When most people think of wine, they think of France. The nation has a wine history more abundant and more vibrant than that of any other. Strict rules in many regions, know as Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, aim to ensure that wines are crafted traditionally and consistently. Even people with an above average level of wine knowledge can be intimidated by the complexities and confusions that France's long past of winemaking has formed.
The rules of winemaking in Frances appellations are born out of the local history and customs of viticulture and viniculture. These regional differences lead to France having a vast variety of wines. French wine can vary from cheerful table wines to some of the world's most prestigious bottles. With such depth and breadth of wine to uncover in France, our wine buyers don't have the most straightforward task when choosing the best examples for our range. To give you some insight into where to start when browsing our list, I've asked one of our wine heads, Laurie Davis to select 5 of his favourites. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, Roi Soleil
This wine is an excellent alternative to a Sancerre for someone who is keen to try something a bit outside the beaten tracks. This Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley has seen some skin-contact and oak ageing and offers a complex and refreshing bouquet of exotic fruits along with subtle mineral notes.
Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Sainte Vierge
A modern example of Chateauneuf Du Pape from one of the most dynamic and innovative co-operatives in the Southern Rhône valley. The wine is aged for months in concrete vats to preserve the purest expression of the fruit. Powerful and complex red fruits and ripe black fruits with spicy notes. The great structure and silky texture make this wine a great companion to barbecued meat.
Gewürztraminer Alsace Eguisheim
A fantastic example of this unfairly unpopular grape variety. Gewürztraminer is a speciality from Alsace, and Emile Beyer has mastered the art of making wines that fully express the purity of fruits associated with this grape. Ripe apricots, quince jelly, roses and lychee notes will seduce the most refined palates.
Chateau Saint Roch Chimeres Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2016
The St Roch vineyards are perched on a rocky ridge at 750 meters, in a very arid area of the Roussillon region. The soil surrounding the area is black schist which retains the hear for a smooth, gradual ripening and racy minerality which is expressed in the wine. The wine displays herbal notes of rosemary and thyme with black cherry and plums rounded with a hint of toasted oak.
St Roch Vieilles Vignes Blanc Cotes du Roussillon
A great example of how refreshing and lively white wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon can be. This blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne offers a complex bouquet of stone fruits along with floral notes that will bring a bit of freshness to this scorching summer.
Resource: Wine Training Guide
You can find more information about the French wines we stock here. If you want to stock any of the wines mentioned, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your wine range is a success, from free menu design and print services to bespoke training.