French White Wines

France offers the most varied selection of white wines of any country in the world: it’s all in the geography, and the complex matrix of north-south and east-west.

It’s not just a matter of the north being cool and the south hot; it’s the difference between maritime influenced climates to the west and continental climates to the east.

For example, despite being far north Alsace is surprisingly dry - Strasbourg is the second driest city in France after Perpignan! - protected as it is by the Vosges mountains to the west, and enjoys a pretty hot summer. By contrast Bordeaux, right on the bay of Biscay, can be on the receiving end of weather not dissimilar to Cornwall. Then there are regions cooled by proximity to mountains - Jurancon and Limoux, for example, both just north of the Pyrenees; and there’s the really hot zone along the Med in the arc from Marseille to Perpignan.

On the whole each region of France has its own cluster of grape varieties, best suited to its climate and soils: for example the Loire has Sauvignon Blanc grown in the eastern vineyards on calcareous soils, Chenin Blanc in the middle on tufa, and Melon de Bourgogne on the granitic vineyards of Muscadet. Bordeaux has Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon; Burgundy, Chardonnay; and in Alsace there is a bunch of grapes which are also grown in neighbouring Germany and Northern Italy: Pinot Gris (Grigio), Pinot Blanc (Bianco), Gewurtztraminer, plus Riesling. Throughout the Rhône valley, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon the best results are with grapes able to take the summer heat: Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Rolle (Vermentino) and Macabeu. (Where Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are planted in the south the results tend, with few exceptions, to be poor). Then there are all sorts of weird and wonderful white grapes grown in the outlying areas, such as south-west France (Petit and Gros Manseng among others), Savoie and Jura.

When one considers that many of these wines come in unoaked and oaked styles, the diversity is breathtaking!

Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Pinot Blanc, 2019

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Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Pinot Blanc, 2019

A perennial, organic favourite which makes a lovely aperitif but can also be drunk with a wide...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionAlsace

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeMEY119

GrapePinot Blanc

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Les Reuilles, Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc, 2020

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Les Reuilles, Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc, 2020

100% Sauvignon from Entre Deux Mers; a light, fresh, red apple and citrus accented example....

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBordeaux

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeREU120

GrapeSauvignon Blanc

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Château Les Combes, Bordeaux Blanc - Sauvignon Semillon, 2020

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Château Les Combes, Bordeaux Blanc - Sauvignon Semillon, 2020

The addition of about 20% Sémillon adds pleasing fat and moderates the grassy Sauvignon...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBordeaux

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeGRC620

GrapeSauvignon Semillon Blend

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MAGNUM, Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 1er Cru Côte de Lechet, 2018

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MAGNUM, Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 1er Cru Côte de Lechet, 2018

Jean-Luc and Marie-Jo Fourrey, The brother and sister team here, make this from six different...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Magnum150cl

CodeFRR918

GrapeChardonnay

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Francis Blanchet, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Pernets, 2020

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Francis Blanchet, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Pernets, 2020

The Blanchet family make such an authentic wine, so true to the appellation, with bite and...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBLA120

GrapeSauvignon Blanc

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Domaine de la Chauvinière, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2020

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Domaine de la Chauvinière, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2020

Muscadet, grown at the mouth of the Loire (where the climate isn't that dissimilar to...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeHUC120

GrapeMelon de Bourgogne

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Domaine Fontanel, Côtes du Roussillon Blanc, 2018

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Domaine Fontanel, Côtes du Roussillon Blanc, 2018

Half comes from an ancient (1908) complanted vineyard near Tautavel, largely holding Grenache...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionRoussillon

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFON718

GrapeWhite Blend

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Le Petit Pont Blanc, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

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Le Petit Pont Blanc, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

The Petit Pont wines are made by the Vic family near Beziers. The white is a tutti frutti blend...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodePEP120

GrapeBlend

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La Salette, IGP Côtes de Gascogne Colombard - Gros Manseng 2020

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La Salette, IGP Côtes de Gascogne Colombard - Gros Manseng 2020

Typically light and fresh Côtes de Gascogne blend, crisp, bright and refreshing with tropical...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionSouth-West

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeSAL120

GrapeGros Manseng & Colombard

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Forges, Anjou Blanc, L'Audace, 2019

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Forges, Anjou Blanc, L'Audace, 2019

This is a wine from a humble appellation but ambitiously crafted: the vineyard is managed for...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeFOR419

GrapeChenin Blanc

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Le Sartre, Pessac-Leognan Blanc, 2015

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Le Sartre, Pessac-Leognan Blanc, 2015

90% Sauvignon and 10% Semillon, barrel fermented and aged in a mix of new to 3 year old...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBordeaux

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeLES115

GrapeSauvignon Semillon Blend

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Creyssels, Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet, 2020

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Creyssels, Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet, 2020

Very open, citrus and pine scents. A touch more texture than usual, fresh and limey, with the...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeCRE120

GrapePiquepoul

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