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!

Clotilde Davenne, Cremant de Bourgogne, Extra Brut, France, NV

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Clotilde Davenne, Cremant de Bourgogne, Extra Brut, France, NV
Clotilde Davenne, Cremant de Bourgogne, Extra Brut, France, NV

Our latest discovery - Clotilde's cellar in Prehy was visited on 19th October - a superb...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLO1NV

GrapeChardonnay & Pinot Noir

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Huber-Verdereau, Bourgogne Cote D'or Chardonnay, Les Grandes Gouttes, 2019

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Huber-Verdereau, Bourgogne Cote D'or Chardonnay, Les Grandes Gouttes, 2019
Huber-Verdereau, Bourgogne Cote D'or Chardonnay, Les Grandes Gouttes, 2019

From one parcel of 43 year old vines, noted on the label (see above): "Référence...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeHUB119

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine des Chazelles, Vire-Clesse,Vieilles Vignes, 2019

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Domaine des Chazelles, Vire-Clesse,Vieilles Vignes, 2019

From a two hectare sheltered plot on limestone, with vines between 50 and 100 years old...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeCHZ119

GrapeChardonnay

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Lequin-Colin, Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru, 2018

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Jancis Robinson
Lequin-Colin, Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru, 2018

From a south facing site, high on the hill overlooking Aloxe-Corton, “un terroir trés...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeLEQ018

GrapeChardonnay

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Lequin-Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Caillerets, 2019

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Lequin-Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Caillerets, 2019

We offer this vintage after vintage as it combines honeyed and juicy flavour with the mineral...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75

CodeLEQ319

GrapeChardonnay

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Huber-Verdereau, Meursault, En Dressolles, 2019

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Huber-Verdereau, Meursault, En Dressolles, 2019

From vines planted in 1957, raised in 228 litres piéces, a third new. Terrific tension in this...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75

CodeHUB219

GrapeChardonnay

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F. & Denis Clair St-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru Murgers des Dents de Chien 2017

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F. & Denis Clair St-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru Murgers des Dents de Chien 2017
F. & Denis Clair St-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru Murgers des Dents de Chien 2017

Sited on the rocky slopes above the Montrachets, this is rightly considered one of the top two...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB417

GrapeChardonnay

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Francoise & Denis Clair, St Aubin Blanc 1er Cru, Sous Roche Dumay 2018

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Francoise & Denis Clair, St Aubin Blanc 1er Cru, Sous Roche Dumay 2018

Sous Roche Dumay is well sited between Champlots and Murgers des Dents de Chien;...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB518

GrapeChardonnay

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 2018

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 2018

From a very calcareous site, and given 10-15% new oak. Ripe citrus, cream and oatmeal. So...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB218

GrapeChardonnay

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Blanc, 2018

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Blanc, 2018

Little white Santenay is made but it usually delivers a generous and not too expensive Côte de...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB118

GrapeChardonnay

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc, 2019

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc, 2019

Wonderful tangerine, candied lemon and a little struck match note greet you. There is a...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB019

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuissé, Pentacrine 2018

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Domaine Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuissé, Pentacrine 2018

Named after the five-sided marine fossils found locally, this wine is selected from several...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeSAU718

GrapeChardonnay

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