The pick of France

The pick of France

France produces some of the best wines in the world, and this collection contains three French gems. The secret to the consistently excellent wines of the Faugères wine appellation lies in its unique terroir. In The wines of Faugères, Rosemary George MW provides a comprehensive guide to the wines of this remarkably compact and homogeneous area. The Côte d’Or may also be small in size but its influence is huge and its reputation awe-inspiring. Raymond Blake’s companionable Côte d’Or: The wines and winemakers of the heart of Burgundy demystifies a notoriously complicated region, explaining succinctly the history of winemaking, the complexity of the subdivided vineyards and the special role played by geology and climate in the creation of these wines. And who can resist champagne? Nicholas Faith’s classic study of the world’s greatest wine, The story of Champagne, is a masterpiece of storytelling and analysis that kindles excitement about the different types of champagne and the landscape, geology and climate that inspire them.

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Price: $83.50

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The story of champagne

It is extraordinary enough that only one small area in north eastern France, on the northern edge of Europe’s wine-growing regions, should be capable of producing the finest sparkling wine in the world, one of the few worth discussing as wine and not merely as a sparkling beverage. Yet champagne fascinates not only wine lovers, but also historians – social, economic, political – linguists, physiologists, physicists and chemists.

The long-awaited new edition of Nicholas Faith’s landmark The story of champagne tells the story of champagne from the wine-makers’ point of view. This classic study of the world’s greatest wine is a masterpiece of storytelling and analysis that has for decades sent readers away with renewed excitement about the different types of champagne and the landscape, geology and climate that inspire them.

Organized in four sections The story of champagne examines the history of champagne from its origins in the seventeenth century to the hi-tech industry of the twenty-first before examining the wine itself, how it is made, the crus, the vines and the harvest. The third section provides completely up-to-date statistics on wine production and consumption and Faith finishes off with an all-important and completely up-to-date evaluation of wines by their makers.

The wines of Faugères

Faugères is one of the most individual appellations of the Languedoc. Although it produces white and rosé wines the appellation is most famous for its rich, ripe red wines made from the classic Rhone varieties Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. The Faugères wine appellation was created in 1982 and is now producing consistently excellent wines, the secret being in the steep hills surrounding the village of Faugères where the schist, or decayed slate, provides unique soil drainage and moisture retention and introduces distinctive minerality into the wine. The Mediterranean climate of long, hot summers and short cold winters is tempered by Faugères’ proximity to the coast, which produces distinctive and elegant wines.

Faugères is a compact vineyard compared to many of the other appellations of the Languedoc, but the variety is infinite, prompted by the human hand and the perceptible differences between the different villages. The white wine, which accounts for just 2% of the appellation, is a perfect example of the way the white wines of the Languedoc are developing and improving with every vintage, their wonderful herbal flavors conjuring up the scents of the herbs of the garrigue, fennel, bay and thyme. Pink Faugères, which accounts for 18% of the appellation, provides delicious refreshing drinking with acidity and delicate fruit. The wines of Faugères always have a distinctive freshness which places them among the finest of the Languedoc.

Rosemary George’s The wines of Faugères is a comprehensive guide to the wines of a remarkably compact and homogeneous area which covers just seven villages and a couple of hamlets. The wines of Faugères covers the history, geography and climate of the region, as well as its grape varieties and viticulture, before profiling the individual producers and their wines. It ends with an indispensable assessment of vintages going back to the creation of the appellation in 1982.

Faugères’ wines, currently little known outside of France, are set to become the next global wine discovery, and Rosemary George’s The wines of Faugères is the most up-to-date and authoritative guide to this beautiful region and its fascinating wines.

Côte d'Or front cover Côte d'Or

The Côte d’Or may be small in size but its influence is huge and its reputation alone can intimidate even the most seasoned wine professional. Divided into two halves, the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, it is little more than a 30-mile stretch of vineyard but some of the world’s best known – and most expensive – wines are produced here. Of all the world’s wine regions it is here that terroir pushes itself to the fore, explaining the eye-watering prices paid for even the most modest parcels of vineyard.
Raymond Blake’s companionable Côte d’Or demystifies this notoriously complicated region, explaining succinctly the history of winemaking in this part of Burgundy, the complexity of the subdivided vineyards and the special role played by geology and climate in the creation of these wines. Visiting a selection of notable producers, Blake provides his take on each, along with a suggestion of that winemaker’s most distinctive or interesting wine for readers to try. After a rundown of the characteristics of each vintage from the last thirty years, and notes on some outstanding earlier vintages, Blake considers what the future might hold for the côte, including the challenges posed by premature oxidation, extreme weather and world events. He ends the book by providing some ideas to help those planning a trip to the region get the most out of their visit.
This fresh take on one of the world’s most influential wine regions is an essential addition to the library of any burgundy enthusiast.

France produces some of the best wines in the world, and this collection contains three French gems. The secret to the consistently excellent wines of the Faugères wine appellation lies in its unique terroir. In The wines of Faugères, Rosemary George MW provides a comprehensive guide to the wines of this remarkably compact and homogeneous area. The Côte d’Or may also be small in size but its influence is huge and its reputation awe-inspiring. Raymond Blake’s companionable Côte d’Or: The wines and winemakers of the heart of Burgundy demystifies a notoriously complicated region, explaining succinctly the history of winemaking, the complexity of the subdivided vineyards and the special role played by geology and climate in the creation of these wines. And who can resist champagne? Nicholas Faith’s classic study of the world’s greatest wine, The story of Champagne, is a masterpiece of storytelling and analysis that kindles excitement about the different types of champagne and the landscape, geology and climate that inspire them.

Details Books
Nicholas Faith

Nicholas Faith is renowned for the books and hundreds of articles he has written on wines and spirits over the past 30 years. His first book, The Winemasters, won the André Simon award. He also edited the prestigious magazine L’Amateur de Bordeaux. Founder of the International Spirits Challenge, the world’s leading alcoholic spirits competition, Nicholas Faith became in September 2010 the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Bureau National Interprofessional de Cognac.

Cognac, The story of champagne
Raymond Blake

Raymond Blake is one of Ireland’s leading wine writers. His enthusiasm for wine is boundless and as an independent voice his judgement and opinions are widely respected. He is wine editor of the highly regarded Food & Wine Magazine, a position he has held since its launch in 1997. As such his travels take him to most of the far-flung corners of the wine world, though his spiritual home is Burgundy. He writes for numerous other publications and is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers. In 2006 he was inducted as a Chevalier du Tastevin in Burgundy – at the same time as he and his wife bought a house in Côte d’Or.

Côte d'Or
Rosemary George MW

Rosemary George spent nine years in the wine trade with The Wine Society, Louis Eschenauer (Bordeaux), H Sichel & Sons, Findlater Matta and Les Amis du Vin. In 1979 she became one of the first women to qualify as a Master of Wine. She has written twelve books, covering the Languedoc, Chablis, Tuscany and New Zealand. A former Chairperson and now a Vice-President of the Circle of Wine Writers, she is a contributor to various magazines including Decanter, zesterdaily.com and Sommelier India.

The wines of Faugères, Wines of the Languedoc