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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. 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
  2. A L'Ombre Des Parasols Vaucluse Rose 2020
    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
  3. Bertaine Et Fils Pinot Noir 2019
    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
  4. Val St Pierre 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Chardonnay 2020
    Sourced from selected vineyards in the area of Carcassonne & the Minervois where there is a predominance of clay and limestone soils, with grapes picked on flavour and yield. The wines are produced and bottled in association with Celliers Jean d'Alibert. ... Learn More
  5. Val St Pierre 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Chardonnay 2021
    Sourced from selected vineyards in the area of Carcassonne & the Minervois where there is a predominance of clay and limestone soils, with grapes picked on flavour and yield. The wines are produced and bottled in association with Celliers Jean d'Alibert. ... Learn More
  6. Alegro Rioja Tinto Tempranillo 2020
    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
  7. Domaine Les Cassanets Cotes Du Rhone 2020
    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
  8. Le Versant 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Rose 2020
    Made by the best co-operative producer in France, and imported exclusively by United Cellars. A delicate pretty nose, attractively scented. Notes of red fruits combine with more floral aromas like apple or orange blossom. Fresh and truly delicious with fruit ... Learn More
    pts
    Sam Kim
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    Michael Cooper
  9. 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
  10. Le Versant 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Chardonnay 2021
    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
  11. Le Versant 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Pinot Noir 2020
    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
  12. Le Versant 'Vin De Pays D'Oc' Syrah 2020
    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
    pts
    Mark Faber
  13. Blanc de Lys Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    WINNER; Gold Medal, Gilbert & Gaillard International Wine Challenge. This zesty, fresh Sauvignon Blanc is produced by one of Touraine’s finest estates, owned and run by the Delaunay family for 5 generations. Joel Delaunay took over in 1965 and began producing estate-bottled ... Learn More
  14. 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
  15. Domaine de Castelnau 'Terroir Marin' Picpoul De Pinet 2020
    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
  16. Alegro Rioja Crianza 2018
    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
    pts
    Mark Faber
  17. Mirabeau Cotes De Provence Rose 2020
    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
  18. Chateau Larrivaux 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    Located in Haut-Medoc, Chateau Larrivaux is a wine estate founded in the 16th century. Established on land where nothing existed before, the mansion and vineyard were erected against all odds. The peculiarity of this estate is that it has been ... Learn More
  19. Maison de Grand Esprit Côte de Nuits Villages La Belle Voisine 2009
    "Meaning Great Mind, Grand Esprit is a nod to the understanding of terroir, or the natural environment in which a great wine is produced. A Grand Esprit wine will always beautifully reflect the harmonious balance between the land it comes ... Learn More
  20. Telmo Rodríguez ‘Basa’ Verdejo 2020
    This is very much the modern face of Spain, being picked into small baskets, de-stemmed, must chilled and fermented in stainless steel. Biological viticulture, and no additions in the winery just perfectly balanced sugar/acid/tannin in the berry which ... Learn More
  21. Marc Bredif Vouvray Classic 2020
    A brilliant pale gold colour. A fine bouquet full of the aromas of white flowers and yellow fruit (Pear William). One finds citrus notes on breathing (grapefruit). The attack is gentle with a lovely vivacity where one finds agreeable notes ... Learn More
  22. Heredita Cotes Du Rhone 2019
    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
  23. Chateau Lanessan 2020 (En Primeur - Delivery 2023)
    Purple colour. Intense and clean nose, dominated by black cherry notes, candied black fruit with floral nuances, rose and violet. A rich and lively attack on the palate with very silky tannins, sweet and savoury. Lingering and fresh finish showing ... Learn More
  24. Petit Chablis Aoc "Clos Martin" 2020
    The grapes of the Le Clos Martin are carefully sourced and the process of vintification and aging utilizes centuries of knowledge and techniques crafted by the Louis Moreau family who produce wine at the highest of quality standards This fruity ... Learn More
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    Mark Faber
  25. Alegro Rioja Reserva 2015
    A clear example of the elegance and silkiness of Rioja Reservas but with a more modern profile. With the complexity of long ageing in the barrel and bottle, and the delicateness of the Tempranillo. A wine with intense aromas of ... Learn More
  26. Chateau Petit Picoron Bordeaux 2016
    Founded in 1570 by the Picoron family, Château Picoron has a long history of wine. Now days, Château Picoron is operated by an Australian family. What we produce is as much a celebration of the history of our winery, ... Learn More
  27. Domaine Chavy Chouet Bourgogne Aligote Les Marechaux 2020
