How to Read a French Wine Label

Just the basics


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  • Snooth User: Martin E
    249368 16

    I think, it's important to check that the wine was bottled at a chateau, not by a cooperative. Also, many distinguished chateau sell "second grape" wines; make sure you know what you are buying.

    Oct 05, 2010 at 8:57 PM

  • Snooth User: charles p
    603680 1

    You're right Martin it has happened to me. The resultant deterioration of quality is marked when it is not authentic.It has usually lost its essential Bordeaux character and has a watery quality which could be anything from Bordeaux to Provence.It think this more likely to happen when purchasing outside France.

    Oct 07, 2010 at 1:24 PM

  • Snooth User: Magnus T
    621157 1

    Four famous "communes" (districts) produce the very best wine from the Medoc. From north to south, these communes are: St-Estephe, Pauillac, St-Julien, and Margaux. You can usually figure out what commune a Medoc wine comes from by its label. In the example of Chateau Loudenne, its commune is St. Yzans, located a few kilometers north of St-Estephe. Note that the label on the bottle contains the information about the producer at "Saint-Yzans-de Medoc." Similar geographical information is found on most Medoc wines. Good medium quality wine is made at communes near the "big four." I like to use my "World Atlas of Wine" when I don't have a clue where a chateau in the Medoc is located.

    Oct 25, 2010 at 3:59 PM

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