant is always characterised by its gentle, more delicate bubbles that make this a very subtle and elegant wine. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6-8°C (42.8-46.4°F). There are special luxury cuvees of both the Blanquette and the Cremant. These do not perhaps possess the same finesse at top Champagnes but they do benefit from the warmth and generosity of the Mediterranean and the South of France. The price is exceptionally reasonable for a French wine.



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  • Mâconnais

    The Mâconnais, between Sennecey-le-grand and St­ Verand, is the home of the quick charmers.



     With a few exceptions, the ordinary white Macon is an uncomplicated and excellent French wine which can be drunk without a long wait. The red compatriots are of better quality and are made   from   Pinot   Noir and Gamay grapes. The greater the proportion of Gamay the more approachable, generous and often more fruity is the French wine. Some Macons with lots of Pinot Nair can be more powerful and high in tannin, with plenty of structure, particularly when aged in oak.

    The better   white   wines from the Maconnais have their own appellation.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE


    Chardonnay is always most at home on chalk and that is apparent in the wine. This French wine is a very clear and pale golden colour with a bouquet of fresh grapes and almonds, with a juicy and fresh taste of great elegance. When the wine is aged in oak casks it develops a characteristic nose of vanilla, toast, hazelnuts, and roasted almonds.



    These French wines are less well-known and generally lighter than Pouillly-Fuissé. They are usually elegant, very aromatic wines with a bouquet of butter, lemon, flowers, and grapefruit.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE


    This is an exceptional French wine from the borders with Beaujolais. (note the name of the wine is written without the final 'd' of the village of St­Verand).

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    Margaux wine label French Everyone has heard of Chateau Margaux of course, the showpiece from this appellation. The AC Margaux includes the communes of Margaux, Arsac, Cantenac, Labarde, and Soussans. The underlying soil of Margaux is extremely poor gravel with some larger stones. The microclimate is somewhat different to the other areas. Firstly Margaux is more southerly than the other Grand Cru vineyards which means more warmth and quicker ripening of the grapes. Equally important though is the role that the islands and sand banks play for Margaux. These protect the area against the cold northerly winds, creating ideal conditions for producing great French wine.

    The French wines of Margaux are excellent for laying down of course but their charm is rather more in the finesse and elegance than in their tannin. Margaux is perhaps the most feminine French wine of the Medoc, being soft, delicate, subtle, sensual, and seductive. Certain characteristic aromas include red ripe fruit, cherry, plum, spices, resin, vanilla, toast, gingerbread, coffee, and hot rolls. Drink this Margaux French wine at: 17- 18°C (62.6- 64.4°F) .

  • Medoc French Wine  We leave the right bank behind and complete our journey through the French wine region of Bordeaux in the Medoc, on the left bank of the Gironde. Medoc is more or less a peninsula with vineyards, bordered by the waters of the Gironde in the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the north-west, and the city of Bordeaux to the south-west, with the extensive forest of Les Landes to the south.


    Soil and climate

    The sand and gravel-bearing strip of land of about 5- 10 km (3-6 miles) wide provides a broad assortment of terroirs and microclimates. What is locally known as 'graves' is actually a complex mixture of clay, gravel stone, and sand. The stones have been deposited by the Garonne and some come from the Pyrenees (quartz and eroded material from glaciers). Some material is of volcanic origin from the Massif Central (quartz, flint, sandstone, igneous rock, sand, and clay) which has been carried first by the Cere and then the Dordogne. Here and there calciferous clay breaks through the gravel.

  • Merchant power and Chateau system for Bordeaux Wine

    Wine Bordeaux VineyardsBefore the chateau wine estate concept, land had been worked on crop-sharing basis. Slowly this feudal system changed from late seventeenth century onwards. Bordelaise brokers evolved habit of classifying and recording wines as per their growth or cru and prices that they fetched, with this, reputation of properties became established individually.

    In 19th century, there was a rise of négociant or the merchants in Bordeaux. Several negociants came from English origin and few firms had been established by Irish, German, Dutch, or Scottish businessmen.


    Although a very acceptable red is also made, it is the white wine from here that is of greatest interest. It is a very typical Chardonnay, pale golden, sometimes tinged with green, that has refined aromas

    of white flowers and white fruit such as pear, mirabelle plum, and peach. The nose and taste often contain strong notes of butter, hazelnut, almond, and occasionally of baked dried fruit. It is a rich and complex French wine.


