The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived!
Some look forward to Christmas for the whole year. For 365 days, I am excited at the thought of celebrating the 14th of July, the day that liberated the people of France back in 1789, when the universal idea that we are all equal and we should all live in freedom made a big step forward in History.
I review wines all year long (it’s been hundreds since last year) to be able to celebrate this unique day with the best possible wines, the ones I have most enjoyed, the real gems in the huge and overwhelming French wine landscape.
Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little here about my passion for Bastille day, and my patriotism doesn’t go this far 😉
Still, if you needed an excuse to enjoy a very good glass of wine today, look no further. Bastille Day is the day today, and, let’s not complain it falls on a Friday in this year 2017.
Still, today is the day to celebrate our freedom, and the plethora of excellent French wines that our vignerons have made for us with passion.
If you are wondering what to drink tonight, I have assembled a list of some of the very best French wines I’ve tasted and reviewed, in various styles, the ones that have made my heart sing in pride and gratitude for being a French blogger surrounded by so much fermented goodness.
Let’s Start with Bubbles
A day of celebration is not complete without a glass of bubbly, Champagne in particular. Here is my selection.
Champagne Boizel Joyau de France
With a name that translates as ‘France’s Jewel’, this Champagne cuvée sounds perfect for paying a tribute to French wines. But beyond its name, it actually tastes absolutely delicious, clearly one of the best Prestige Cuvee Champagnes I’ve tasted, here in its vintage 2000 version.
Score for vintage 2000: 96/100 pts. Retails around $115, you can find it on Wine-Searcher here
Moutard Cuvée des 2 Sœurs Champagne
Yes, I fell for this 2 Sisters’ Cuvée by Moutard, a small Champagne house I visited last December. What’s special and rather unique is that it is made using a solera-like system in an oak vat, meaning some new barrel-fermented wine is added to the Cuvée every year (about 60% new wine goes in the tank every vintage). The result is lean, mineral and concentrated: stunning!
Score: 92/100 pts. It retails around $50, you can find it on Vivino here
Luc Belaire Rare Gold Brut Sparkling
No, in this case, it’s not that Luc Belaire’s counts amongst my favorite wines in absolute. But it is a French wine, and one must admit it is very well done and tastes good for an affordable price, and it’s broadly available. So here is an option if you’re after a good French bubbly that won’t cost you an arm.
Score: 89/100 pts. It retails around $30, you can find it on Vivino here
A Little Provence Rosé?
Domaine Souviou Côtes de Provence Rosé
Score: 90/100 pts. Hard to find internationally I’m afraid 🙁
You Had Me at Bordeaux
For many, Bordeaux delivers, arguably, some of the best wines from France. It’s not always easy to find those offering value at a reasonable price.
Good news, I’ve found one for you, the second label of Pauillac’s Chateau Pédesclaux. In the great 2010 vintage, it offers everything you could wish for, this for a mere $40.
2010 Fleur de Château Pédesclaux Pauillac, Bordeaux
Score: 91/100 pts. It retails around $40, you can find it on Vivino here
Stunning Sauvignon Blanc
Still, for many wine lovers and connoisseurs, Sancerre is something special when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, many agreeing that it may well be one of the purest expressions of the grape worldwide. Worth a try anyway.
I loved this cuvée by famous Sancerre wine producer Joseph Mellot.
Score: 92/100 pts. It retails around $30, you can find it on Vivino here
My Dear Languedoc
Below are, probably the red wine from Languedoc I’ve hedonistically enjoyed the most as of the last few months, and an unusual but succulent white wine at a great price, made in France from a Portuguese grape.
Yes, the French too can innovate and plant unusual grapes, with great success in this case.
Clos des Augustins l’Ainé Pic Saint Loup
Score: 95/100 pts. It retails around $30, you can find it on Vivino here
Laurent Miquel Albarino, Lagrasse – Languedoc
Score : 88/100 pts. It retails around $15. You can find it on Vivino here.
The Odd Ones: A Shit Wine & Beaujolais Nouveau
There seems to be two dates during which the world of wine thinks about French wine with special intensity: Bastille Day, but also Beaujolais Nouveau day.
Yes, Beaujolais Nouveau is often mainly enjoyed in November when the worldwide release day wine event happens. But you can actually still find bottles of 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau in some shops, and the wine is still likely to be good for the price, especially if you go for a deeper Beaujolais-Villages version such as Duboeuf’s.
2016 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau
Score : 86/100 pts. It retails around $13. You can find it on Vivino here
Le Vin de Merde, a Truly ‘Shit Wine’ from France
Score: 83/100 pts. It retails around $20, don’t buy it!
I guess this wine should not be included in this list, as I actually do not recommend you buy it. Well, this is precisely why I am including it here in fact. Do not be tempted to spend your money on this wine that seems to claim to be a decent wine called Vin de Merde, or the French translation of ‘Shit Wine’. It is well and truly a shit wine that does not deserve your sipping time. Read my story about it though if you have spare minutes, it’ll save you a few bucks.
Have a lovely Bastille Day dear friends 😊
Please let me know what you’re having and which wines you’re enjoying today, in the comment section below or hit me on social Media @JMiquelWine