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The Best French Wines of 2024

France is renowned for its mastery in viticulture, giving rise to a wide spectrum of exceptional wines. Whether it’s the sophisticated bottles from Bordeaux and Burgundy or the robust selections from Rhône Valley and Languedoc-Roussillon, there’s a perfect French wine for every taste and occasion. From sparkling Champagne to crisp whites, and sumptuous reds, the choices are abundant in France.

Yet, with an expansive array of regions, designations, and varietals, selecting the finest French wines for 2024 might seem daunting. How does one discern which wines present the best value, are available in stock, and ready for shipment? And once chosen, how do you enjoy them within the comforts of your own home?

This blog post is your connoisseur’s compass to the top French wines of 2024, drawing on current expert analyses and reviews. We will spotlight Bordeaux’s gems, Burgundy’s elites, and other regional treasures. Additionally, we will offer insights into tasting profiles and complementary food pairings. Embark on this enological journey with us and fill your cart with the crème de la crème of French wines today!

Bordeaux, the crown jewel of French winemaking, is synonymous with top-tier Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. Home to some of the globe’s most renowned and coveted wines like Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, and Château Pétrus, this illustrious region also delights with an array of affordable finds, demonstrating the rich diversity and distinction of its various terroirs and appellations.

The celebrated reds of Bordeaux fall into two primary groups: the left bank and the right bank. The left bank, encompassing areas such as the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon-led blends. Conversely, the right bank, where you’ll find Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, and Fronsac, features Merlot and Cabernet Franc prominently. Here are some exceptional red Bordeaux wines to consider:

  • 2015 Château Greysac ($29): This medium-bodied Médoc marvel presents with black currant, cedar, and tobacco aromas. It’s an emblem of Bordeaux elegance at an exceptional value.
  • 2016 Château Figeac ($250): A standout Saint-Émilion offering, its 38% Cabernet Sauvignon lends notable structure and depth. Expect blackberry, plum, graphite, and spice notes, culminating in a silky finish.
  • 2018 Château Clinet ($120): From Pomerol, this wine commands attention with its 85% Merlot blend, featuring profound black fruit, chocolate, and licorice nuances. The palate is both full and velvety, supported by fine tannins and a persistent finish.

Not to be overlooked, Bordeaux’s repertoire spans beyond reds, producing extraordinary white and sweet wines primarily from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle grapes. These wines can be delightfully dry or sumptuously sweet, pairing beautifully with a diverse range of foods and desserts. Some top white and sweet Bordeaux selections include:

  • 2019 Château Carbonnieux Blanc ($45): A crisp white wine from Graves, it melds 70% Sauvignon Blanc with 30% Sémillon, yielding citrus, peach, and white flower notes, followed by a fresh, mineral-driven finish.
  • 2017 Château Coutet ($60): Haling from Sauternes, this sweet wine blends 75% Sémillon, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, and 2% Muscadelle, with honey, apricot, and candied orange aromas. It’s rich yet balanced with a refreshingly complex finish.
  • 2016 Château d’Yquem ($450): An unrivaled icon of Sauternes, the blend is dominated by 80% Sémillon. The grapes, influenced by noble rot, imbue concentrated sugar and rich flavors. It showcases a mosaic of pineapple, peach, caramel, and vanilla, balancing opulent sweetness with acidity, leading to a lengthy, memorable finish.

Nestled in eastern France, Burgundy is hailed for its world-class wines, a hallmark of prestige and refinement. This storied wine region is neatly categorized into five distinct subregions: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais. Dominated by the signature varietals of Pinot Noir for its esteemed reds and Chardonnay for its acclaimed whites, Burgundy occasionally gives a nod to other grapes like Gamay and Aligoté. What sets Burgundy wines apart is their remarkable elegance, layered complexity, and the profound way they encapsulate terroir—the unique environment from which each vine grows.

Red Burgundy, also known as Bourgogne Rouge, champions the Pinot Noir grape. Famed for its thin skin and temperamental nature, Pinot Noir thrives in cooler climates and demands meticulous care. The resulting wines are typically light to medium in body, graced with aromas and flavors of red fruit, florals, earthiness, and a hint of spice. The acclaimed reds of Burgundy can vary greatly, influenced by factors such as the specific appellation, the wine’s classification, and the unique touch of the winemaker. Highlighting the region’s diversity, here are a few notable appellations and their acclaimed producers:

  • Gevrey Chambertin: This Côte de Nuits village crafts powerful and well-structured wines that encapsulate the essence of cherry, raspberry, licorice, and wild game. Prestigious producers include Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Dugat-Py, and Domaine Denis Mortet.
  • Vosne-Romanée: Another gem from the Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée wines are celebrated for their sheer elegance and aromatic bouquet of strawberry, violet, rose, and a touch of exotic spices. Elite producers are Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Leroy, and Domaine Méo-Camuzet.
  • Volnay: In the Côte de Beaune lies Volnay, where wines are tend to be graceful and feminine, radiating notes of cherry, cranberry, rose petals, and a subtle mineral quality. Top producers are Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Domaine Michel Lafarge, and Domaine de Montille.

White Burgundy, or Bourgogne Blanc, salutes the Chardonnay grape in all its glory. With a knack for versatility, Chardonnay can yield an array of wine styles, from the sleek and crisp to the opulently rich and buttery. Depending on the area within Burgundy, the winemaking techniques, and the aging process, Chardonnay wines can vary, vividly expressing the nuances of their terroir. Some of the foremost appellations for white Burgundy and their renowned producers are:

  • Chablis: Perched in the northern stretches of Burgundy, Chablis is synonymous with wines that are keenly crisp, minerally, and unveiling flavors of green apple, citrus, oyster shell, and flint. Illustrious producers like Domaine François Raveneau, Domaine William Fèvre, and Domaine Christian Moreau standout.
  • Puligny-Montrachet: A village in the Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet is home to wines that are sophisticated and intricately layered, boasting notes of peach, pear, citrus, almond, and a whiff of toasty elegance. Esteemed producers include Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Etienne Sauzet, and Domaine Jacques Carillon.
  • Meursault: Also within Côte de Beaune, Meursault is celebrated for its rich, opulent Chardonnays with a palate of apple, apricot, hazelnut, butter, and honey. Among the region’s luminaries are Domaine Coche-Dury, Domaine Roulot, and Domaine Jean-François Coche.

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French Shopping, Dining & Lifestyle guide in Singapore