    Wine from Meursault is celebrated throughout the world for its wonderful golden colour, intense bouquet   of butter,   honey, hazelnut, and lime blossom in which surprising suggestions can be detected of may blossom and spiced bread. It is a silken soft, full, and generous with an aftertaste that lingers on the palate. Enjoy a young Meursault as an aperitif or with a light starter. Do not drink any cooler than 53.6°F(12°C).

    There is also a red Meursault, which is fruity and pleasant but never truly convincing.



    The 'ordinary' Puligny-Montrachat is a perfect example of refinement and complexity. It is a pale golden colour with nose of white flowers and fruit, sometimes combined with honey, roasted dried fruit, almond, and quince. In the better years the bouquet develops hints of tropical fruit. It is a really fine French wine, fresh and silken, with a tremendous assortment of flowers and fruit in the taste and a prolonged aftertaste. The Premier Cru (e.g. Folatieres, Clos de Ia Garenne) has a more complex bouquet. The nose is reminiscent of new-mown hay, honey, fresh almond, dried fruit, and herbs. This French wine needs to be kept for at least five years in order to fully enjoy its quality. Do not chill too much (approx55.4°F/. 13°C).



    This French wine is one of the pillars on which the reputation of Burgundy is built both within France and abroad. It is a fabulous pale golden colour. It takes a number of years for scents captured in the wine to develop themselves fully. Those who drink this wine too young will be disappointed because the bouquel fails to open out. Remain patient for after five years it develops an unimaginable bouquet in which young exotic fruit are combined with the nose of exotic wood, citrus fruit, herbs, lily-of-the­ valley, peach, and almond. Wines from certain climals also possess a light mineral undertone.


    The French wine is simultaneously fresh and rounded, full and elegant, refined and seductive, and the aftertaste lingers almost for ever. Drink this rare and expensive wine at 57.2-59°F/14-15°C.


    Has a golden colour and very seductive bouquet containing butter, Loast, and vegetal undertones with occasional hint of mineral. It is a full, warm, genetous, and juicy wine with a very aromatic taste.

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  • Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Wines

    The Vic-Bilh wine-growing area is the same one that produces Madiran. This area produces the red Madiran wine and dry, medium sweet, and sweet French white wines as Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. Pacherenc is derived from the Basque or Gascon word for little berry or grape. The ideal soil for this white French wine is a mixture of clay and sandstone. The grapes used are the native Arrufiac, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and Courbu, with a little Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon being used for the modern type of French wine.

    Pacherenc du Vic-BilhDry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is very aromatic with floral notes and hints of citrus fruit combined with a full taste of ripe and preserved fruits. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F). The medium-sweet or sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh shares the aromatic properties ofthe dry wine (citrus fruit, preserved fruit, dried fruit, and flowers) with the addition of a little honey, toast, and exotic fruit. The texture and taste are fuller, fatter, more fleshy, and juicy. Drinking temperature for French wine: 8-10°C ( 46.4-50° F).

    Your attention is drawn to the excellent quality of the local vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne and the   many vins de cepages. The vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne of Colombard, Gros Manseng, and Sauvignon (white French wines) and reds of Egiodola, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon, together with those from Jurançon are worth a separate mention.


    Jurançon Wines

    Juracon Label WineThis wine-growing area, south of Pau and close to the French Pyrenees, is slightly less ancient than its predecessors. The first signs of wine-growing date back only to the tenth century. Jurançon was one of the first AC status French wines in 1936 and Jurançon Sec acquired its own recognition in 1975.


    The wine-growing

    The area is barely larger than 600 hectares with the vineyards being dispersed throughout the district. They can be found strung out along a 40 km (25 miles) stretch like small islands amidst the other greenery. The better French wines are produced on hills of about 300 metres (984 feet) high with soil of clay, sandstone, and boulders.

    The climate is a mixture of high and regular rainfall from the Atlantic combined with the harsh winters of the Pyrenees. The area does though appear always to be blessed with warm autumns and dry southerly winds that make it possible for the grapes to be left to overripen in order to make a great sweet French wine. The grapes used for Jurançon are the native Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Courbu, Camaralet, and Lauzet. Jurançon Sec is truly dry with fresh acidity, with floral notes (broom and acacia) and fruity aromas (passion fruit, white peach, and citrus fruit) . As the French wine matures it develops a more complex bouquet with almond and other nuts, dried fruit, and sometimes a marked suggestion of truffle. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 8- 10°C (46.4-50°F) .

