French wines are uniquely elegant, mesmerising and delicious. This week I have chosen six classics, to complement this week’s French recipes, which simply could be made anywhere else on the planet.
NV Pol Roger, Réserve, Champagne, France (£36.99, buy 2 for £29.59, Oddbins; £34.99 Waitrose). Regal, distinguished and yet at the same time crisp and refreshing, nowhere else can make sparkling wine with the poise and delicacy of Champagne. Pol Roger is one of the most reliably delicious ‘Houses’ and you will impress an aficionado with this wine.
2009 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine Jacky Marteau, Loire, France (£7.99, Marks & Spencer). This bright, citrus-imbued, nerve-tingling sauvignon from the Loire is every bit as dramatic and enlivening as its more famous neighbouring wines from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Marteau is a master and this is the perfect wine for seafood.
2009 Bourgogne Blanc, Les Grandes Coutures, Domaine Franck Grux, Burgundy, France (£15.10, reduced to £13.50 by the case, Haynes, Hanson & Clark tel. 020 7584 7927). From the superb 2009 vintage, this is one of the best value, truly sensational chardonnays of the year. Made by Meursault expert Grux, this is a world class creation.
2009 Alain Grignon, Carignan Vieilles Vignes, Hérault, France (£6.99, buy 2 and save £4, £4.99. Majestic). Bargain of the week, this old vine carignan is a stunning, brooding, dark red with all of the style and panache one would associate with the great reds of the South of France.
2009 Château Bois Pertuis, Bordeaux, France (£8.99, Waitrose). From the most famous wine region in the world, this exceptionally well-priced claret is a joy. Drinking now, but with the energy and prowess to improve over five years, Bois Pertuis is a hidden gem.
2009 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Domaine Durban, Southernn Rhône, France (£11.35, half bottle, Vagabond Wines tel. 020 7381 1717 & www.vagabondwines.co.uk). This is my favourite Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise and, it is one of the most sensational pudding wines you could ever hope to taste. This Southern Rhône version is ever so chic, juicy, grapey and the finish is minute’s long as you would expect!