We really do feel the love for France and their spectacular wines! It seems you do too, with our upcoming French Wine tasting evening is on its way to selling out. Let's whet your appetite with a quick look at some of our favourites from this bastion of 'vin magnifique'.
South West France is made up of smaller wine areas and individual appellations. Northern areas of this region produce wines in a similar style to Bordeaux using the same grape mix. Further south, wines add several other grape varieties, such as Tannat, and areas closest to the Pyrenees tend to use local indigenous varieties.
Cotes du Gascoigne Domaine de Maubet Southwest (£9.50) Merlot, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. A wine which adds Tannat to the Bordeaux grape mix, indicative of this regions' unique wines. Grapes are destemmed with 5 days of maceration, before fermentation and tasting according to the vintages. After a racking, the wines are raised on fine lees for complexity. Cherry in colour with warming aromas of delicate spice and toast, the palate shows a union between ripe fruit and elegant tannins.
The Loire Valley wine region encompasses areas situated along the Loire River from Muscadet on the northern coast to the Sancerre in northern central France.
Seen as the ideal wine to pair with fish, this is a highly attractive Muscadet, fresh with floral hints on the nose. Harvested from century-old vines for weight and concentration of flavour. Characteristic for its pale green colour with a long finish dominated by white flower fragrances and lovely ripe lime fruit.
Clos de Nouys is the essence of Vouvray with a 25 acre estate just outside the eponymous sleepy village. Vines are on average 35 years old in this part of the Loire Valley. Pale gold with green tinges, there is a very intense and fruity nose with notes of white flowers and quince. Sweet flavours of citrus fruit and acacia flowers fall on to the palate with a touch of fresh almonds, before an aromatic finish.
Wines from the Langue D'Oc region can often be outside the French classification system, but with many of high quakity it can mean great value for money. There a still many small appellations that are classified for their excellence, such as Limoux, Corbieres and Minervois.
Berry Bros. & Rudd have origins back to 1698 and remain family owned, working from their historic premises of 3 James Street in London. They have worked with Francoise Antech, sixth generation of a renowned Limoux family, to produce this Traditional Method Cremant. This sparkling wine shows fine bubbles bringing forward white-floral perfume layered with apricot and honey. Refreshing acidity and light with delicate toasty brioche notes for additional complexity.
A high quality yet extremely good value 5-grape blend showing exactly how to find treasure outside of the French classification system. A deep ruby wine with a rich, complex nose showing black cherry, blackberry, hints of liquorice and earth. Soft tannins make for a light and supple wine on the palate.