France, Spain

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.
Spain is definitely one of the new-world players to keep an eye on. It is the land of old-vines, american oak and sherry! The main varieties grown in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) in the reds, and Airén, Viura/Macabeo, Verdejo and Albarino for the whites. Lesser grown whites include Palomino. Other reds successfully cultivated include Carignan, Mourvedre and Mencia.

Although Spain can be quite a warm country, the vast majority of vineyards are 600m or so above sea level, so the cooler nights allow the grapes to develop full colour and acidity.

Rioja is undoubtedly the long-standing king of all the Spanish wine regions, where Tempranillo and Garnacha are commonly blended. However more recently many more regions have come to the forefront of interest. Ribera Del Duero is producing excellent Tempranillo blends rivalling those coming out of Rioja. Jerez in the South is the home of the fortified wine Sherry.

Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. These include:
  • - Denominación de Origen Calificada (formerly called DOCa) Priorat calls itself DOQ for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan and has a track record of consistent quality and is meant to be a step above DO level.
  • - Denominación de Origen (DO)- Used for mainstream-quality wine regions. Nearly two thirds of the total vineyard area in Spain is within the boundaries of a DO region.
  • - Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This is somewhat of a stepping stone to DO status.
  • - Vinos de la Tierra (VdIT) - A level similar to France's vin de pays system, where the regions are much larger.
  • - Vino de Mesa (VdM)- The equivalent of 'table wines' from France or Italy
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  1. MAISON DE PARNASSE SYRAH 2018
    This Syrah is truly expressive of the South of France. Lightly perfumed with aromas of dark berries, plum, sweet spice and hints of forest bramble. The palate is rich and supple with a core of ripe and naturally sweet berried ... Learn More
  2. MAISON DE PARNASSE SYRAH 2017
    This Syrah is truly expressive of the South of France. Lightly perfumed with aromas of dark berries, plum, sweet spice and hints of forest bramble. The palate is rich and supple with a core of ripe and naturally sweet berried ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  3. MARQUES DE TEZONA TEMPRANILLO 2018
    An impressively complete and versatile wine suitable for immediate appreciation. Rich, yet elegant with beautiful flavours, softness and very approachable - this is great quality for the price! The nose shows ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, dried herbs and some savoury ... Learn More
  4. MARQUES DE TEZONA TEMPRANILLO 2017
    An impressively complete and versatile wine suitable for immediate appreciation. Rich, yet elegant with beautiful flavours, softness and very approachable - this is great quality for the price! The nose shows ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, dried herbs and some savoury ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  5. ALTACENA TEMPRANILLO 2018
    A great value tempranillo with an inviting nose of ripe dark berries and plums with hints of smoked spice. An elegant, medium bodied palate with lots of ripe red berried fruit and smoky spice. All supported by fine graphite tannins. ... Learn More
  6. BERTAINE ET FILS ROSE 2017
    Made solely from Syrah that is completely whole bunch fermented with a short maceration (a few hours) sufficient to impart colour and texture. ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  7. DOMAINE LES CASSANETS COTES DU RHONE 2019
    Sourced entirely from a vineyard that borders the esteemed Chateauneuf du Pape region, with identical 'Galet' stone soils. Awarded a Gold Medal at the Gilbert & Gaillard International Wine Challenge, this is absolutely astounding value for money. A brooding nose of ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  8. A L'OMBRE DES PARASOLS VAUCLUSE ROSE 2019
    Sourced from the warm and sunny Vaucluse region of the South of France, renowned for making crisp, delicious rose for a bargain price. Gorgeous pale salmon colour, with an equally pretty nose of strawberries and cream. Exceptionally well made, crisp, ... Learn More
  9. A L'OMBRE DES PARASOLS VAUCLUSE ROSE 2018
    Sourced from the warm and sunny Vaucluse region of the South of France, renowned for making crisp, delicious rose for a bargain price. Gorgeous pale salmon colour, with an equally pretty nose of strawberries and cream. Exceptionally well made, crisp, ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  10. DOMAINE DES CASSANETS COTES DU RHONE 2017
