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!

Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres Blanc, Cuvee Cistus, 2020

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Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres Blanc, Cuvee Cistus, 2020
Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres Blanc, Cuvee Cistus, 2020

 A barrel-aged blend of 60% Roussanne, 25% Vermentino and 15% Grenache blanc. Open peach...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc-Roussillon

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeLIQ720

GrapeRoussanne, Vermentino & Grenache Blanc

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Cherrier Père et fils, Sancerre, L'Essentiel, 2019

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Cherrier Père et fils, Sancerre, L'Essentiel, 2019

L’Essentiel is a selection from a vineyard farmed bio-dynamically, made naturally, left for...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeROS419

GrapeSauvignon Blanc

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Domaine des Forges, Coteaux du Layon St Aubin, 2019

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Domaine des Forges, Coteaux du Layon St Aubin, 2019

Wonderful perfume of oranges steeped in honey. Sweet attack, showing honey over stone fruit...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeFOR619

GrapeChenin Blanc

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Domaine des Crets, Macon-Chardonnay, En Bout, 2019

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Domaine des Crets, Macon-Chardonnay, En Bout, 2019

From a south to south-east facing, very calcareous slope. We tasted this blind amongst a flight...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeDDC119

GrapeChardonnay

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Lequin-Colin, Bourgogne Chardonnay Back to the Roots, 2019

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Lequin-Colin, Bourgogne Chardonnay Back to the Roots, 2019

Named because François deliberately gives this wine a traditional style of vinification:...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeLEQ519

GrapeChardonnay

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Lequin-Colin, Bourgogne Chardonnay,  2019

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Lequin-Colin, Bourgogne Chardonnay, 2019

From fruit grown in vineyards close to his home village of Santenay, this is fermented 50% in...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeLEQ819

GrapeChardonnay

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Amadieu, Cairanne Blanc, Haut de Beauregard, 2019

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Amadieu, Cairanne Blanc, Haut de Beauregard, 2019

Roussanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Viognier, barrel fermented and aged in a mix of...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionRhone

ColourWhite

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeAMB619

GrapeWhite blend

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Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 1er Cru Mont de Milieu, 2019

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Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 1er Cru Mont de Milieu, 2019

Mont de Milieu is a hillside vineyard facing south and south-east, and as such the vines are...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75

CodeFRR519

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine Fourrey, Chablis 1er Cru, Cote du Lechet, 2019

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Domaine Fourrey, Chablis 1er Cru, Cote du Lechet, 2019

The Fourreys own a healthy 3.60 hectares of Côte de Lechet, divided amongst six plots over the...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75

CodeFRR719

GrapeChardonnay

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Mas d'Agamas, Marsanne, IGP Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, 2020

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Mas d'Agamas, Marsanne, IGP Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, 2020

Intriguing scent of ripe citrus - tangerines, with a note of dried peel. This shows true...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeAGA620

GrapeMarsanne

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Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres, Amandiers Blanc, 2020

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Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres, Amandiers Blanc, 2020
Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres, Amandiers Blanc, 2020

This is from a vineyard planted on some of their highest land about forty years ago; a blend of...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc-Roussillon

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75

CodeLIQ620

GrapeRousanne, Granache Blanc & Marsanne

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Les Chardons, Sauvignon Blanc, IGP Val de Loire, 2020

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Les Chardons, Sauvignon Blanc, IGP Val de Loire, 2020

Honest Loire SB at a fair price. Surprisingly tropical aroma. From the third hot vintage in a...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeAUM320

GrapeSauvignon Blanc

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