Bonjour, wine lover. July 14 is Bastille Day, France’s own national holiday, and there is no better way to celebrate the spirit of the révolution than to indulge in some French vin. You may be thinking of regal first-growths and the like, but France has plenty of wines for the People made in different styles across several regions. Let’s go on a little tour de France.
In the cooler northwest, we have two outstanding white wines made from two grapes: a Vouvray made with Chenin Blanc and Domaine Moncourt’s Sauvignon Blanc, both prime examples of the expressiveness of Loire Valley wines.
Burgundy is a top region, but there’s value to be found, such as the Albert Bichot St.-Véran and the Domaine Faiveley Mercurey. They’re made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, respectively, the region’s two main grapes, which thrive in these sites. Moving slightly southeast to Savoie, Jean Perrier’s white from the local grape Jacquère shows a nice array of both fruit and savory flavors.
Moving south to the Southern Rhône, where Grenache (both red and white) reigns supreme, try Michel Gassier’s fresh and floral Costières de Nîmes white or the bold and smoky Gigondas from Lavau. Lastly, let’s stop even farther south in the coastal Languedoc region, where the Art de Vivre cuvée from Gérard Bertrand displays juiciness and structure.
91 – Domaine Gassier Costières de Nîmes Nostre Païs Blanc 2017
Fresh, featuring pear, yellow apple, melon and jasmine notes streaming through together, with a flash of lemon shortbread on the enticing finish. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier and Bourboulenc. Drink now. 3,000 cases made, 1,200 cases imported.—J.M.
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