    Either Jurançon Doux or Moelleux are little gems. The colour drifts between gold and amber, the bouquet is fine and complex, varying from honey, vanilla, toast and preserved fruit to the subtlest hints of white flowers, lime blossom, camomile, pineapple, and citrus fruit. The taste is full and rounded for this French wine. The high sugar content is perfectly balanced with fresh acidity. This sweet French wine can be kept for a very long time. Drinking temperature this French wine: 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).



    Beam is fairly hilly, lying at the foot of the Pyrenees where it enjoys an ideal microclimate that combines Atlantic moisture with a harsher mountain climate. Bearn white French wine is quite rare and is produced in the vicinity of Bellocq. This white French wine made with Raffiat and Manseng grapes is fresh and fruity with an undertone of floral notes (broom, acacia) . Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F) .

    The more widely available Rose de Beam owes its charm to the combination of Tannat with Cabernet

    Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc (better known in this locality as Bouchy). This is a wonderful rose that is velvet smooth, full-bodied, rounded, and very fruity. Drinking temperature for this rose French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F).

    The more straightforward Bearn red is lightweight but comforting and easily consumed. The taste and scent tend more towards Cabernet Pranc than Tannat. Drinking temperature for this Bearn French wine: 12°C (53.6°F).

    The better Bearn-Bellocq red by contrast is sturdier, fuller, more full -bodied, and fleshier. Tannin clearly has the upper hand in this French wine. Drinking temperature for this red French wine: 14-16°C (57.2- 60.8°F) .{jcomments on}



    The vineyards of Pauillac lie to the west of the town, parallel with the Gironde. The northern vineyards are slightly higher on more noticeable slopes than those of the south. Both areas have infertile soil that is very stony. In the south the gravel stones are generally larger than in the north, forming pebbles. The entire area is bedded in strata than ensure good drainage.The French wine of Pauillac is strongly influenced by its terroir. It is rich in colour (purple or granite red) strong, powerful, with substantial backbone and tannin, but also juicy, very refined, and elegant. It is worth leaving for at least five years but far better ten before opening.

    Some of the characteristic aromas are blackcurrant, cherry, plum, strawberry, raspberry, violet, rose, iris, cedarwood (of cigar boxes), vanilla, menthol, spices, cocoa, coffee, liquorice, leather, and toast. This robust French wine with a great deal of finesse and elegance is just as delicious with a simple but wonderful roast leg of lamb, served with mushrooms as it is with a tournedos Rossini (with real goose liver and truffle).

  • This is a very big name for such a small french winegrowing area of only 800 hectares. Wine-growing here takes place on a small area with a ferruginous soil. The soil varies greatly: it is sandy in the vicinity of Libourne, gravel-bearing sand and clay to the west, Pomerol French winesgravel-bearing clay in the centre, and ravelbearing sand to the north. Despite this variety of soils the French wines of Pomerol are clearly all offspring of the same family.

    The French wine Pomerol is at the same time full, powerful, and supple, and very fruity with blackberry, cherry, raspberry, and plum dominant, sometimes tending towards preserved or dried fruit in the best years. Other recognisable aromas in top Pomerols include violet, iris, vanilla, spices, toast, game, leather, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, liquorice, and sometimes also cinnamon (Petrus), and truffle.


    Without doubt the best-known Burgundy in the world. The name resonates just like the wine's taste - of a thunderclap on a hot autumn evening.

     The colour is an exciting red and the bouq uet (black cherry, herbs, leather) and taste are both strong. This is a full, fatty wine that is both powerful and harmonious. A more classic traditional Burgundy is not to be found.


    This   red French wine   is strangely   better   known with painters, sculptors, and writers than gastronomes. Perhaps this is because of its almost artistic, tender, and feminine qualities. Volnay is certainly not a macho wine. It has a very pure and clear red colour and the nose suggests violets and blackcurrant or sloes when young, which later develop into a complex bouquet with an assortment of fruits, flowers, herbs, and toadstools. It is a rounded, velvety wine that above all is sensual.

    The better wines originate from the Premier Cru climats. This French wine merits serving with fine food.



