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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
    As part of a MIX6 £11.70 What is MIX6?

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    £9.75 exc VAT
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    £12.95 £10.79
    • Origin
    • France
    • Burgundy
    • Chablis
    A lighter and more mineralic style of Grand Cru Chablis. This is due to the vineyard is facing south western which makes for a cooler mesoclimate than... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £46.20 What is MIX6?

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    £38.50 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £53.40 £44.50
    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Full and rich with a toasty character, this a truly well made Champagne from this renowned Champagne house. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £46.94 What is MIX6?

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    £39.12 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £48.95 £40.79
    • 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
    As part of a MIX6 £49.94 What is MIX6?

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    £41.62 exc VAT
    • 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
    As part of a MIX6 £36.00 What is MIX6?

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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
    As part of a MIX6 £34.99 What is MIX6?

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    • Origin
    • France
    • South of France
    • Languedoc
    Rich aromas of spicy blackcurrants. Full and rich on the palate with notes of chocolate treacle, finish is long, peppery and savoury. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £13.45 What is MIX6?

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    £11.21 exc VAT
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    £15.50 £12.92
    • Origin
    • Southern France
    • Languedoc-Roussillon
    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 violets on the finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £8.88 What is MIX6?

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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
    As part of a MIX6 £12.35 What is MIX6?

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    • Origin
    • France
    • South of France
    A soft and fruity pinot Noir from the south of france which is made in a distinctly Burgundian style. Ripe summer berries dance over the palate with a... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £10.49 What is MIX6?

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    • 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 £9.25 What is MIX6?

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    £7.71 exc VAT
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    £10.50 £8.75
    • Origin
    • Southern France
    • Languedoc-Roussillon
    A bright and punchy Merlot with distinctive plum character and a velvety finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £7.80 What is MIX6?

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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
    As part of a MIX6 £16.74 What is MIX6?

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    • Origin
    • France
    • South of
    Crisp, fresh and packed full of gooseberry and citrus fruits. A delightful wine which is perfect as an aperetif or with fresh seafood. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £8.88 What is MIX6?

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    • Origin
    • Southern France
    • Languedoc
    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
    As part of a MIX6 £7.80 What is MIX6?

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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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    £10.94 £9.12
    • 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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    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    Full and rich with a toasty character, this a truly well made Champagne from this renowned Champagne house. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £94.99 What is MIX6?

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    £79.16 exc VAT
    • Origin
    • France
    • Champagne
    An incredibly complex prestige cuvee with perfectly balanced notes of lemon peel, white pepper and a rich toastiness. A truly multidimensional Champag... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £156.00 What is MIX6?

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    £130.00 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £162.00 £135.00
    • 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
    As part of a MIX6 £214.99 What is MIX6?

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    £179.16 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £235.00 £195.83
    • 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
    As part of a MIX6 £156.00 What is MIX6?

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    £130.00 exc VAT
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    £175.00 £145.83
    • 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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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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