France, Saint-Estephe

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. Lafon Rochet Saint-Estèphe 2018 (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The upper Médoc did brilliantly in 2018, and that's certainly apparent when tasting the 2018 Château Lafon-Rochet. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as a gorgeous bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits, lead pencil, forest floor, chocolate, and ... Learn More
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Decanter
  2. Phélan Ségur Saint-Estèphe 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    This is good quality in 2018, as it has consistently been over the past few vintages. It has a silky texture and is powerful but restrained, displaying the freshness and power of the clay that underpins the soils here and demonstrating ... Learn More
    pts
    Jane Anson
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  3. Issan Margaux 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    I was only able to taste the 2018 Château d'Issan once, but it showed beautifully, with a full-bodied, plump, sexy style as well as classic notes of cassis, fresh plums, licorice, and high-class cigar tobacco. Based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  4. Lafon Rochet Saint-Estèphe 2018 (1.5L) (Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    The upper Médoc did brilliantly in 2018, and that's certainly apparent when tasting the 2018 Château Lafon-Rochet. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as a gorgeous bouquet of ripe black and blue fruits, lead pencil, forest floor, chocolate, and ... Learn More
    pts
    Matthew Jukes
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Decanter
  5. Issan Margaux 2018 (1.5L)(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    I was only able to taste the 2018 Château d'Issan once, but it showed beautifully, with a full-bodied, plump, sexy style as well as classic notes of cassis, fresh plums, licorice, and high-class cigar tobacco. Based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
  6. Cos d'Estournel Saint-Estèphe 2018(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Deeply colored, the 2018 Cos D'Estournel shows the incredible purity and elegance that this estate delivers these days as well as fabulous crème de cassis, graphite, white flowers, and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Made from 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  7. Cos d'Estournel Saint-Estèphe 2018 (1.5L)(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Deeply colored, the 2018 Cos D'Estournel shows the incredible purity and elegance that this estate delivers these days as well as fabulous crème de cassis, graphite, white flowers, and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Made from 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
  8. Cos d'Estournel Saint-Estèphe 2018 (6L)(Ex Chateau arrivale time 4 months)
    Deeply colored, the 2018 Cos D'Estournel shows the incredible purity and elegance that this estate delivers these days as well as fabulous crème de cassis, graphite, white flowers, and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Made from 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
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