Ratings: The Best French Wines of 2023
France may not be the country that discovered wine, but many consider it to be the place that perfected it. While there’s a wide variety of grapes and styles produced across the country, the most famous are elegant and refined—and always best appreciated with food. There’s a reason oysters have become synonymous with Muscadet, Sancerre with chèvre and beef Bourguignon with the region’s earthy reds. The French arguably have a particular knack for balancing flavors—and life in general—in a way that other wine-producing nations only wish they could.
But the appeal of French wine goes well beyond the well-known greatest hits. The country produces all manner of wine, from the stylish whites of Alsace and the yellow Vin Jaune of the Jura, to the bold and powerful offerings of the Rhône Valley and the warm wines of Languedoc-Roussillon. Some of these lesser-known offerings are represented in our tasters’ picks below.
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“Our French reviewers noted several Editor’s Choice or Hidden Gems,” says Wine Enthusiast Tasting Director Anna-Christina Cabrales. “These standouts, some being new to the market, were accessible in price point, immediately expressive in the glass but also have the capacity for long-term cellaring.”
While it’s virtually impossible to know all of the great French wines on the market, our tasters have made a valiant effort. Altogether, they reviewed nearly 4,000 French bottles this year—the best of which made the cut for the Enthusiast 100: The Best Wines of 2023. Spanning the cool Loire Valley to sun-drenched Chateauneuf-du-Pape, these picks represent not just the highest scoring, most prestigious or priciest bottles. (Many of the most impressive clock in under $30.) Rather, they’re the ones that captured a certain je ne sais quoi.
Here are the best French wines of 2023.
Domaine du Vieux Bourg 2020 Au Bois Retour (Chénas)
This Chénas combines well-integrated black fruit with supportive herbal streaks. Ruby in color, this wine has a perfumed nose of alpine strawberry, cranberry, boysenberry, dried oak, black raspberry, violet and forest floor. The wine has a supple mouthfeel with expressive black tea notes towards the back palate through to the long finish. This wine is focused on the nose and complex. Editor’s Choice. 93 Points — Reggie Solomon
Pierre Amadieu 2019 Domaine Grand Romane Red (Gigondas)
This is a powerful blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.The wine is so lively upon opening that it will surely pique curiosity amongst enthusiasts. An intense core of blackberries, sunbaked plums and touch of wild mint coats the palate. Natural high-altitude acidity helps draw a long, dark-fruited finish, with salinity, fine gritty tannins and clove. Editor’s Choice. 93 Points — A.C.
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All products featured here are independently selected by our team, which is comprised of experienced writers and wine tasters and overseen by editorial professionals at Wine Enthusiast headquarters. All ratings and reviews are performed blind in a controlled setting and reflect the parameters of our 100-point scale. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices were accurate at the time of publication.
Published: December 21, 2023