    It is impossible to explain why Monthelie has not yet been truly discovered. Exceptionally pleasant white and red French wine is made here which is certainly not inferior to neighbouring Volnay. It is a wine then for the astute who want quality at a lower price. The red wines are better than the whites which are classic Burgundian Chardonnay with lots of butter (sometimes too much) and wood in the nose with a mild but full taste. The best Monthelie whites also contain hints of toast, white flowers, and honey with the occasional suggestion of Virginian tobacco.

    The red Monthelie French wine is a seductive clear, and cheerful red colour. Its nose is fruity when young (blackberry, bilberry, blackcurrant) with occasional floral notes   (violets). When more mature this changes to the classic fungal aromas while the fruitiness reminds of home-made jam. It is a rich, lithe, generous, and friendly French wine which is at its best after several years maturing in the bottle.



    The same hill has two very different sides to it. Red  French wine is made from one side and white wine from the other. White Auxey-Duresses is pale yellow, very aromatic (fruity and minerals) with the occasional suggestion of exotic fruit such as mango.

     The taste is warm, open, and generous. Red Auxey-Duresses steels the show. Do not drink it too young when it is still rather rough. The colour often tends towards granite red and the aromas evoke ripe fruit. It is a warm, full wine with a considerable structure.

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  • Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux French Wine

    premieres Cotes de BordeauxThe wine-growing area on the right bank of the Garonne is about 60 km (37 miles) long and runs from the suburbs of Bordeaux to the border with the Cotes de Bordeaux St-Macaire. The landscape is hilly and there are magnificent views across the river and the vineyards of Graves. The underlying beds are varied but chiefly chalk and gravel on the hills and alluvial deposits closer to the Garonne.

    Production is mainly of red French wines but some smooth to liquorous white wines are made in the southeastern tip close to Cadillac,

  • Quincy

    On the other side of Bourges, in the direction of Vierzon, you will find the small wine area of Quincy. The Quincy AC was recognised way back in 1936. The wines of Quincy have been among the elite of French viticulture for more than 60 years but they are hardly ever to be found outside their own area.

    This wine area in the centre of France, west of the Loire, and on the left bank of the Cher, had acquired a reputation by the Middle Ages. This French wine-growing area comprises just two communes: Brinay and Quincy, totalling about 180 hectares. The terraces on which the vines grow are covered with a mixture of sand and ancient gravel. The underlying strata consists of chalk-bearing clay. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes thrive particularly well on this poor soil.

  • Rioja Spanish WineRioja DOC Wine

    Rioja is made in three different areas as previously indicated: the southern Basque country, Navarra, and La Rioja. The area of La Rioja and Rioja wine derive their name from the small river Oja, hence Rio Oja. The river flows into the Ebro near Haro. This Spanish wine region region is subdivided into three areas: the highlands of Rioja Alta in the north west, the most northerly vineyards of Rioja Alavesa in Alava Province, and the lowlands of Rioja Baja in Navarra and La Rioja. The entire area is protected from the cold north winds by the mountains of the Sierra Cantabrica. The river Ebro rises in the Cantabrian mountains and flows towards the Mediterranean.

  •   This is the largest appellation for vin doux naturels at 10,821 hectares. Moderately sweet wines used to be made here once from both red and white Grenache grapes. There has been a change under way here though since 1996. The areas cultivated have been significantly reduced, with the yield per hectare lowered as the growers seem to have become aware of the potential quality of their French wine. Various grape varieties are used to make these vin doux naturels: red and white Grenache, Macabeu, Malvoisie, and Muscat. There are two types of Rivesaltes: the amber-coloured wine produced with white grapes, and the roof-tile red wine of at least 50 per cent Grenache Noir. The better cuvées (Rivesaltes hors d'age) should be kept for at least five years.

    The young ordinary Rivesaltes should be drunk at approx. 12°C (53 .6°F), while the better ones are best at 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F) for a good French wine taste.


    Muscat de Rivesaltes

    Amidst the vineyards of Maury, Rivesaltes, and Banyuls, 4,540 hectares are planted with Muscat of Alexandria and Muscat Petits Grains. The Muscat of Alexandria imparts breadth to the Muscat de Rivesaltes in addition to aromas of ripe fruits, raisins, and roses, while the Muscat Petits Grains is responsible for the heady bouquet of exotic citrus fruit and suggestion of menthol for a good French wine. This Muscat de Rivesaltes is at its fruitiest when still very young. Drink this French wine at 8-10°C (46.4-50°F) .

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