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 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
  2. Marques De Tezona Tempranillo 2019
    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
  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 2019
    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. 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
    Out of stock
  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. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Chateau Larrivaux 2020 (En Primeur - HELD IN BOND)
    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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Chateau Lanessan 2020 (En Primeur - HELD IN BOND)
    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
  19. 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
  20. Claude Val Languedoc Rose 2018
    "Our CLAUDE VAL wines are made with grapes selected from the best Languedoc vineyards: Limoux, Carcassonne / Puicheric (Minervois) and Pézenas. Thanks to the modern equipment and the know-how of our oenologists, we made simple and uncomplicated wines, and their ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  21. 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
  22. 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
    Out of stock
  23. 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
    Out of stock
  24. Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne Brut 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
    Out of stock
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. Les Jamelles Clair de Rose 2018
    Clair de Rose embodies the quintessence of a Les Jamelles rosé, though, exceptionally, it is a blend of two grape varieties, Grenache and Cinsault. The result is a subtle wine that is well balanced: elegant and delectable, floral and fruity, ... Learn More
  28. Les Jamelles Malbec 2018
    The principal grape variety of the Cahors appellation, Malbec is also grown in the Bordeaux region. It is also grown in Argentina to produce wines that are hugely popular around the world. This early-ripening grape yields a wine that is ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  29. Les Jammelles Pinot Noir 2018
    Both hailing from the same region – Burgundy – Catherine Delaunay and Pinot Noir were destined to get along! With its lovely balance between tautness and roundness, Les Jamelles Pinot Noir is more than appealing! Endowed with beautiful ruby red colour, Les ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  30. Les Jamelles Viognier 2018
    Viognier is one of the iconic white wines of the Les Jamelles range. With its fruity aromas and flavours along with its roundness and freshness, our Viognier holds plenty of nice surprises in store for your tasting experience! Endowed with ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  31. Les Jamelles Chardonnay 2018
    Les Jamelles Chardonnay stands out for its freshness, fruit and richness, recalling the Burgundian origins of the creator of the wines, Catherine Delaunay. Doted with gorgeous limpid golden colour, this wine is redolent of apricot and pear aromas, notes of ... Learn More
  32. Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    Composed of grapes from five carefully selected terroirs, Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc derives its freshness and minerality from the Thau lagoon basin, the dried-up marsh of Marseillette, the Upper Aude Valley near Limoux, and the western Aude department. Doted with ... Learn More
  33. 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
  34. Pazo Cilleiro Albarino 2020
    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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. Chateau Citran 2020 (En Primeur - HELD IN BOND)
    Château Citran is one of the oldest properties in the Médoc. In 1996, the Merlaut family took over the reins of the estate. This property produces elegant Haut-Médoc wines that combine tradition and modernity. Fresh and fruity, the ... Learn More
  39. E. Guigal Côtes-Du-Rhône Rouge 2017
    Small red fruits, blackberry and floral violet aromas. Intensely aromatic, powerful but full of finesse. As with the white, the quality of the basic Côtes du Rhône is more than noteworthy, especially when you consider the quantity produced. ... Learn More
  40. E. Guigal Côtes-Du-Rhône Rouge 2016
    Small red fruits, blackberry and floral violet aromas. Intensely aromatic, powerful but full of finesse. As with the white, the quality of the basic Côtes du Rhône is more than noteworthy, especially when you consider the quantity produced. ... Learn More
    Out of stock
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