This other member of the Montrachet family needs to be laid down for some years before it can be fully enjoyed.
Then the colour is clear, pure golden yellow and the heady bouquet is readily released from the glass. It has a nose of exotic fruit, croissants with butter, exotic wood, almond, and honey. The taste is fresh and silken with a hint of tannin and a prolonged aftertaste. Drink this French wine at about 55.4°F/13°C.
The French wine is golden yellow with a green tinge. It has a very fruity bouquet together with hints of toast, butter, citrus fruit, and sometimes a characteristic t1inty undertone.
This is a very rare white wine that in many respects resembles the Bienvenues-Biitard-Montrachet, certainly sharing its flinty smell and taste.
Once only red French wines were made here, today the reds and whites are of equal importance. White Chassagne-Montrachet is a pale golden colour and it possesses a very intense nose in which buttered croissants, flowers, lemons, and later roasted almond and herbs can be recognised. Some wine also has a noticeable mineral scent and taste. The white Chassagne-Montrachet is generally a fresh, juicy, and very refined wine of great character.
Red Chassagne-Montrachet is dark red and has a bouquet of ripe cherry, blackcurrant, and other woodland fruit, with a hint of liquorice. Most it is well structured, full , and fatty.
Red French wine is also made here but the reputation is mainly due to the white wines. The colour is pale golden yellow and the nose recalls acacia blossom, yellow plum, and almond. This later develops into dried fruit and honey. This is a fine, fresh, and generous wine, with sometimes a tendency to plumpness and mineral undertones. The taste and aftertaste are very aromatic.
This is a ruby red wine with aromas of red fruit and fruits of the forest such as blackberry and bilberry. The French wine can be somewhat harsh in tanin when young but this changes after several years ageing i.n the bottle. Once fully mature a good Santenay develops a very exciting bouquet incorporating wild fungi including truffie.
The white French wine is generally not among the best whites but choose one from a Premier Cru vineyard for these are well worth drinking. llis a fulsome and fruity wine with clearly recognisable Chardonnay characteristics: butter, croissants, toast, hazelnuts. citrus fruit, and white flowers.
Thisislesswell-known wine-growingareawhich producesbothred and white Frenchwines. Forthewhite wineschooseformeference from aPremierCruvineyard.Itshould thenbefruityrapricot and almond),iresh,andhave asomewhatfattytastebutbefullof tendernessandelegance.
Chardonnay: The only grape allowed for Chablis producing a steely dry, green, acidic wine. The best wines are much richer, with depth and intense flavour although still bone dry.
Sauvignon Blanc: Used for Sauvignon de St.Bris. The variety is not legal in Chablis which is why the wine has only VDQS status.
Pinot Noir: Mainly used for red wine production, with some César, Gamay and Tressot.
This light, fruity and fresh tasting French wine is drunk young. True Chablis can be laid down for maturing but is also very enjoyable in its first year. This French wine is fully matured after three years.
Chablis Premier Cru is at its best after three to five years. It does not contain the depths of the Grand Cru but can be drunk much earlier for those too impatient to wait.
A Premier Cru Chablis is golden with a definite tinge of green. The nose is fruity but above all vegetal : lemon balm, fern, and the suggestion of coriander. The taste is dry and reminiscent of chalk with a touch of iodine. Known Premier Crus are: Mont de Milieu, Tonnere, Sechet, Montee de Fourchaume, Montmains,Vaillons.
These French wines need to be laid down for at least five years after bottling and can certainly be left for twenty years. These are rare French wines, very dry, with a good balance between strength and finesse. The colour is a very clean pale yellow with the minimum of green tinge.
The nose tends towards fern and coriander with the occasional suggestion of preserved citrus fruit. The chalk soil is readily discovered in the flavour, with a pronounced undertone of iodine.
The preserved citrus fruits put in a further appearance in the aftertaste. There are seven Grand Cru wines: Vaudesir, Les Preuses, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Bougros, Valmur, and Blanchots.
This is a feminine, almost gentle French wine of a pure ruby red with a nose filled with fruit (raspberry and cherry) when young, tending towards toadstools, humus, or game undertones when more mature. It is a elegant and refined French wine. The better wines originate from the Premier Cru climats, especially that of Les Amoureuses, a name and a wine to fall in love with. The colour tends towards cherry red and the nose varies from raspberry to cherry brandy with hints of truffle, toadstool, or other fungus.
This French wine is an intense bright red with nose of fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry, and raspberry, together with fruit stones, cocoa, and cedarwood of cigar boxes. It is an extremely juicy wine that is f resh and well-structured, velvet smooth, with a finish of bitter chocolate. The wine continues to breath for some time.
