Six of the best French wines you need to try now

MoneyWeek wine club

MoneyWeek Wine Club wines

Matthew Jukes author headshotI‘ve known Yapp Brothers for 28 years. I can date the first time that Robin Yapp came to visit me in London, but I cannot recall any details about our countless marathon lunches at The Garrick or various other Soho eateries, where he taught me more about the Loire and Rhône than anyone else in my wine life.

These days, son Jason and stepson Tom are the Brothers running this elite company. If Yapp is not already on your radar it ought to be. Forget the multiple awards that this diligent business has piled up on their mantelpiece for knowing their subject with more intimacy and depth than all of their rivals. The fundamental reason why I cannot live without regular hits of Yapp wines is because they represent some of the most important, influential and authentic wineries in France.

Their wine list is one of the finest ‘vinous publications’ each year. Hilarious commentary, brutally honest notes, incisive analysis and also truly privileged access to legendary wineries are the reasons for this. They have half century relationships with many of their Domaines and this month I have picked an all-star line-up for you to dive into, which barely scratches the surface of their offering. See the full collection here.

Cheers!

Matthew Jukes

How it works:

Prices and savings below are exclusive to MoneyWeek readers and are based on ordering a case of 12 bottles. You can also buy a mixed case, giving you two bottles of each wine, for just £192, saving you £12.70. You’ll enjoy FREE UK delivery on all orders over £100, otherwise £10. Offer ends 30 April 2018.

2016 Riesling, Réserve Personelle, Leon Beyer, Alsace, France

£15.75 £14.75

A relatively new find for Yapp, this esteemed estate was introduced to them by none other than Silvano Giraldin of Le Gavroche fame. As far as recommendations go, this is in another league! Making wine in Eguisheim since 1580, Beyer is a top flight Domaine but its wines have thoroughly reasonable prices and this bright, citrus-kissed Riesling is smooth, layered, crystalline and refreshing. None of the old style Alsatian notes here, this is a modern alternative to legions of innocuous aperitif whites only this time it has flair and breeding.

 


2016 Brézème Blanc, Julien & Emmanuelle Montagnon, Domaine Lombard, Northern Rhône, France

£21.95 £20.95

This wine is an otherworldly treat. The young Montagnon couple took over this historic estate in 2011 and their holistic work in the vineyards and winery has paid great dividends. This Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier blend is beautiful balancing lusty, mouth-filling, stone fruit notes with dramatic, chalky acidity. It does the same thing on your palate as a rich white Burgundy but being Yapp, it comes from a less-starry but more fascinating postcode in the wilds of the Northern Rhône. It is unlikely you have tasted a wine like this before, but believe me when I say that it is palate-expanding and unforgettable.

 


2016 Domaine les Filles de Septembre Rouge, Tradition, Côtes de Thongue, France

£10.90 £9.90

The Côtes de Thongue encompasses over twenty villages in the Faugères-Pézenas-Béziers triangle in the Hérault department of the Languedoc. With an idyllic climate and few wine rules to follow, this wine is akin to a romantic coupling between a juicy Right Bank Bordeaux and a fruit-driven Côtes-du-Rhône, it being made from Merlot, Grenache and Carignan. Everyone I have shown this wine to falls for it in a blink of an eye. Smooth, classy, blackberry fruit-themed and under a tenner, this is a wickedly enticing wine.

 


2016 La Chevalière, Patrick Jasmin, Collines Rhodaniennes, France  

£16.50 £15.50

Patrick Jasmin is a legendary vigneron in Côte Rôtie. He crafts exquisite Syrah with none of the extremes of oak or extraction found in many of his neighbours’ wines. He also makes this stunningly rewarding Syrah from the less-starry hillsides nearby and it is a third of the price of his Grand Vin. Brightly accurate, seriously classy and offering peerless value for money, this is a superb, gently spicy wine with an immediate air of excitement and generosity of flavour. If you adore Northern Rhône Syrah, then this offers more than a glimpse of excellence at a budget ticket price.

 


2013 Gigondas, Jean-Pierre Meffre, Saint Gayan, Southern Rhône, France  

£18.50 £17.50

Gruff, macho and brooding, the wines from Saint Gayan put hairs on your chest, such is their elemental power and potency. Made from a Grenache-dominant brew, this wine is akin to a wayward, unpolished Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it’s leagues better than many of the creations made in this oft-disappointing, near-neighbour appellation. This hearty rouge is what Mrs Jukes and I pluck out of our cellar when we are craving a spicy, rich red for a rustic, robust dinner and it always works a treat.

 


2015 Saumur-Champigny, Vieilles Vignes, Paul & Frederik Filliatreau, Loire, France  

£18.75 £17.75

Filliatreau featured in my 100 Most Iconic Estates of the World book. I love this property and all of its wines. Cabernet Franc, from warmer vintages in the Loire, can rival the great red wines of France, but they never trouble the credit card. Perhaps a little unfortunate for the Domaines here, but a wondrous jackpot for those of us who know this secret. This is the flagship cuvée, made from eighty-year-old vines and it is a benchmark Saumur-Champigny. How many other regions in the world retail their greatest labels for less than twenty quid? Buy all you can and only tell people you love about the stellar wines at Filliatreau.

 


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