Bucket List Wines: France

GDP's bucket list of French wines


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Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune

To close I’m taking things off track a bit and heading over to Alsace to pick a Riesling, of all things. When’s the last time you thought of Riesling when someone spoke of the greatest wines of France? Man, am I gonna get grief for not including some Chardonnay here. But we’ve all had great French Chardonnay, haven’t we? This Riesling on the other hand is a revelation!

Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune is a dry Riesling that comes from old vines growing on limestone soil. It’s not surprising to find that the wines tends to be racy and mineral-flecked in youth, but the real treat here comes with age. About 10-12 years after the vintage is a good rule of thumb if you want to experience a Clos Ste. Hune at peak.

At peak, Clos Ste. Hune reveals a veritable smorgasbord of fruit, tropical notes of pineapple and guava, citrus lime and blood orange elements, all layered over intense dried orchard fruit flavors. But this is still bone dry and with rapier like acidity. It sets a benchmark for Alsatian Riesling and carries the price tag to prove it. Of the currently available vintages, 2002 is the one to grab, for around $180 a bottle that is.

 

French Bucket List

1.
Château Haut-Brion Blanc Cave de l'Elysée Pessac-Léognan (1990)
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2.
Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny les Amoureuses (2006)
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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

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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 202,119

    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 2,874

    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 202,119

    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 202,119

    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 1,556

    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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