This French wine is a very dark but particularly bright and pure granite red. The fruity nose dominates the young wine with hint of burnt cocoa or bitter chocolate. After maturing in the bottle the bouquet takes on the smell of fungus, truffle, and leather, with a hint of cedarwood and tobacco. This is a very elegant, classic Burgundy with refined tannin and velvet soft texture, that is fresh and exceptionally harmonious. The afte rtaste lingers very long.
This French wineis an attractive clear colour with fascinating reflections. There is an intriguing scent of wild cherry, redcurrant, raspberry, cocoa, nutmeg, leather, and various vegetal undertones. When older the wine often develops the distinctive nose of black truffle. It is a very rich, refined, and complex wine with velvety texture and prolonged aftertaste. Do not drink a Vosne-Romanee before it is 7-8 years old.
This French wine is an exciting dark ruby red colour, with strong nose of plum or prune, black cherry, red fruit such as redcurrant, and hints of cocoa, burnt vanilla, herbs, and animal scents. The taste is powerful too, tremendously concen trated, with great potential for laying down for a long time. Truly a wine to keep.
This French wine is one of the smallest vineyards of France but one of the best. The wine possesses an intense ruby colouring with fiery reflections. The nose is reminiscent of red fruit, cherry brandy, and preserved fruit. Th is is an extremely intense wine that is velvety smooth and generous.
The same applies to this French wine as La Romanée, albeit that tllis wine is perhaps somewhat finer and more elegant with a distinctive expression of its chmat. This is a .sublime wine for the happy few and one of the most impressive experiences a wine drinker can undergo.
This French wine is an intense, dark ruby colour in common with the other Romanee wines. The youthful nose is of blackberry, raspberry, black, cherry, preserved fruit, and fruit liqueurs but this makes way later for a more vegetal bouquet with hints of moss, humus, truffle, and game.
The texture for this French wine is full and firm, the taste is fresh, elegant, and juicy. Ripe fruit and a touch of exotic spices can be discerned in the aftertaste. Allow this wine to rest for at least 10-15 years.
The aromas of Griotte-Chambertin are complex and unusually subtle for a good French Wine. Hints of cherry brandy and preserved cherry have been discerned, with suggestions of leather and a pinch of nutmeg. When more mature there are also the aromas of truffle and animal scents.
The French describe this smell as 'gamey' because it is reminiscent of well-hung game. Tannin is clearly apparent yet muted, which combined with a high level of alcohol by volume, ensure a velvet soft, al most caressing wine. The sensations of the nose are echoed in the taste although Jess pronounced and accompanied by the elegant hint of wood. A good Griotte-Chambertin has remarkable style, richness, and complexity.
This rare French wine from Chambertin is both powerful and supple, well structured, complex, yet elegant and subtle.
This is an elegant and charming red French wine with average structure, not especially complex or powerful but certainly very fruity. It should not be kept too long.
Although somewhat overlooked among the great character wines of Chambertin and the delicate sed ucers of Chambolle-Musigny, the wine of Morey St-Denis is worthy of greater recognition. It possesses a very clear red colouring, fruity nose (morello cherry) with hints of-wood, herbs, spices, fungus, and leather, and has a fulsome, soft as velvet, and very balanced taste. Furthermore this French wine is suitable for keeping for a long time. Specially recommended: the Premier.Cru 'Les Ruchots'.
The French wine is a very dark ruby colour. The aroma recalls black cherry and sometimes a hint of animal scents such as musk. The suggestion of cedarwood cigar box is almost always present. It is a big but harmonious wine with plenty of tannin yet retains a velvety-soft texture. The French wine continues to 'breathe' in the mouth for some time.
This French wine is a fine ruby colow• with the suggestion of a tinge of granite. It has a surprising and complex nose in which blackcurrant, blackberry, prune, occasionally musk, herbs, spices, coffee, but also sometimes violets or other flowers can be discerned.
This French wine is somewhat modest and overlooked. It is a classic fruity Burgundy with suggestions of black cherry and hints of floral and animal aromas such as leather and musk. This is a full-bodied, rounded wine of some style.
Known as much for its architecture as for the excellence of its wines, Saint-Émilion dates from the Middle Ages. An interesting and unusual town, it has been listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, it is a jewel-box of old stone, built on a picturesque half-circle of hills facing the Dordogne valley. Its steep and narrow streets, its Roman and Gothic churches, its convents and cloisters all point to its prestigious past.
The main monuments still visible are the grotto of the hermit, Saint-Émilion, which faces the remains of his disciples’ monastery; the catacombs; and, next to these, the monolithic church, one of France’s largest underground churches.
Appellation contrôlée (AC) – in theory the best-quality category of French wine, with regulations defining vineyard, soil, grape varieties, yields, and alcohol levels.
Clos – an enclosed vineyard.
