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. Chateau Capbern 2020  (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    The 33 hectare Medoc vineyard of Chateau Capbern is planted to 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. This shows a marked change in the vineyard, with more Merlot planted here. The terroir is a mix of gravel, clay and chalky soils. ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Decanter
  2. Chateau Capbern Gasqueton 2017 (En Primeur)
    St Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc, bordering Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separating it from Ch. Lafite Rothschild. The wines can appear austere in youth, ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  3. Chateau Ormes de Pez 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    Merlot 54%, Cabernet Sauvignon 38%, Cabernet Franc 4%, Petit Verdot 4% This is a super effort from the Lynch-Bages team this year. The drought has given concentration, but not at the expense of delicacy. That is evident at first from the colour, which is ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Vinous
  4. Chateau Phelan Segur 2017 (En Primeur)
    Château Phélan-Ségur is a St Estèphe property that produces textbook meaty, solid and long-lived St Estèphe. Founded by Irishman Bernard O’Phelan, the estate was developed by his son, Frank, and renamed Phélan Sé ... Learn More
  5. Chateau Lafon Rochet 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival 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
  6. Chateau Phélan Ségur 2018(Ex Chateau arrival 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
  7. Chateau Issan 2018(Ex Chateau)
    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
  8. Chateau Lafon Rochet 2018 (1.5L) (Ex Chateau arrival 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
  9. Chateau Issan 2018 (1.5L)(Ex Chateau)
    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
  10. Chateau Montrose 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    The result of rigorous selection at each stage of production, in both the vineyard and the winery, this great, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon wine is typical of the Saint-Estèphe appellation. Structured and tannic but with all the elegance and refinement ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Decanter
    Out of stock
  11. Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    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
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Decanter
    Out of stock
  12. Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2018(Ex Chateau arrival 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
  13. Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2016
    The 2016 Cos d’Estournel was a bona fide showstopper out of barrel, the best that I had encountered in over 20 years of visiting the estate during en primeur, so my expectations were piled high when I returned to find out ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Vinous
    Out of stock
  14. Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2020 MAGNUM (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    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
    James Suckling
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Decanter
    Out of stock
  15. Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2018 (1.5L)(Ex Chateau arrival 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
  16. Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2018 (6L)(Ex Chateau arrival 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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