Top 10 Best French Red Wines for 2021
13th September 2021
We adore French Red Wine. But what are the best French Reds for 2021? Look no further as our team have carefully selected their favourites as we approach the Autumn & Winter months.
With France being only behind Italy in terms of wine producing countries, there is so much to choose from. And such exceptional quality. The three classic red wine regions of France are: Bordeaux, home to the most famous wines on the planet, blends made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, plus small quantities of Petit Verdot and Malbec; Burgundy, where the reds are all 100% Pinot Noir; and the Rhône Valley, which is divided into the north, where reds are from Syrah; and the south where reds are based on Grenache Noir.
Here’s our lovingly-sourced, hand-picked top 10 Best French Red Wines for 2021!
- Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres Rouge, Cuvee Cistus, 2018
- Mas des Brousses, Chasseur des Brousses, IGP Saint-Guilhem-Le-Desert, 2019
- La Combe Saint Paul, Gres Rouges, La Clape, 2019
- Château Pierre de Montignac, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2016
- Mas d'Agamas, Terrasses du Larzac, Nostre Mescladis, 2018
- Domaine du Joncier, Lirac, Regard, 2016
- Agnes Paquet, Auxey-Duresses Rouge, 2017
- Amadieu, Rasteau, La Copado, 2019
- Guilloterie, Saumur-Champigny, Les Loges, 2018
- Domaine Montangeron, Beaujolais Villages, 2019
The three classic red wine regions of France are: Bordeaux, home to the most famous wines on the planet, blends made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, plus small quantities of Petit Verdot and Malbec; Burgundy, where the reds are all 100% Pinot Noir; and the Rhône Valley, which is divided into the north, where reds are from Syrah; and the south where reds are based on Grenache Noir.
Here’s our hand-picked list of the
top 10 Best French Red Wines for 2021
Named after the cistus or rock rose, the pretty shrub which dots the hillsides, a blend of 70% Syrah with 30% Mourvèdre. 2018 was a very small harvest (after problems with mildew) of high quality; 60% was aged in 500-litre barrels, and the rest in tank. A dark wine - dark in hue and dark in flavour profile - showing black cherry and cassis accented by black chocolate oak hints and liquorice. Fragrance of the garrigue. Still youthful and vigorous; with lurking mineral depths. Now-2026
“I can see exactly why they’ve called this wine Cistus. The extraordinary smell of cistus, a Mediterranean rock rose, is called labdanum in the perfume industry. In the hot days of Languedoc summer, the volatile oils from the leaves fill the air, dropping on and clinging to the grape skins as night cools. Wines made in vineyards surrounded by cistus-dominated garrigue often have this gorgeous, resiny, pine-and-lemon top-scented but leatherplum-honey base-scented character, and this is no exception. The tannins are almost soothingly supple, but belted tightly to the wine. Without a second’s hesitation, I would bring out the pasture-raised prime rib of beef. 17/20”, Tamlyn Currin, jancisrobinson.com, 20th May 2021
This is from organically farmed (and certified) vines up in the wild hills at Puechabon, north-west Montpellier. The recipe for this successful marriage of Bordeaux and the south has changed over recent years; in this vintage it's based on young vine Mourvedre with old vine Merlot, plus a little Syrah and Grenache. Juicy, sappy red cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant flavours - spiced by a little of Mourvedre's savouriness. This feels crunchy and vital - very moreish and perfect for spring and summer drinking. Energy and aromatics on the finish. Now-2023
This enticing red is named after the vineyard soils derived from grés rouge (red sandstone). 60% Syrah with 20% each of Mourvèdre and Grenache, basically unoaked (10% in old barrels). Lovely deep and glossy hue; and an enticing perfume of brambly fruit with a roasted hint. Youthful, deliciously ripe blackberriy and mulberry core with negligible tannins. A well-priced, smartly presented bottle from this prestigious appellation for enjoying immediately. Now-2023
A Cru Bourgeois from a top red Bordeaux vintage usually offers excellent value - and this long term favourite at SVS delivers in spades. Deep hue; overt aromas of toasty oak; ripe and robust black fruit with mocha, and excellent concentration, tannic spine and ripeness - and all with a traditionally moderate 13% alcohol. The blend is usually around 45-50% of each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus about 5% Petit Verdot. Now-2024
The estate, with 25 hectares of vines, is owned and run by the Salette family - and has recently been accorded the rank of Cru Bourgeois Supérieur.
