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France, Pessac-Leognan

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
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  1. Chateau Clos Marsalette Rouge 2018(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Savory aromas of black olive, dried mushroom, iodine and earth, as well as wild blackberry and clove. It’s medium-bodied with firm, sleek tannins and fresh acidity. Bitter berry notes on the finish. Hint of jam, but turns firm. - ... Learn More
    pts
    Wine Spectator
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
  2. Chateau L'Esprit de Chevalier blanc 2018(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    The entry-level white from Domaine de Chevalier, the 2018 L'Esprit De Chevalier is smoking good, and at some point, could make you wonder about the rationale for spending the extra money for the top wine. Ripe lemon, citrus, sliced pineapple, and ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  3. Chateau Lespault-Martillac Rouge 2018(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    The 2018 Château Lespault-Martillac is terrific, and despite having gravellier, draining soils, the Graves region turned out plenty of beautiful wines in the vintage. This deeply colored effort offers medium to full-bodied richness and notable elegance to go with classic ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Vinous
  4. Chateau Carbonnieux rouge 2018(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Carbonnieux leaps from the glass with vibrant notes of baked blackberries, warm cassis, preserved plum and lavender with touches of Indian spices, forest floor and dried sage. Full-bodied, firm and grainy, the generous fruit has loads ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Wine Spectator
  5. Larrivet Haut Brion rouge Pessac-Léognan 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    While a touch reductive on this occasion, the 2018 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion is nevertheless loaded with potential, offering a big nose of black cherry and blackberry fruits as well as complex smoked earth and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Wine Enthusiast
  6. Chateau Fieuzal rouge 2018(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This feels closed in and confident but is not giving much away. It has a silky texture with firm and bristling tannins - you can feel the latent power, pretty much in line with 2010 or 2016 in terms of its construction. ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
  7. Chateau Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2018
    The intensity and perfumes on the nose are extremely impressive, offering pure blackberries and violets, as well as bark, wild-mushroom and raw-tile notes. It’s full-bodied with creamy tannins that envelop the wine and a gorgeous, subtly complex center palate ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  8. Chateau Chapelle de la Mission 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    The 2018 La Chapelle de la Mission Haut-Brion is composed of 40.8% Merlot, 51.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.6% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 10 to October 2. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rocks up with ready-for-business scents of baked blueberries, raspberry compote and warm blackcurrants with touches of ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    James Suckling
  9. Chateau Pape Clément Rouge 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More Cabernet. Refinement with power. - James Suckling From ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  10. Chateau Domaine de Chevalier blanc 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This has a complex nose of dried apple, green mango, grapefruit zest, dried honeysuckle and crushed almonds. It’s full-bodied with bright acidity and a dense, phenolic texture. Vivid and layered with fantastic precision. Very, very long. This needs time. ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Wine Enthusiast
  11. Chateau Haut-Bailly 2021(En Primeur - arrival 2024)
    A fragrant nose bursting with wild plums, blackberries, redcurrants, crushed violets, graphite and dark chocolate. The structure shows great balance and elegance, with charming acidity and fine, powdery tannins. The palate is deep and layered, with intense flavours and a ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    James Suckling
  12. Chateau Haut Bailly 2018 (Ex Chateau)
    This Pessac-Leognan property of 30 hectares is managed by Véronique Sanders. Black core. Intense black fruit, less open than Haut-Bailly II, as you might expect, but just as intense in fruit. Deep, more chewy than velvety but the layers of ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Robert Parker
  13. Chateau Pape Clément Rouge 2018 (1.5L)(Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More Cabernet. Refinement with power. - James Suckling From ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  14. Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 2021 (En Primeur - Delivery 2024)
    2021 has once again shown magic of La Mission Haut-Brion's terroir: after a cool Spring, its gravelly soils provide the vines with indirect sunshine, by their capacity to reverberate. In August, thanks to a warm, dry turn in the weather and ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Neil Martin
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    Decanter
  15. Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    Château la Mission Haut-Brion is on uniquely stony soil in the Pessac-Léognan appellation close to the city of Bordeaux. It is a Cru Classé in the Graves Classification of 1953. The 22.5 hectare red wine vineyard is planted to Cabernet ... Learn More
  16. Chateau Mission Haut Brion 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Has a more concentrated, dense, powerful style that is all potential at this point. Dense purple-hued, with lots of crème de cassis, black cherries, smoked meats, lead pencil, graphite, and crushed stone aromatics, it hits the palate with full-bodied ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Decanter
  17. Chateau Haut Brion 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    The 2020 Haut-Brion is a blend of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 6 to October 2. Deep purple-black in color, it is much more closed than the La Mission. It holds back for the first few minutes, reticent to reveal ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Decanter
  18. Chateau Haut Brion 2018 (Ex Chateau)
    The 2018 Haut-Brion is a blend of 49.4% Merlot, 38.7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11.9% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 6 to October 2. Deep purple-black in color, it is much more closed than the La Mission. It holds back for the first few minutes, reticent to reveal ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
  19. Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2017 (Ex Bordeaux 4 months delivery)
    A blend of 23.8% Sauvignon Blanc and 76.2% Sémillon, the 2017 Blanc takes its time uncoiling from its tightly wound state, slowly revealing nuances of lemon tart, lime blossoms, green mango and jasmine with touches of cedar chest and sea spray. Medium-bodied, ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Wine Enthusiast
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Vinous
  20. Chateau Haut Brion Blanc 2021 (En Primeur - Delivery 2024)
    A lovely pale yellow colour, with green glints. The nose is concentrated with fruity scents of citrus, mango and pineapple. Swirling reveals concentration and depth of aromas. On the first taste, the wine is rich, fresh, wide and taut all ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  21. Chateau Haut Brion Blanc 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This is such a stunning wine and the impact on the palate is terrific. Very closed and very intense, the fruit is firm and arresting and the length is sensational. The oak, while fairly prominent, joins forces with the acidity ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
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