Megan Mallen [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By any measure, France is the greatest wine-producing country in the world. France was the first nation to implement a system of legislation that codified viticultural practices and protected geographical designations of origin, and its laws served as a model for the rest of the winegrowing world.
France is also the original home of the world’s most famous wine grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Grenache, and Syrah for red wines, alongside Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling for whites.
No other country produces such a large volume of fine wine, and at Personal Wine, we’ve tasted through hundreds of bottles to bring you the very best wine gifts that France has to offer:
The Wine: Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV
The Champagne region of north-central France is home to the world’s greatest sparkling wine, a vinous embodiment of luxury, celebration, and success. With a history that dates back to 1849, Pol Roger is one of the great family-owned estates of Champagne, famous for its popularity among British royalty. A classic blend of equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, Pol Roger’s iconic Brut Réserve slumbers in chalk caves for over four years prior to release, far exceeding the minimum requirements of the appellation.
In addition, each and every bottle of Pol Roger Brut Réserve is riddled by hand, an extremely labor-intensive method that is rarely employed for wines at this price point. The result is a non-vintage Champagne that over delivers on all fronts, making this the perfect wine gift for business closings, bridal showers, anniversaries, or any cause for celebration.
The Wine: Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Cotes de Provence Rose 2017
The sun-drenched region of Provence is the spiritual homeland of rosé in France. Dry, pale-hued rosé accounts for over 75% of the region’s total production, and every summer, droves of tourists flock to its shores to quaff the wine with local fare like bouillabaisse and salade niçoise. Situated on a plateau roughly 25 kilometers north of the Mediterranean coast, Chateau d’Esclans rose to international fame in 2006 with the release of Garrus, a luxury cuveé sourced from 80-year-old vines that many critics have declared to be the world’s best rosé.
That said, the producer is better known for the Whispering Angel, a Grenache-based rosé with a massive international following that is equally at home in fine dining restaurants as it is in beachfront cabanas. This bright and refreshing wine offers flavors of fresh citrus and melon, and will make a fashionable wine gift for the bon vivant in your life.
The Wine: Château Simard Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2010
Bordeaux is one of France’s most important fine wine regions and the original home of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Tracing its origins back to the 17th Century, Château Simard is located near the picturesque village of Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to some of the region’s most prestigious estates. Surrounded on all sides by first growth vineyards, Chateau Simard’s 40-hectare hillside property is planted to old vine Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the entirety of their production is dedicated to a single wine that is aged to perfection prior to release.
Quintessentially Saint-Emilion in style, the 2010 Chateau Simard leaps from the glass with gorgeous aromas of fresh plum, black cherry, tobacco, and spices. Medium-bodied and elegant, this classically styled claret is extremely versatile at the table and will make a stately wine gift.