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France

France

The influence of France's vine growing prowess cannot be denied. It's geographic range, coupled to tradition and confidence has lead to it's prominence in setting the benchmark for wine across the world. The defining feature of French wines is terroir, a combination of environmental factors which give the wines character and style. 

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    • Origin
    • France
    • Beaujolais
    Arrayed in a gorgeous cherry-like hue, this Morgon is dominated by aromas of black fruit, including blackberries and blackcurrants, gently topped with... Read More
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    £9.75 exc VAT
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    £12.95 £10.79
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Superbly balanced and tremendously elegant champagne with a fine depth and flavour. Read More
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    £37.45 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Created expressly for mixology, Veuve Clicquot Rich is a versatile Champagne designed to allow anyone to create their own playful drinking experience. Read More
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    £41.62 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Vinified as a homage to the exceptional Chardonnays grown on pure chalk from the Montagne de Reims, this single vintage Blanc de Blancs expresses all ... Read More
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    Single 75cl bottle
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    The "Sélection de Parcelles” cuvée combines the sensual minerality of the Chardonnay Premier Cru from Villers-Marmery with the elegant power of th... Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    • South of France
    • Languedoc
    Rich aromas of spicy blackcurrants.  Full and rich on the paplte with notes of chocolate treacle, finshes long, peppery and savoury. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £13.45 What is MIX6?

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    £11.21 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £15.50 £12.92
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    • Origin
    • Southern France
    A gorgeous full bodied blend of red grapes commonly grown in the South of France. Ample ripe black fruit aromas are present throughout and are joined ... Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    A soft yet deceptively complex Merlot from the south of France. Fresh plum and cassis give way to a hint of violettes on the finish. Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    • South of
    Crisp, fesh and packed full of gooseberry and citrus fruits. A delightful wine which is perfect as an aperetif or with fresh seafood. Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Loire
    • Cotes d'Auvergne
    This is truly a wacky wine!  The rich red berry fruit on the nose. Fresh and light on the palate with hints not chrries and raspberry fruits. Finishi... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Southern France
    A birght and punchy Merlot with distinctive plum character and a velvety finish. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Minervois
    • Southern France
    Intense on the nose with a hint of lemon. The bouquet speaks of orange zest and orange blossom intermingled with aromas of toasted hazelnuts, cocoa an... Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    • South of France
    • Languedoc
    An attractive, clear straw coloured wine with a bright core. Elegant aromas of fine fruit and soft vanilla. Delicate oaky notes can be detected, with ... Read More
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    Single 75cl bottle
    £12.14 £10.12
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    • Origin
    • Languedoc
    • Southern France
    Elegant and finely balanced with a luscious creaminess which is reminiscent of the whites of Burgundy. An exquisite Chardonnay from the Languedoc. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Southern France
    A wine which is light in body and has a lower than usual alcohol content. Citru, gooseberry and apricot on the nose and palate. Crisp and refreshing. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Languedoc
    • Southern France
    A rich and creamy wine with a zippy, citrus led finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £15.12 What is MIX6?

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    £12.60 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £16.94 £14.12
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    • Origin
    • Languedoc
    • Southern France
    A very fresh and zingy wine from the south of France that is perfect for any summer day and pairs perfectly with seafood. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £9.90 What is MIX6?

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    £8.25 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Weak summer morning sunlight in colour and orange blossom and wet chalk on the nose. Rich toast and peach dominate the flavour profile with precise, d... Read More
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    £179.16 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £235.00 £195.83
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Superb! Perhaps the greatest name in Champagne, producing big rich wines that can live for many years in bottle. One of the truly great champagnes, th... Read More
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    £130.00 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £175.00 £145.83
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Medoc
    A powerful Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine with a palate full of blackcurrants and blackberries that gives way to a subtly spicy finish. Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Haut-Medoc
    A classic blend from the region of mainly Cabernet Sauvignon. Soft purple hue with light aromas of cherries, blackcurrants and hints of vanilla. A lov... Read More
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    £9.71 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £13.96 £11.63
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    • Origin
    • Bordeaux
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Pauillac
    Deep purple in colour with black hints, the nose is complex but discreet.  On the palate, notes of underwood, spice and pencil lead are delicately w... Read More
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    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Saint-Emilion
    Good fruit on the nose of this fresh and generous Saint Emilion. Rich damson and cherry with notes of cedar and tobacco. The tannins on the palate are... Read More
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Grapes

France is famed for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc,Pinot Noir, Syrah and many other varieties of grape that still, arguably, achieve their ultimate expression here.  It is also home to Cognac and Armagnac, the finest of brandies, and the famous apple brandy of Calvados.

History

The Greeks brought viticulture to France's Mediterranean coast in about 600BC. During Roman occupation, the vine spread along two main routes: west to Garonne/ Bordeaux and north through the Rhone Valley. After the Roman Emprire collapsed the Church became the most important land owners and producers, especially in Burgundy, Loire Valley and Champagne. The political changes in the 18th Century didn't affect the wine trade per se, however changes to the religious oders had significant impacts on land ownership. Bordeaux saw a boom in wealth and growth as foreign trade blossomed, not least with the French West Indies. The 1855 classification system was introduced, bringing more uniform standards. 

The Classification System

The current Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system was introduced in 1930's and is founded on the principle that defined geographic location is responsible for the unique character and flavour of individual French wines. There are three levels to the AOC: Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), Vin de Pays (VdP) and Vin de Table (VdT). The quality standards are highest in AOC wines, covering details including vine yield, minimum alcohol levels and of course grape varieties and apellation boundaries. Grand Cru and Premier Cru sit within AOC. This compares to VdT were neither grape variety, vintage ore region are required on the label.

Climate and Terroir

The diversity of France's climate relates to its plethora of styles and the main wine regions fall into three climatic zones. Bordeaux, Loire Valley and the Southwest are within the maritime climate, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The South of France and southern Rhone Valley are under a Mediterranean climate while northern Rhone, Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne fall into a continental influence. The climate, wine style and gastronomy are all tightly woven together and to unpick them require much more time and room on the page than is allowed!

If the region defines the style of the wine, terroir is responsible for all the fine tuning.  It's the crucial combination of environmental factors such as microclimate, soil type and topography. It's an underpinning principle in the classification system and endless source of debate.

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