France, WINE

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Viticulture in France dates to Roman times, and evidence of this heritage can be found all across the country. Until 2015, it was the world's top wine producing country in terms of volume, and while Italy has since claimed that spot, France remains the world's most important wine producing country in terms of quality and reptutation. Nowhere else can you find a greater concentration of astounding wines in such a wide variety of styles. Quality is driven by the official AOC geographic designation system, which outlines strict rules defining the production and quality of each region's wines, a system that has been imitated and employed throughout most of the world's other winegrowing countries. France is indeed original in this regard, with individual vineyard names, production rules, and property records dating back ten centuries or more in some cases.

The country's stylistic diversity and quality are also due to France's various micro-climates and geographic characteristics. Its coolest, most northerly region, Champagne, is the source of the finest examples of sparkling wine anywhere, and the long and winding Loire Valley is renowned for its steely, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Just south and east of there, the gentle slopes and continental climate of Burgundy produce not only the world's best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but arguably the world's best wines, period. The southwestern, maritime region of Bordeaux is one of the world's largest, geographically speaking, and its reputation for epic wines is second to none. The region's top Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot-based wines are among the most ageworthy and expensive bottlings on the market. Along the southern coast, the hot, Mediterranean climates of Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône, and Provence produce big, opulent Grenache and Syrah-based wines, as well as the world's most famous rosés. Truly, France stands unmatched in the world of wine.

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95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (2010 base; 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir, 30% meunier; full ML fermentation; 9g/L dosage)... As precise and pretty as ever... gorgeously restrained rose petal, red cherry and strawberry hull fruit... lees age contributes great texture and mouthfeel,… ...

TCG 95
JS 94
WS 93
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Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose Champagne NV  (#6042)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
TCG 95
JS 94
WS 93

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2015 Gigondas Cuvee Louisiane comes from a site located just beside the domaine, which is a mix of clay and sandy soils. Aged all in foudre, it boasts terrific notes of framboise, spring flowers, black raspberries and orange blossom (which I normally find more in the Les… ...

JD 95
WA 95
V 92-94
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Saint-Damien Gigondas La Louisiane 2015  (#332305)

Rhone Blends - Red from Gigondas, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 95
WA 95
V 92-94

93 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): (30% saignée macerated fruit, 60% white, 10% red wine; of the white, 40% is 2013 reserves aged in barrels; fermented and aged for 6 months in vats, foudres and old demi-muid barrels)... Meunier speaks with bright expression of cherry, strawberry and red… ...

TCG 93
AG 92
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Laherte Freres Extra Brut Champagne Rose de Meunier NV  (#332401)

Non-Vintage Rosé Sparkling Wine from Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
$39.95
$56.00
Save $16.05 (29%)56.00
Save $16.05 (29%)

97-100 points Jeb Dunnuck: Made with close to 50% stems (the highest in a while) and brought up in foudre and demi-muids (20% new), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin sports deep ruby/purple color as well as sensational notes of kirsch liqueur, black raspberries, crushed flowers, crushed… ...

JD 97-100
WA 95-97
WS 95
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Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2016  (#332825)

Grenache/Garnacha from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JD 97-100
WA 95-97
WS 95
NEW ITEMPRE-ARRIVAL
$64.95
$85.00
Save $20.05 (24%)85.00
Save $20.05 (24%)

100 points Robert Parker: The harvest at Petrus took place between September 27 and October 12, and the 2010 finished at 14.1% natural alcohol, which is slightly lower than the 2009's 14.5%. The 2010 reminds me somewhat of the pre-1975 vintages of Petrus, a monster-in-the-making, with loads of… ...

RP 100
JS 100
ST 98
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Petrus Pomerol 2010  (#325527)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Pomerol, Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
RP 100
JS 100
ST 98
$3795.00

94-97 points Fine Wine Review: The Véroilles often is my favorite wine here, but on this visit, the Cras is above all the other wines in the cellar. The nose has plenty of stoniness. The mouth is intense and pure with crystalline cassis and strawberry fruit that is long and penetrating. The wine is… ...

FWR 94-97
JG 94
AM 92-94
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Barthod/Ghislaine Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru Les Cras 2014  (#329867)

Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
FWR 94-97
JG 94
AM 92-94

The 1er Cru Damodes lies at the top of the slope north of Nuits-St-Georges and just before Vosne-Romanée The bouquet is redolent of damsons and red plums with a complex palate and solid structure. 36-year-old Aurélien Verdet s own domaine comprised 4.5 hectares of Hautes Côtes de Nuits until 2009.… ...

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Verdet/Aurelien Nuits-St-Georges 1er cru Aux Damodes 2016  (#331595)

Pinot Noir from Nuits-St.-Georges, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: A perfect wine, the 2015 Ermitage Le Méal offers straight-up otherworldly notes of black raspberries, toasted spices, licorice, scorched earth and flowers. With a huge, unctuous profile on the palate, a stacked mid-palate, sweet, sweet tannin and awesome purity, it's as good… ...

JD 100
WA 99
WS 98
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Chapoutier Ermitage Rouge Le Meal 2015  (#331674)

Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Northern Rhône, Rhône, France

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 4 available
JD 100
WA 99
WS 98
PRE-ARRIVAL
$299.95
$380.00
Save $80.05 (21%)380.00
Save $80.05 (21%)

97+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...striking, especially in the way it brings together elements of ripeness and freshness in a hypothetical blend of the 2002 and 2004. Smooth and creamy on the palate, the 2006 is all about texture. There is a real feeling of density and weight... All the… ...

AG 97
TCG 97
DE 97
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Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne 2006  (#324810)

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AG 97
TCG 97
DE 97
$124.95
$199.00
Save $74.05 (37%)199.00
Save $74.05 (37%)

96-100 points Jeb Dunnuck: Violets, spring flowers, cassis, plums, and incense notes all define the stunningly good 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Imperiale. Made from 100% Grenache from very old vines, it's full-bodied and powerful, yet also graceful, balanced and pure, with terrific freshness and purity… ...

JD 96-100
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Usseglio/Raymond Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale 2016  (#331672)

Rhone Blends - Red from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, Rhône, France

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL

93 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): ...There is elevated ripeness to the openly exotic nose of yellow fruit, lemon and white flower aromas... possesses exceptionally rich, overtly powerful and imposing big-bodied flavors that despite the impressive size and weight, retain a fine sense of precision… ...

AM 93
ST 92
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Long-Depaquit (Albert Bichot) Chablis Les Clos 2010  (#330658)

Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$49.95
$75.00
Save $25.05 (33%)75.00
Save $25.05 (33%)

92 points Allen Meadows (Burghound): A cool, pure and very yeasty nose combines notes of brioche, citrus, apple and a whiff of petrol. There is a wonderfully refreshing character to the utterly delicious and impressively complex flavors that are supported by a firm but not particularly refined… ...

AM 92
WS 91
W&S 91
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Hebrart Brut Champagne Cuvee de Reserve 1er Cru NV  (#318390)

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
AM 92
WS 91
W&S 91
$41.95
$50.00
Save $8.05 (16%)50.00
Save $8.05 (16%)
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