In the mood for fine French wine but know that American wines are easier to get your hands on? Not to worry. We partnered with our friends at Winc to bring you a list of the best American wines that remind us of our travels through France.
Even if it’s not the true historical nexus of wine (that’s thought to be somewhere in Georgia, or even perhaps China) France is arguably the spiritual home of wine. Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, the Rhône Valley – these are world-famous regions that charm many a vinophile. The traditions in these appellations go back centuries, so it’s no surprise that when New World winemakers are seeking inspiration, they often look to France.
Below is our list of the Winc American wines that most remind us of the classic French styles. Each of these wines honor French winemaking practices while incorporating the terroir of America. If you are a French wine lover, here’s a great list to get you introduced to our most Français domestic bottles.
Love elegant, bready French Champagnes?
Finke's is our quest to define a new style of quality California sparkling wine. This small parcel of wine was pulled aside for further aging in neutral French oak barrels for ten months after fermentation. It was aged in barrel "sur lie" meaning that the wine was left on its lees (which are essentially dead yeast particles that fall to the bottom of the barrel). This type of aging, along with occasional stirring of the barrels (which kicks the lees up into suspension) adds texture to the wine, along with yeasty flavors that are often abundant in Champagne. In this particular wine, along with the bright fruit flavors from the grapes themselves, you will find pleasant notes of brioche and a little extra richness from the aging.
Love balanced, refined white Burgundy?
Try: Salient Chardonnay
California’s Dry Creek Valley gets its name from Dry Creek, a tributary of the Russian River (sound familiar, Chardonnay fans?) that borders the 16-mile-long, two-mile-wide valley to the south. To craft our newest Salient, we hand-picked the fruit and fermented the juice in stainless steel. Then, we put two-thirds of it through malolactic fermentation and aged the wine in a combination of neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks, all resulting in a still-bright Chardonnay with just a touch of roundness and texture.
Love bright, quaffable Provençal Rosé?
Try: Summer Water Rosé
This dry rosé reflects the pale pink promise of the perfect warm-weather wine. It’s delightfully crisp, lighthearted and destined for a good time. The grapes for this Central Coast Grenache and Syrah blend were picked early in the season to achieve a natural acidity that’s ideal for summer drinking. To ensure as little extraction from the skins as possible, we used the direct press method, retaining the delicate fruit aromas and pale color Provençal rosé is known for. The result is light, crisp, and dry, with notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit, rose, and orange blossom.
Love complex, meaty Northern Rhône reds?
Try: Baseline Syrah
Winc winemaker Ryan Zotovich practices his craft respectfully, making what he believes are the most important decisions before ever harvesting his fruit. This allows for exceptional quality of grapes, and minimal intervention in the winery. This small lot, single-vineyard Syrah comes from the John Sebastiano vineyard, one of the most respected on the central coast. With its many hills and varying aspects, this vineyard has a variety of microclimates and its windy location helps to naturally limit yields. It’s located in the cool climate region of Santa Barbara County, where the morning maritime fog and afternoon Pacific breeze create an ideal situation for viticulture. Harvested early, with 10% Viognier that’s interspersed throughout the block, fermented native and aged in neutral French oak for 18 months, it’s complex, dark, slightly meaty, and perfectly age-worthy.
Love dark-fruited, structured Bordeaux?
Diviner is a glimpse into the unique terroir of Santa Ynez Valley - a region that is diverse in terrain and microclimates and a producer of wines that stand up to the best of their kind. This single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Happy Canyon AVA and was fermented in a closed stainless steel tank prior to 14 months aging in 35% new French oak. Pumpovers during fermentation aided tannin development without over-extraction. Rich but not opulent, this red is generous and balanced.
Bring this list to life and order your first box of wine from Winc.