Nostre Mescladis translates as "our blend", reflecting the approximate proportions of his vines across the family vineyards: about 40% Grenache, and 20% of each of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan, all given a long maceration to develop great depth of flavour but vinified and bottled entirely unoaked. As the previous vintage, unalloyed pleasure: velvety, textured and stimulating, with a cassis and mulbery heart. Gorgeous fruit with very gentle tannins. Young but already so enjoyable. Now-2023
Vincent Visseq's story is similar to that of so many of our French partners. His family had been supplying grapes to three local cooperatives since the 1970s, but Vincent decided he wanted to make wine himself. Having studied winemaking in Montpellier and with experience at Château Capion, a grand local estate, and a vintage in the Goulburn Valley in Australia under his belt, he has been steadily taking back the family vines since 2009 as the grape selling contracts expire.
Vincent believes in a simple and precise regime: working hard in the vineyard, harvesting solely by hand, cosseting the bunches and putting all his wines into stainless steel tanks only. Some of his wines are IGPs made from single varieties (see also his Mourvèdre rosé) but our favourite amongst his reds is his Terrasses du Larzac, where the rules of the appellation demand at least three grape varieties in a blend.
About 65% Syrah with 20% Grenache, 15% made up of Cinsault and Carignan. That high proportion of Syrah makes this more black-fruited and sophisticated than many southern Rhones. Big, but velvety, youthful but smooth, with tannins for keeping too. Now-2023
Marine first adopted organic viticulture many years ago, then bio-dynamics, and from the 2011 vintage all her wines have been certified as both. She is absolutely confident of the benefits: she feels her vines are healthier and stronger, more resistant to disease and drought. As proof she harvests a good crop even in difficult years. She also thinks bio-dynamism brings more grace and elegance to her wines.
It’s worth pointing out that the land in Lirac is by no means homogenous. Marine’s vineyards are on the best terroir, marked by the same "galets roulés" as those of Châteauneuf just across the Rhône.
From two parcels, one of 50 years of age and one planted in 2000. Matured in oak for 12 months, 15% new. Good transparency, red fruited, light and mildly savoury, still firm at the moment but all is in place. Now - 2025
A new wine for us – Yves-Jean only makes 1,000 or so bottles. 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah. Intriguing aromas of an exotic spice market and dried berries. Exciting attack: this is a huge wine, but unlike most Rasteaus it’s not porty and /or jammy, rather showing attractively fresh blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Will make perfect winter drinking with a daube or a chilli hot dish. Now-2025
"Lovely fresh spiciness to the nose, cinnamon and black cherry. Really fresh and lively example, vibrant. All very defined and drinkable, this is delightful, and will drink well young. It's relatively petite for a Rasteau, but still has that inner sucrosité. The Cinsault works wonders." 92 pts. Matt Walls, Rasteau, December 2020
"Very deep crimson. Fragrant with good fruit and acidity. Soft and smooth – no great tannic charge – and very juicy. Really gets the saliva flowing. GV 16.5/20, Drink 2020-2023", Jancis Robinson MW, May 2021
From a plot of 50-55 year old vines. This is attractively aromatic, offering archetypal Loire Cab. Franc flavours of black berries and cherries. Enticing purity and freshness – with a pleasing savoury edge too. Now-2024
Juicy, red and black-fruited, supple but also mildly rustic. Spot on. Now-2022
The reputation of the whole region of Beaujolais was badly damaged by the swill of Beaujolais Nouveau that flooded overseas markets in the 1980s - only now is it beginning to recover. This is the new model Beaujolais - fully ripe and easy-drinking but with inimitable local character too.
Exclusive to Stone, Vine & Sun
We source our amazing wines from small independent wine makers and as such you’re unlikely to find them anywhere else in the UK.
Due to their exclusivity, these beautiful red wines may sell out. If any of our top Best French Red Wines for 2021 is out of stock, you can view our range French Reds on the website or you can get in touch with us & we’d be delighted to suggest some incredible French Red alternatives.