Bucket List Wines: France

GDP's bucket list of French wines


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Drouhin Amoureuses

Since I’m getting the big boys out of the way the next target to hit is Burgundy, another region overpopulated with expensive under-performers. Burgundy has a system of classifying vineyards instead of producers, so you can get Grand Cru wines from the same vineyard, produced by both the competent and the incompetent. This is just one reason why Burgundy is referred to as a minefield.

Another issue is the whole classification of vineyards as Grand Cru and Premier Cru. The system has proven to the palates that matter to not be quite as accurate as one might like. So what does a wine lover do when trying to get the biggest bang for his or her buck? Find the best producers and try their Premier Cru vineyards that produce Grand Cru fruit, that’s what!

Drouhin Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureuses is one of those wines, and while it’s not cheap, it proves that there are Grand Cru wines and there are grand cru wines, and then there are Premier Cru wines of Grand Cru quality. Elegant, deep and pure with what wine writers love to call ‘finesse,’ this is Burgundy that is just about as good as Burgundy gets. Shop carefully and you can find the 2006, 2007 or 2008 for right around $200 a bottle. My money is on the 2008 if you’re going to cellar it, but the 2006 is already delicious.

 

French Bucket List

1.
La Chapelle De La Mission Haut-brion Red Bordeaux Blend Pessac-léognan (1990)
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2.
Chambolle-Musigny Premiere Cru les Amoureuses Domaine Joseph Drouhin (2006)
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3.
Thierry Allemand Cornas (2007)
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4.
Vatan Chavignol Clos la Neore (2007)
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5.
Clos Rougeard Saumur Champigny Biodynamic (2007)
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6.
Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune (2002)
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Comments

  • Snooth User: badbobby
    200769 15

    Your right, you should get grief on excluding the great white burgundies, some of the finest expression of chardonnay on the planet. The fact that we've all had it extends to bordeaux and burgundy too, but those didn't get left out. Because France produces so many fine wines, perhaps the list should be extended to 15 or so. CDP? Beaujolais? Vouvray?Champagne?Chablis?

    Jun 14, 2012 at 3:32 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 184,106

    You are of course correct. There are so many great wines one should try that I had to trim the list. Maybe parts two and three are in order. Thanks for the comment.

    Jun 14, 2012 at 4:07 PM


  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 2,735

    Well, you could have left out the reds from the Loire so that people like me could still drink them and gloat at their reasonableness! I do think there's room for a part two: Leaving out the chenins of Vouvray is like leaving a continent off your travel bucket list.

    Jun 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 184,106

    I see a theme forming here. Part II will be sketched out shortly.

    Jun 14, 2012 at 4:26 PM


  • Snooth User: Azeredo
    536111 9

    Expensive, but nice list.
    Everybody forget Côte-Rotie, and they are an unforgettable experience.

    Jun 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 184,106

    Thanks! I was gong to include Gentaz, but the wines are now pretty much unobtainable. Ogier might have been my next pick, or Jamet, but that's another wine for a second or third part of this series.

    Jun 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM


  • Snooth User: Skip Utsey
    1096285 15

    Wow. No Champagne? I expected to see Salon on this list.

    Jun 15, 2012 at 7:34 AM


  • Snooth User: duncan 906
    Hand of Snooth
    425274 1,384

    I can see from this list that you have expensive tastes.I was interested to see a Loire valley red on your list because one does not often come across them.Coincidentally I had a bottle of Saumur-Champigny this weekend which I very much enjoyed but it was a lot cheaper than yours.I have now posted a review for it

    Domaine de la Cune Les 3 Jean Saumur-Champigny

    Jun 17, 2012 at 2:19 PM


  • Snooth User: badbobby
    200769 15

    Duncan 906 - This is a bucket list after all, so price/value really isn't the primary consideration, only quality. There are some great values and really fine red wines in the Loire, as there is in most of the regions in France, and what is listed here is a good representation of what one could sample and die happy knowing they had drunk wines that were fine examples of their style and place. These wines also come with well deserved reputations and a long history of excellence, which is another reason why they are are on the bucket list. Such wines with established pedigrees are necessarily more expensive than those who make good wines in good vintages, but can't maintain that level in ordinary or poor years. Certainly, there are many wines that could qualify, but there has to be a limit, and I think GDP has done a pretty good job getting the ball rolling. France is a place where the list could be as long as your arm, or leg, or pick an appendage...

    Jun 17, 2012 at 11:54 PM


  • Making a Bucket List Napa Valley - Cheers,

    Jun 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM


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