    Sourced entirely from a vineyard that borders the esteemed Chateauneuf du Pape region, with identical 'Galet' stone soils. Awarded a Gold Medal at the Gilbert & Gaillard International Wine Challenge, this is absolutely astounding value for money. A brooding nose of ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  11. LE CHAT NOIR PINOT NOIR 2018
    Le Chat Noir is a range of modern French wines created by Vincent Charleux. Aromas of strawberries, blackberries and spiced plums, with a hint of dried roses. The palate is light-medium bodied, with bright red berries, a touch of savouriness, ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  12. BERTAINE ET FILS ROSE 2019
    Made solely from Syrah that is completely whole bunch fermented with a short maceration (a few hours) sufficient to impart colour and texture. The nose is aromatic and sweetly perfumed with aromas of strawberries and rose petals. The palate is ... Learn More
    pts
    Gary Walsh
  13. BERTAINE ET FILS ROSE 2018
    Made solely from Syrah that is completely whole bunch fermented with a short maceration (a few hours) sufficient to impart colour and texture. The nose is aromatic and sweetly perfumed with aromas of strawberries and rose petals. The palate is ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  14. BERTAINE ET FILS PINOT NOIR 2018
    The nose displays raspberry and cherry aromas with a hint of fresh herbs. A light-medium bodied palate, with ripe fruit flavours of red currant, cherry and strawberry fruits. Some hints of baking spices and subtle oak in the background. To ... Learn More
  15. BERTAINE ET FILS PINOT NOIR 2017
    The nose displays raspberry and cherry aromas with a hint of fresh herbs. A light-medium bodied palate, with ripe fruit flavours of red currant, cherry and strawberry fruits. Some hints of baking spices and subtle oak in the background. To ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  16. LE CHAT NOIR GRENACHE MOURVEDRE SYRAH 2017
    This is a harmonious traditional blend showing beautiful lifted aromas of dark berry fruit with subtle spices and dark chocolate that flows seamlessly to a rich, mouth-filling palate. This is a proud reflection of this rugged region, delivering plush fruit ... Learn More
    pts
    Campbell Mattinson
  17. ALEGRO RIOJA TINTO TEMPRANILLO 2019
    A fun, fruity wine, perfect to enjoy every day with a snack or any Mediterranean dishes, like rice, vegetable or pasta. This wine is representative of the virtues of the Tempranillo variety: intense floral aromas, very fresh red and dark ... Learn More
  18. VINA MURIEL RIOJA CRIANZA 2015
    Very bright and cherry red in colour leading to ripe red fruited aromas and flavours combined with subtle vanilla, mocha and liquorice notes. The palate is fleshy and mouth-filling with soft, juicy fruit, soft acidity and supple tannins. A very ... Learn More
  19. VEUVE AMBAL VIN MOUSSEAUX ROSE NV
    Produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes sourced from high density vineyard blocks of significant vine age up to 40 years. Fine and delicate in style, with aromas of strawberry, citrus, hazelnut and honeysuckle. The palate is quite dry with a ... Learn More
  20. VEUVE AMBAL VIN MOUSSEAUX BLANC DE BLANC NV
    Maison Veuve Ambal was founded in the heart of Burgundy in 1898 by Veuve Marie Ambal, widow of a Parisian banker. The wines immediately gained recognition, and her grandson Charles Roux Ambal, followed by his grandson and current President Eric Piffaut, ... Learn More
  21. MONMOUSSEAU BRUT ETOILE NV
    "A great value for a summer party" - Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast Magazine 70% Chenin blanc, 30% Chardonnay. Aged for 18 months on lees, this method traditional sparkling shows excellent finesse of mousse and purity of fruit with pear, almond and fig notes. ... Learn More
  22. MONT-REDON RESERVE COTES DU RHONE 2016
    Following careful selection of the best wines in the cellar, we make a single blend, which will be bottled at the Estate about eighteen months after the harvest. Loaded with red and black berries, beautiful violets, dried provincial herbs and ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  23. PAZO CILLEIRO ALBARINO 2019
    Selected small vineyards around the winery, in Salnes Valley, in the heart of the Rias Baixas appellation (in Galicia - Northwestern Spain). The soil is granite, quite rich in quartz but poor in organic components, with a sandy texture. The ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  24. PAZO CILLEIRO ALBARINO 2018
    Selected small vineyards around the winery, in Salnes Valley, in the heart of the Rias Baixas appellation (in Galicia - Northwestern Spain). The soil is granite, quite rich in quartz but poor in organic components, with a sandy texture. The ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  25. CHATEAU FONT-MARS PICPOUL DE PINET 2018
