France

French 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!

France

  • Domaine d'Elise, Petit Chablis, 2017

    Product Code: ELS117

    Domaine d'Elise, Petit Chablis, 2017

    “A benchmark, far better than most co-op Chablis: excellent concentration and correctly lactic. Now-2021”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info
  • Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 2015

    Product Code: CLB215

    Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 2015

    “From a very calcareous site, and given 10-15% new oak. Excellent concentration of ripe citrus, cream and oatmeal, but more precise than the Santenay....”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Domaine Olivier Fichet, Macon-Burgy, Les 3 Terroirs, 2017

    Product Code: FIC517

    Domaine Olivier Fichet, Macon-Burgy, Les 3 Terroirs, 2017

    “Olivier Fichet’s unoaked Chardonnay comes from three plots of vines - some very old - in the excellent terroir of the northern Mâconnais near...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Eichberg, 2017

    Product Code: MEY517

    Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Eichberg, 2017

    “An opulent (32 grams of residual sugar) and concentrated wine, mid gold, showing tropical fruit married with peppery minerality. Now-2025”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Alsace
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Cherrier Père et fils, Sancerre, 2018

    Product Code: ROS118

    Cherrier Père et fils, Sancerre, 2018

    “The latest vintage of this Loire classic from the Cherrier family in Verdigny is as crisp and bright as ever, despite the unusual summer heat....”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, 2016

    Product Code: MEY316

    Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, 2016

    “A perfect balance between rose-petal aromatics, exotic fruit and spice. Full bodied and flavoursome (13 grams of residual sugar), this is great with...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Off Dry

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Alsace
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Mallory & Benjamin Talmard, Macon-Uchizy, 2018

    Product Code: TAL118

    Mallory & Benjamin Talmard, Macon-Uchizy, 2018

    “The latest vintage of this much loved unoaked Chardonnay is as good as ever: a lovely fresh nose with hints of ripe citrus and verbena. Even in a...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 2018 [screwcap]

    Product Code: FRR118

    Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 2018 [screwcap]

    “From a brother and sister team; ripe, almost lightly honeyed scents, and then completely consistent flavours of citrus and dairy. A stony and juicy...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12.5%
    More Info
  • Saumaize-Michelin, St-Véran, 2016

    Product Code: SAU816

    Saumaize-Michelin, St-Véran, 2016

    “"Smells as if there is more deliberate oak influence here than in the Mâcon-Villages yet there’s also a steely precision to the aroma. Deep,...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Château Les Combes, Bordeaux Blanc - Sauvignon Semillon, 2017

    Product Code: GRC617

    Château Les Combes, Bordeaux Blanc - Sauvignon Semillon, 2017

    “Including about 20% Sémillon. Grassy aroma. Limey freshness, but also well-rounded and with a custard creaminess. Now-early 2020”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Bordeaux
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info
  • Clos les Montys, Vieilles Vignes 1914, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2017

    Product Code: HUC317

    Clos les Montys, Vieilles Vignes 1914, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2017

    “From a vineyard planted in 1914 on a well sited plot of sandstone over amphibolite soils, this is a Muscadet with a completely unfamiliar depth and...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info
  • Domaine Faiveley, Meursault, 2015

    Product Code: FAJ215

    Domaine Faiveley, Meursault, 2015

    “Opulent and juicy, subtle lemon on the mid-palate with a hint of oatmeal. Attractive ripeness, texture and persistence. Now-2024”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry, Rich

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Domaine du Grand Arc, Corbières Blanc, Veillée d’Equinoxe, 2018

    Product Code: DGA618

    Domaine du Grand Arc, Corbières Blanc, Veillée d’Equinoxe, 2018

    “An unoaked blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 25% each of Roussanne and Vermentino, plus 10% Macabeu. Stone fruited aromas follow onto the palate, rich and...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Languedoc
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Francis Blanchet, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Pernets, 2017

    Product Code: BLA117

    Francis Blanchet, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Pernets, 2017

    “We never rush to sell this upon first shipping: it’s a steely, intense SB which needs several months in bottle before it shows at its best. We have...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Blanc 2015

    Product Code: CLB115

    Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Blanc 2015

    “Denis Clair - chain-smoking, shoulder-shrugging, old fashioned vigneron - soldiers on, though there’s no doubt son Jean-Baptiste’s increasing...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Burgundy
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Domaine de la Chauvinière, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2018

    Product Code: HUC118

    Domaine de la Chauvinière, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, 2018

    “Muscadet, grown at the mouth of the Loire (where the climate isn’t that dissimilar to Cornwall) is the traditional French accompaniment to Atlantic...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info
  • Domaine Fontanel, Côtes du Roussillon Blanc, 2016

    Product Code: FON716

    Domaine Fontanel, Côtes du Roussillon Blanc, 2016

    “From ancient (1908) complanted vines of Grenache Blanc and Gris plus Roussanne and Malvoisie, with subtly integrated oak, this is a powerful white,...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Roussillon
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Domaine Pichat, Viognier, Cotes de Verenay, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, 2017

    Product Code: PID817

    Domaine Pichat, Viognier, Cotes de Verenay, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, 2017

    “It’s almost mean to describe this lovely, weighty wine as poor man’s Condrieu, but that is what it is; from vines on the same schistous soils as...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Rhone
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Le Petit Pont Blanc, IGP Pays d’Oc, 2018

    Product Code: PEP118

    Le Petit Pont Blanc, IGP Pays d’Oc, 2018

    “A tutti frutti blend of Vermentino with Chardonnay and spiced by other varieties. Fresh, easy-drinking mouthful showing stone fruit and melon with...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Vin de Pays
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12.5%
    More Info
  • Domaine de l'Aumonier, Touraine Sauvignon, 2018

    Product Code: AUM118

    Domaine de l'Aumonier, Touraine Sauvignon, 2018

    “From organically farmed vines, this is a long-established best-seller here, admired for its overt fruitiness. Well delineated ripe citrus with notes...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry, Crisp

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Domaine Pichat, Condrieu, 2017

    Product Code: PID617

    Domaine Pichat, Condrieu, 2017

    “Wonderful Condrieu, 1/3 in new barrels, with the stone fruit and wonderfully rich texture balanced by bright minerality. Very long. Magnificent,...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Rhone
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Château Pierre-Bise, Les Rouannières, Coteaux du Layon, Beaulieu, 2014

    Product Code: CPB514

    Château Pierre-Bise, Les Rouannières, Coteaux du Layon, Beaulieu, 2014

    “From a vineyard on thin soil over spilite at this famed estate. Mid gold. Rich, but not over-sweet, with tangy citrus cutting the mandarin and lychee...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Sweet

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 50cl
    • ABV: 11.5%
    More Info
  • Clos les Montys, Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie, 2018

    Product Code: CDM118

    Clos les Montys, Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie, 2018

    “Jérémie Huchet bought the Clos des Montys, with vines on poor, sandstone-derived soils, in 2010. Vines here are ancient, mostly 80-100 years old....”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info

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