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.
- 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
- 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
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February is synonymous with Rose! The weather is hot, Valentine's Day is a few days away and we can't think of a better subject to match this time of year. ... Learn More
- The 2007 Mont-Redon Châteauneuf du Pape is going to be a legendary vintage for the Mont-Redon rouge, but it is going to need all of a decade in the cellar to start to blossom. The bouquet is deep, complex and ... Learn More
- Classic CNDP: 100% Grenache, 0% new oak. Copious kirsch, licorice, toasted spice and crushed flowers on the nose. A seamless, full-bodied profile. Elegant, remarkably fresh and with fine tannin. '2015 is a truly sensational vintage.' - Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate ... Learn MoreDomaine P. Usseglio Chateauneuf Du Pape 'Cuvee De Mon Aieul' 2015$154.99 Per item
- The wines from this land have strong structure and colour. Very ripe red fruit, plum and some spicy scents. Full flavours of deep red fruit, which make a distinctive statement of dense Grenache intensity with warm furry, but fine tannins. ... Learn MoreChapoutier Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 'Croix De Bois' 2017$195.00 Per item
Le Versant is our biggest selling and most re-ordered import selection to date because it's an affordable wine for a glass any time. Whether it's the crisp dry Rose for starters, the Chardonnay with some seafood or Syrah & ... Learn More