French wine is in a class of its own and is applauded for its more earthy or mineral notes. Whether you’re in France or holidaying in London, there are some excellent French wines that you can sample in bars such as St James. Here are three wines that should be at the top of your list:
2016 Chablis, Saint Martin, Domaine Laroche, Chardonnay, Burgundy, France
Cork Enjoy at 10°C, stock 3 - 4 years from vintage
A juicy and well-balanced white wine which is named after the patron saint of Chablis. The grapes mature on the eastern and southern slopes of the appellation.
It has a clear lemon colour. A fruity, fragrant nose with hints of ripe white fruit and flowers. Lively on the palate it is harmoniously balanced with an elegant mineral accent on layers of white fruit and a fresh finish. It is the perfect wine for an aperitif or to pair with seafood or fish.
Rémy Charest1 - “One of the best examples of Chablis "tout court" on the shelves of the SAQ, the Saint-Martin is particularly pleasant and complete, with the tension that is expected of the appellation, but also very ripe aromas and a relatively rich. Pretty hot stone notes and good acidity keep the expected liveliness, but the bounty of the vintage is just as appealing. I'd be curious to put some in the cellar for four or five years.”
Steve Thurlow2 – “This is very good example of Chablis from one of the most respected houses in the region. The nose shows ripe apple, with lemon and mineral; quite complex. The unoaked creamy palate is richer than normal with lots of ripe fruit flavour with a nice mineral layer and fresh acidity. Try with roast chicken or mildly flavoured seafood dishes.”
2016 Rock Angel, Château d’Esclans, Grenache, Cinsault, Côtes de Provence, France
Closure Type: Cork
This wine has a delightful herbal character that lifts the red fruit. It is ideal to have with food thanks to its acidity, fruit and mineral texture.
Michael Godel3 - “Where upscale and lithe meet at a crossroads for Rosé, the Rock Angel is both ripe and laid back, rich, imploding and impulsively intense. Its faint berry, finely managed salinity and graceful floral notes are exactly what anyone should want in Rosé.”
The Judges at the DWWA Judges (Decanter's World Wine Awards) awarded it 95 points and it won DWWA 2017 Gold Medal4 – “Light intensity lemon and strawberries nose; medium-bodied, textured, lees on the palate with some smoked stone, herbs, and a hint of red fruit. Good structure, intense, with a long finish.
2014 Gevrey Chambertin, Domaine Roux, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France
Closure Type: Cork
This is a fine and stylish French red wine with an appealing texture, well-judged oak and well-defined length. It has an agreeable aftertaste and goes well with duck, goose and game.
Bright ruby in colour, it has a nose of earth, vanilla and cherry. The palate is dry, with a crisp acidity. The excellent fruit is accented by oaky and nutty tones.
Domaine Roux Pere et Fils is based in the hills of St-Aubin, at the southern end of the Cote d’Or. Run by two brothers, Sebastien and Mathieu, it is one of the leading producers in Burgundy.