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

  • Château Pierre-Bise, Savennières, Clos de Coulaine, 2014

    Product Code: CPB614

    Château Pierre-Bise, Savennières, Clos de Coulaine, 2014

    “Raised in a mix of old barrels and stainless steel tanks. Crafted in a deliberately lightly oxydised style - so this has a dry sherry-like accent -...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Loire Valley
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Domaine d'Elise, Petit Chablis, 2016

    Product Code: ELS116

    Domaine d'Elise, Petit Chablis, 2016

    “We have bought every vintage of Frédéric Prain’s Petit Chablis since 2001: testament to its quality and consistency. Pale and clear. Pure...”

    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

    “"Calcareous site. Pale straw colour. Tense and exciting on the nose. Much more interesting than this producer’s village Santenay 2015. Sleek...”

    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, 2016

    Product Code: FIC516

    Domaine Olivier Fichet, Macon-Burgy, Les 3 Terroirs, 2016

    “Young Olivier Fichet’s unoaked Chadonnay comes from his 6 hectares of vines in the excellent terroir of the northern Mâconnais near Viré. Pure,...”

    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 Beauregard Ducasse, Graves, Albertine Peyri, 2015

    Product Code: BDU115

    Château Beauregard Ducasse, Graves, Albertine Peyri, 2015

    “White Bordeaux of this class is so under-rated now. The charmingly gruff M. Perromat at Beauregard Ducasse only bottles 1,000 cases of this top...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Bordeaux
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Eichberg, 2015

    Product Code: MEY515

    Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Eichberg, 2015

    “From a parcel of 35 year old vines. Mid gold. Exotic tropical fruit married with the broad smokey, caramel flavours so typical of the terroir of the...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Medium

    Rated 3 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Alsace
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.2%
    More Info
  • Cherrier Père et fils, Sancerre, 2016

    Product Code: ROS116

    Cherrier Père et fils, Sancerre, 2016

    “François and Jean-Marie are now in charge of the family’s 14 hectares of vineyards on the sweeping slopes at Verdigny. This is drinking...”

    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
  • Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 1er Cru Les Champlots, 2015

    Product Code: CLB315

    Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 1er Cru Les Champlots, 2015

    “"Quite a rich nose. And then tension on the palate. Well done! Very lively and pure. Lots to chew on but not in an unpleasant way. QGV...”

    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
  • Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, 2016

    Product Code: MEY316

    Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Gewurztraminer, 2016

    “The Meyer’s Gewurz is always delicious, offering a perfect balance between floral aromatics, exotic fruit and spice. Gentle nose of rose petal. A...”

    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
  • André Kientzler, Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg, 2007

    Product Code: KIE607

    André Kientzler, Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg, 2007

    “Rising above the village of Ribeauvillé, steeply sloping and south-east facing, this is Riesling country par excellence. Explosive nose of citrus...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Alsace
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 14%
    More Info
  • Mallory & Benjamin Talmard, Macon-Uchizy, 2017

    Product Code: TAL116

    Mallory & Benjamin Talmard, Macon-Uchizy, 2017

    “An old favourite, with a loyal following, the Talmards' unoaked Macon from the village of Uchizy in the midst of the rolling hills of the...”

    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, 2016

    Product Code: FRR116

    Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 2016

    “The Fourrey brother and sister team tend to make a citrussy, flinty style of Chablis but in the warm summer of 2016 their wine has become more...”

    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, 2015

    Product Code: SAU815

    Saumaize-Michelin, St-Véran, 2015

    “This year we preferred this cuvée fermented half in tank, half in barrel. White peach, apricot and a hint of caramel on the nose. Ripe and generous...”

    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
  • René Lequin-Colin, Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru, 2011

    Product Code: LEQ011

    René Lequin-Colin, Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru, 2011

    “South facing, high on the hill overlooking Aloxe-Corton. Already expressive, with big floral and vanilla aromas. Fresh cream and ripe pear heart;...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry, Rich

    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, Pinot Gris, 2016

    Product Code: MEY216

    Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Pinot Gris, 2016

    “Mid lemon. A classy nose of gingerbread and pear leads to a well-defined palate of honey and ripe peach. Showing depth, texture and a mineral...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry, Rich

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Alsace
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13%
    More Info
  • Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuissé, Clos sur la Roche, 2014

    Product Code: SAU414

    Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuissé, Clos sur la Roche, 2014

    “From vines on the lower slopes of the Roche de Vergisson directly behind the domaine. Aromas of oatmeal and honey, perhaps more typical of the Côte...”

    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
  • Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Pinot Blanc, 2016

    Product Code: MEY116

    Jean-Luc & Bruno Meyer, Pinot Blanc, 2016

    “This is a perennial favourite. An open and attractive scent of apple, melon and even pineapple. Such a lovely mouthful of creamy, ripe fruit, with a...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Alsace
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 12%
    More Info
  • Domaine Le Couroulu, Vacqueyras Blanc, Cuvée Laura, 2015

    Product Code: COW615

    Domaine Le Couroulu, Vacqueyras Blanc, Cuvée Laura, 2015

    “A rarity, as so little white Vacqueyras is made, and Guy Ricard at Couroulu only produces about 1,200 bottles. From Viognier and Roussanne in old oak...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry, Rich

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Rhône
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info
  • Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, 2010

    Product Code: CDP310

    Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, 2010

    “A thrilling wine; using all the permitted varieties, picked late for a fat, tropically fruited style which becomes increasingly mineral and complex...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry, Full Bodied

    Rated 1 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: Rhône
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 15%
    More Info
  • Domaine Sainte Barbe, Macon-Villages, Les Tilles, 2016

    Product Code: SAB116

    Domaine Sainte Barbe, Macon-Villages, Les Tilles, 2016

    “From a vineyard near Montbellet in the northern Mâconnais, planted in the late 1960s on oolitic limestone soil, and tended bio-dynamically by young...”

    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 that dollop of Semillon makes the wine more rounded than most Sauvignons and brings...”

    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
  • Domaine des Chazelles, Vire-Clesse, Vieilles Vignes, 2016

    Product Code: CHZ116

    Domaine des Chazelles, Vire-Clesse, Vieilles Vignes, 2016

    “From a very sunny, well-exposed site, this has become one of our benchmark wines: lightly (almost undiscernibly) oaked and with an ability to age...”

    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
  • Domaine Begude, Le Secret du Sud Gewurztraminer, IGP Pays d’Oc, 2016

    Product Code: BEG416

    Domaine Begude, Le Secret du Sud Gewurztraminer, IGP Pays d’Oc, 2016

    “In the Financial Times today 2nd Dec. and on jancisrobinson.com; A wonderland of winter whites, Jancis Robinson MW strongest recommendations for the...”

    Stone, Vine & Sun rating

    Dry

    Rated 2 out of 5
    Dry > Sweet
    • Origin: France
    • Region: IGP Pays d'Oc
    • Colour: White
    • Bottle Size: 75cl
    • ABV: 13.5%
    More Info

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