Cru – literally ‘growth’, indicating a distinguished vineyard site in Burgundy or property in Bordeaux.
Vieilles Vignes – old vines. Although unregulated, there can be a disctinct bearing of quality. A Chablis Vieillies Vignes for exemple, may have added concentration of flavour.
Blanc de blancs – made from white grapes (Chardonnay only).
Blanc de noirs – made from red grapes, vinified without skin contact.
Brut – dry or dryish in style.
Demi-sec – sweet.
Doux – very sweet.
Vintage – a blend froa a single year, solg after at leat there years ageing.
Grand cru – classified vineyard site.
Sélection de grains nobles – wine.
Vendange Tardive – ‘late harvest’/specially grown ripe grapes.
Cru Bourgeois – classification of chateaux in the Médoc and some of the best value-for-money wines.
Cru-classé/grand cru-classé/premier grand cru-classé – ‘classified growth’, divided into five ‘tables’ in the Médoc, or from the classification system of the Graves, Sauternes, or St Emilion.
In Bordeaux, the name of the chateau, or property, is all improtant.
Domaine – estate or vineyard hoding, belonging to a grower or négociant.
Grand cru – top or finest vineyard sites.
Premier cru – second highest category of vineyard site.
In Burgundym the name of the grower of negociant is extremly important.
Sec – dry.
Demi-sec – medium to dry.
Molelleux – medium sweet to sweet.
Sur Lie – generally associated with Muscadet, sur lie indicates that the wine has been bottled directly from its lees, without being rached of filtered.
The Loire has a relatively cool climate, so take note of the vitange,
The best wines are often from a specified region, appellation or cru, i.e. Côte Rôtie. Côte du Rhône Villages carries a higher reputation than the general appellation.
Trochken – dry.
Halbtroken –semi-dry. In Germany, the grower and grape variety is worth nothing.
Verband Deutcher Pradikatsweinguter e. V (VDP) – group of estates whose members have agreed to a set of regulations.
Amarone – dry Passito wine from Valpolicella.
Classico – heartland of a DOC zone, generally producing better wines.
Passito – wine made from dried of semi-dried grapes.
Recioto – sweet passito wine.
Riserva – should be the best wines, from the better vintages, which are held back or aged for longer than normal.
Superior – wine whit higher alcohol than usual.
Basically Vins de table are fairly simple wines for daily consumption with a consistent taste that is usually achieved through blending. Some specific wines are also included in this category.
The growth in Vin de Pays wines is enormous at the present time and this is not suprising because of the great inprovements in quality of this better table wine in recent years.
A Vin de Pays originates from a strictly defined wine-growing area, representing the soul of a specific territoir and is linked to the special characteristics of one or more varieties of grapes. Consumers find these French wines appproacheble with clear language on the label. Some Vins de Pays wines are so well made and demonstrate such love on the part of the wine maker that they outperform characterless AOC wines of anonymous wine merchants in both quality and price. Today’s wine drinkers demand quality for their money.
The quality of these French wines is certainly not lower than AOC wines. The criteria for selection are indeed often more rigid than for most AOC wines. VDQS wines are the only ones which have to be tested annually on order to retain their category. A VDQS wine is always therefore approved by a panel of experts before the predicate is awarded. For this reason you can rely totally on this category.
French wine classed as AOC (usually referred to as AC) originates from a clearly defined area in which the soil, climate, variety of grapes, and various legally-defined requiments provide a guarantee that the wine originates fron a given place. This is not, however, a guarantee of quality since these French wines are not tested each year and some of them do not deserve a quality predicate. Despite this, AOC wines form the top category of French wines.
Here we mean additions such as ‘Premiere Cru’, or ‘Grand Cru’ for Bordeaux wines, not such meaningless phrases as ‘Vin Supérieure de la cave du patron’ or ‘Cuvée reservé du sommelier’.
The better Bordeaux were classified in 1885 for a World Exhibition, based on quality criteria of the time. At that time ot related solely to wines of Médoc, Sauternes and on wine from Graves.
This lattercategory received its own Cru in 1959. Other area which have a similar Premier and Grand Cru classification include St Emilion and Côtes de Procence. Since 1932 the term ‘Cru bourgeois’ has also been used in Médoc. In Burgundy terms such as ‘Premier Cru’ and ‘Grand Cru’ are part of the official name of origin.
This association brings together about a hundred crus of the Médoc, Graves, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, and Barsac. These cru, whether classified or not, have joined up to promote their wines. The Union Charter, of which an extract is quoted here, states the philosophy of its members:
“A Grand Cru of the Union is located on a particular terroir, limited and original, capable of producing a highly personalized wine with exceptional aging potential. Attached to this terroir are storage tanks and cellars equipped for traditional methods of vinification and maturation, supervised by the proprietor of the estate.