    Picpoul de Pinet is located in the Languedoc region in the south of France. It is one of the few regions in France that is named after the grape varietal that is most common there. Grown meters from the oyster ... Learn More
    pts
    Decanter
    Out of stock
  26. CHATEAU FONT-MARS PICPOUL DE PINET 2017
    Picpoul de Pinet is located in the Languedoc region in the south of France. It is one of the few regions in France that is named after the grape varietal that is most common there. Grown meters from the oyster ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  27. FINCA NUEVA RIOJA ROSADO 2016
    The Finca Nueva Rosado is made for easy and enjoyable drinking. From the creator of Finca Allende, these wines over deliver on expectations. Miguel Ángel de Gregorio, one of the great revolutionaries pushing for modernity in Rioja, is the man ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  28. VERGET DU SUD 'ROSE DE LA TERRE' ROSE 2016
    A fabulous bargain for lovers of Provençal rose. Half Syrah, half Grenache. Perfumed, red berry aromas. Racy, super refreshing with jubey, red berry and sappy fruit notes and a punchy, crunchy finish. The wine was fermented and aged in ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  29. MAJONE PICPOUL DE PINET 2018
    Picpoul de Pinet is located in the Languedoc region in the south of France. It is one of the few regions in France that is named after the grape varietal that is most common there. Grown meters from the oyster ... Learn More
  30. LE VERSANT 'VIN DE PAYS D'OC' SYRAH 2019
    Exclusive to United Cellars - our most popular Syrah! A sumptuous and youthful Syrah from sun-drenched vineyards in the south of France. Aromatic nose with aromas of small mashed red fruits mixed with spicy and smokey hints. Rich and silky ... Learn More
  31. LE VERSANT 'VIN DE PAYS D'OC' PINOT NOIR 2019
    Les Vignobles Foncalieu named 'Cooperative Winery of the Year 2012' by the Revue du Vin de France - the biggest magazine in the French wine industry! A strong and aromatic nose of red fruits mixed with liquorice notes. Medium bodied, ... Learn More
  32. ALEGRO RIOJA CRIANZA 2017
    A representative wine of the new Rioja style, interpreted from modernity. Elegant, balanced and reliable on any occasion, with classic aromas of red fruit and vanilla and subtle hints of liquorice and toffee. Versatile with all kinds of Mediterranean dishes ( ... Learn More
  33. LE VERSANT 'VIN DE PAYS D'OC' CHARDONNAY 2019
    An amazing French Chardonnay, great value for money, with aromas of white flowers, ripe fruit and a hint of honey. A generous yet well-balanced mouthfeel with fresh stone fruit characters and a hint of oak. Perfect for every day of ... Learn More
  34. HEREDITA COTES DU RHONE 2018
    One of the most exciting new wines from this rapidly modernising region. Made by Philippe Cambie, former winemaker at Chateau Rayas. Cambie has received 100 point scores fifteen times and was also awarded global winemaker of the year in 2010 by critic ... Learn More
    pts
    Mark Faber
    Out of stock
  35. MIRABEAU COTES DE PROVENCE ROSE 2019
    A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah carefully selected from the best soils of Côtes de Provence. The nose shows rose petals and spice but also crab-apples and red apples. Some really nice peach character on the palate that’ ... Learn More
  36. CHATEAU MARIS LANGUEDOC ROSE 2017
    When we bought the vineyard in 1997 we wanted to make the best wines in the Languedoc while working in harmony with nature – that is without applying pesticides or other chemicals. We looked at natural ways of rejuvenating the soil using ... Learn More
  37. LE VERSANT 'VIN DE PAYS D'OC' PINOT NOIR 2018
    Les Vignobles Foncalieu named 'Cooperative Winery of the Year 2012' by the Revue du Vin de France - the biggest magazine in the French wine industry! A strong and aromatic nose of red fruits mixed with liquorice notes. Medium bodied, ... Learn More
  38. LE VERSANT 'VIN DE PAYS D'OC' SYRAH 2018
    Exclusive to United Cellars - our most popular Syrah! A sumptuous and youthful Syrah from sun-drenched vineyards in the south of France. Aromatic nose with aromas of small mashed red fruits mixed with spicy and smokey hints. Rich and silky ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  39. VIGNOBLES CHIRAT SYRAH VIOGNIER 2018
    Voted one of the Top 5 Producers by Decanter Magazine in 2018, alongside some of the most well-known producers, Domaine JL Chave and M Chapoutier. A nose of granitic earth, smoke, garrigue herbs and blueberries. Intense palate of smoked, grilled, cured meats, ... Learn More
    pts
    Mark Faber
    Out of stock
  40. ALAIN JAUME COTES DU RHONE LES CHAMPAUVINS 2016
    Intense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a “baby Châteauneuf” than a Côtes ... Learn More
    pts
    Jeb Dunnuck
    pts
    United Cellars Tasting Panel
    Out of stock
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