Bucket List Wines: France

GDP's bucket list of French wines


« Prev Next » 5 of 8
Vatan Chavignol Clos la Néore

If you thought Allemand was a bit obscure, at least his wines are immediately accessible and easy to appreciate. Edmond Vatan, and his daughter Anne since 2008, have made a career of producing challenging wines in Sancerre from both Sauvignon Blanc and occasionally minute quantities of Pinot Noir. Here I focus on their white.

These are wines born from the famous chalky soils of the region, and they deliver that chalk on the palate. Chiseled, incredibly pure and well defined, they slice across the palate almost painfully in their youth, but with age they begin to reveal their inner beauty. The beauty tends to remain just that, something innate and tightly coiled. These wines are like diamonds, they are not remarkable by themselves; light, in the case of diamonds, is necessary to appreciate the beauty.

In the case of Vatan’s wines, what you need is to pay attention and to let the wine age for half a decade or more. Then, you will be rewarded with intense perfumes and an explosion of weightless intensity on the palate. These wines are notoriously difficult to find after release, so scoop up any 2009s or 2010s you might be able to find. $70 may seem like a lot for Sauvignon Blanc, but not this Sauvignon Blanc.

 

French Bucket List

1.
Château Haut-Brion Red Bordeaux Blend Pessac-Léognan (1990)
List It
2.
Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny les Amoureuses (2006)
List It
3.
Thierry Allemand Cornas (2007)
List It
4.
Vatan Chavignol Clos la Neore (2007)
List It
5.
Clos Rougeard Saumur Champigny Biodynamic (2007)
List It
6.
Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune (2002)
List It

Mentioned in this article


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 198,289

    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 2,863

    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 198,289

    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 198,289

    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 1,509

    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


Add a Comment

Search Articles


Best Wine Deals

See More Deals »

Daily Wine WisdomMore Wine Tips








Snooth Media Network