Let's talk about French White Wine
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
Burgundy: Famous for Chardonnay
It's best to start here because it's my absolute favourite. Nothing beats a delicious bottle of Chablis. Nothing makes me laugh more than people say "I hate Chardonnay but I LOVE Burgundy"...hmmm..same thing honey. The difference is, Chablis is more mineral rather than oak driven so I guess people prefer it a little more...
Bordeaux: Famous for Semillon/ Sauvignon Blanc
You may have heard of a little blend called Semillon /Sauv Blanc. Did you know that originated in Bordeaux? The style there is a little different though, particularly if it's been aged in oak. Rather than the pungent style of wine you find here in Australia (which is a nice way of saying overly herbal and passionfruit driven), the Bordeaux style is a lot more elegant and soft, much better to be consumed with food. It doesn't have the ridiculously high acid of the SSBs you find in Australia either. They are more approachable in my humble opinion.
Alsace: Famous for Aromatic Whites
Alsace is known for the four Noble grapes. Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. It's very rare that I will drink 'sweeter' whites unless they come from Alsace. You may have tried a Pinot Gris from the region? They are almost always off-dry with notes of peach, tangerine, beeswax, and almond. My personal favourite is Grand-Cru dry Rieslings. There are 51 Grand Cru sites in Alsace and they are appellated that way as they have the most Southerly Aspects which means they get the most sun and it allows for better ripening (cool climate regions often tend to struggle with ripening their fruit)
Southern Rhone Blends
Luberon is home to the most Vermentino grown outside of Italy. They are usually blended with Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Bouboulanc or anything else the winemaker thinks they should do. The French believe the talent of the winemaker is in the blending so they make the most of the blending.
Loire Valley: Famous for Vouvray
Dear ol' Chenin Blanc. Another absolute favourite of mine. They can range from dry to sweet and display characters of lemon, apricot, pear and honey. It is also a work horse of a grape because not only can it be fermented from dry to sweet, it can be made still or sparkling (method traditional too!) and still please the masses. I love Vouvray as a bit of a palate cleanser between courses. The best part? These wines are exceptional value for money! Particularly the dry sparklings.