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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    A soft, yet deceptively complex Merlot from the south of France. Fresh plum and cassis give way to a hint of violets on the finish. Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    A soft, yet deceptively complex Merlot from the south of France. Fresh plum and cassis give way to a hint of violets on the finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £9.59 What is MIX6?

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    £10.94 £9.12
    Fresh and juicy with complex notes of almond and grapefruit on the nose and palate, joined by soft vanilla on the finish. Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • South of France
    Fresh and juicy with complex notes of almond and grapefruit on the nose and palate, joined by soft vanilla on the finish. Read More
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    £15.35 £12.79
    A deep garnet red hue with purple hints. The nose is complex anr rich with rosemary, blackcurrant and black cherry aromas. Full and smooth in the mout... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Languedoc-Roussilon
    A deep garnet red hue with purple hints. The nose is complex anr rich with rosemary, blackcurrant and black cherry aromas. Full and smooth in the mout... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £9.84 What is MIX6?

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    Cherry flavours evolve toward peppery, mentholated notes. A hint of cedar rounds out the fruitiness. Silky texture with impressive length. Complex and... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • South of France
    Cherry flavours evolve toward peppery, mentholated notes. A hint of cedar rounds out the fruitiness. Silky texture with impressive length. Complex and... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £13.34 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
    £15.35 £12.79
    A stunning Chardonnay from one of the best regarded appellations in Burgundy. This is complex wine with aromas of juicy green apple, luscious peach an... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    • Cotes de Beaune
    A stunning Chardonnay from one of the best regarded appellations in Burgundy. This is complex wine with aromas of juicy green apple, luscious peach an... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £47.75 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
    £54.94 £45.78
    Well balanced and finely scented with elegant black fruit aromas. This is a wine which can be enjoyed now but will continue to improve with another 5 ... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Medoc
    Well balanced and finely scented with elegant black fruit aromas. This is a wine which can be enjoyed now but will continue to improve with another 5 ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £24.10 What is MIX6?

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    £20.08 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £27.74 £23.12
    18 month oaked pinot noir with blackberry and cherry nose, silky mouthfeel and elegantly balanced tannins. Full bodied and punchy. Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    18 month oaked pinot noir with blackberry and cherry nose, silky mouthfeel and elegantly balanced tannins. Full bodied and punchy. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £30.84 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
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    A powerful Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine with a palate full of blackcurrants and blackberries that gives way to a subtly spicy finish. Read More
    • 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
    As part of a MIX6 £23.24 What is MIX6?

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    £19.37 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £26.94 £22.45
    An intense and beautiful Burgundian Pinot Noir. This wine displays primary red fruits but with a savoury edge with an earthier undertone perhaps. Some... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    An intense and beautiful Burgundian Pinot Noir. This wine displays primary red fruits but with a savoury edge with an earthier undertone perhaps. Some... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £25.69 What is MIX6?

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    Single 37.5cl bottle
    £29.54 £24.62
    An expressive and impressive wine with a character of fruits of the forrest, casis and jammy spiced notes. Round and sucullent with great depth and ba... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Graves
    An expressive and impressive wine with a character of fruits of the forrest, casis and jammy spiced notes. Round and sucullent with great depth and ba... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £14.94 What is MIX6?

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    £16.94 £14.12
    This Merlot led Claret has succulent jammy notes with hints of blackberry and dried red fruits. Soft and long on the finish, accomanied with integrate... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    This Merlot led Claret has succulent jammy notes with hints of blackberry and dried red fruits. Soft and long on the finish, accomanied with integrate... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £12.84 What is MIX6?

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    A soft wine with attractive berry fruits, smoky acidity and sweet juicy flavours. The tannins are well integrated with acidity pushing through. The fi... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Right Bank
    • Pomerol
    A soft wine with attractive berry fruits, smoky acidity and sweet juicy flavours. The tannins are well integrated with acidity pushing through. The fi... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £47.29 What is MIX6?

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    £39.41 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £53.59 £44.66
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    As part of a MIX6 £77.24 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
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    Extremely seductive aromas including mandarins, lemons and hints of hazelnuts. The length is lingering and full of minerality. Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    • Cotes de Beaune
    Extremely seductive aromas including mandarins, lemons and hints of hazelnuts. The length is lingering and full of minerality. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £38.99 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
    £44.94 £37.45
    The Côt with its garnet colour with purple reflections, offers aromas of Morello cherry, violet and grilled almonds. This fruity and structured wine ... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Loire valley
    The Côt with its garnet colour with purple reflections, offers aromas of Morello cherry, violet and grilled almonds. This fruity and structured wine ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £13.49 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
    £15.49 £12.91
    Elegant and refined this White Burgundy displays restrained aromas of vanilla and fresh fruit, with subtle cedar notes from its time in oak. The pleas... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    Elegant and refined this White Burgundy displays restrained aromas of vanilla and fresh fruit, with subtle cedar notes from its time in oak. The pleas... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £30.84 What is MIX6?

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    Considerable care has gone into this white Burgundy’s oak maturation resulting in a beautifully rounded and elegantly rich full bodied wine. You ca... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    Considerable care has gone into this white Burgundy’s oak maturation resulting in a beautifully rounded and elegantly rich full bodied wine. You ca... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £26.75 What is MIX6?

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    £30.74 £25.62
    Golden yellow in colour with green tints; the nose shows fresh apple and pear, with nutty aromas, and the palate is rich and round with well-balanced ... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    Golden yellow in colour with green tints; the nose shows fresh apple and pear, with nutty aromas, and the palate is rich and round with well-balanced ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £48.35 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
    £55.94 £46.62
    Chateauneuf rarely comes close to this quality at such a modest price. Full-bodied with scents of crushed blackberries, mulberry and brandied cherrie... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Rhône Valley
    Chateauneuf rarely comes close to this quality at such a modest price. Full-bodied with scents of crushed blackberries, mulberry and brandied cherrie... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £32.89 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
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    An elegant and gorgeously fruity wine, perfumed and balanced with incredibly supple tannins behind. On the palate there are sweet red fruits, spiced ... Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    An elegant and gorgeously fruity wine, perfumed and balanced with incredibly supple tannins behind. On the palate there are sweet red fruits, spiced ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £64.94 What is MIX6?

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    £54.12 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £71.94 £59.95
    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Pauillac
    As part of a MIX6 £34.99 What is MIX6?

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    £29.16 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £39.00 £32.50
    • Origin
    • France
    • Bordeaux
    • Left Bank
    • Pauillac
    As part of a MIX6 £34.99 What is MIX6?

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    Single 75cl bottle
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    18 month oaked pinot noir with blackberry and cherry nose, silky mouthfeel and elegantly balanced tannins. Full bodied and punchy. Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    18 month oaked pinot noir with blackberry and cherry nose, silky mouthfeel and elegantly balanced tannins. Full bodied and punchy. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £30.84 What is MIX6?

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    A fresh and intense Burgundy with ripe cherry aromas which develop on the palate into liquorice and game notes. Read More
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    A fresh and intense Burgundy with ripe cherry aromas which develop on the palate into liquorice and game notes. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £39.95 What is MIX6?

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    £33.29 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £45.95 £38.29
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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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