    Romaric Chavy has wasted no time in staking a claim as one of Burgundy’s next winemaking stars. Continually making improvements to Chavy-Chouet’s hugely impressive range, this Bourgogne Aligoté offers an opulent, lively, and exotic, style of Aligoté. A ... Learn More
  28. Chateau De Lachassagne Clos Du Chateau Monopole Bourgogne  Pinot Noir 2020
    Château de Lachassagne is an exceptional place, located in the very south of Burgundy, with a unique view over the Saône Valley. It is a 62 hectares propriety, totally surrounded by small walls called ’"Clos". A clean, pure expression ... Learn More
  29. Chateau D'Esclans 'Whispering Angel' Rose 2020
    Sourced from grapes grown from some of the most choice land in the surrounding region of La Motte en Provence, consisting primarily of Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino) and Cinsault. Aromas of peach, white cherry and white raspberry mingle together. The palate ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
  30. Clos Martin Chablis A.O.C 2020
    The grapes of the Le Clos Martin are carefully sourced and the process of vintification and aging utilizes centuries of knowledge and techniques crafted by the Louis Moreau family who produce wine at the highest of quality standards. ... Learn More
    pts
    Mark Faber
  31. Chablis A.O.C "Clos Martin" 2018
    The grapes of the Le Clos Martin are carefully sourced and the process of vintification and aging utilizes centuries of knowledge and techniques crafted by the Louis Moreau family who produce wine at the highest of quality standards. ... Learn More
  32. Ultimate Provence UP Rose 2021
    A winery built on the foundations of an exceptional wine estate near Saint – Tropez. The beauty of this wine extends from the bottle to the contents. Layers of raspberry, strawberry jam in the nose invite you to a gorgeous, yet ... Learn More
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    Wine Enthusiast
  33. Chateau La Mascaronne Provence Rose 2020
    A blend of Grenache 35%, Cinsaut 35%, Syrah 20%, Vermentino 10% Michel Reybier, owner of Bordeaux château Cos d’Estournel purchased this Certified Organic estate that was once a part of Brad and Angelina’s Chateau Miraval Located in Côtes-de-Provence, La Mascaronne’ ... Learn More
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    Alistair Cooper MW
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    Decanter
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    The Wine Advocate
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    Matthew Jukes
  34. Chateau Malleret 2021 (En Primeur - arrival 2024)
    This wine is all about balancing elegance, finesse of the aromas and power. A beautiful expression of 2021 in that it is a fresher example but does not compromise on ripeness, structure and power. 60% old vine Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Petit ... Learn More
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    Decanter
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    Alistair Cooper MW
  35. Chateau d'Agassac 2021 (En Primeur - arrival 2024)
    Château D'Agassac is spread over 106 acres between 2 gravelly hilltops and an area of sandy gravel. A blend of 55% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc. Ageing in 50% in new barrels, 43% in stainless steel tanks and 7% in amphora resulting in a wine ... Learn More
    pts
    Alistair Cooper MW
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    James Suckling
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    Decanter
  36. Chateau Corbin 2018 375ml (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    This 13-hectare vineyard is situated northwest of the town of Saint-Émilion. The vines are an average of 30 years old and are planted to a mix of sand and clay-based soils. Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Corbin opens with seductive ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
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    Decanter
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    James Suckling
  37. Chateau Ferrande Graves Bordeaux 2018
    The wines are aged in an average of 20% new, French oak barrels for 12 to 14 months before bottling. Chateau Ferrande can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for about 1 hour. This allows the wine ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Wine Enthusiast
  38. Domaine Chavy Chouet Bourgogne Rouge La Taupe 2019
    Chavy-Chouet's Pinot Noir is classified as humble Bourgogne Rouge, yet its fruit comes from an excellent single-vineyard site near Pommard. Great value. This well-structured wine with rounded, sophisticated tannins gives instant pleasure but can be kept for up to a ... Learn More
    pts
    Mark Faber
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    Jasper Morris MW
  39. Domaine Chavy Chouet Bourgogne Blanc 'Les Femelottes' 2020
    Sourced from vines with an average age of 40 years. Matured for 10 months in 10% new French oak. Aroma; immediately pretty and classically white burgundy- red apple, white flowers, nectarine and citrus. Palate; Again very classically white Burgundy- elegantly mineral with some ... Learn More
  40. Chateau Fontenil 2018 (Ex Chateau arrival time 4 months)
    Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Fontenil struts out of the glass with confident black plum preserves, black cherries and mulberries scents plus suggestions of underbrush, Indian spices, violets and mossy bark. Full-bodied, rich and decadently fruited, it has a solid, ... Learn More
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
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    James Suckling
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    Antonio Galloni
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