French wine is often touted as being the best in the world, but why is this? There are many possibilities for this, but it should be noted that many other wine regions in the world have produced the highest quality libations as well. As for France, there might just be something about the area and long time tradition.
When Sotheby’s holds its 2015 spring wine auction, nearly half the value of the US$5.2 million to US$7.2 million sale from a single private collector in New York will be wines from Domaine Romanée-Conti, the Burgundy producer that consistently attracts ever more stratospheric prices for its wines.
The most special of these special wines – DRC’s Romanée-Conti Grand Cru – fetches the highest prices of all. On Saturday, one bottle of the 1978 vintage carries a US$14,000 to US$20,000 estimate.
A Prince’s wine, she is velvet, seduction and mystery. It is the most Proustian of all “Grand Vins”: under a secret perfume of almost fading rose petal of a 1956 Romanée-Conti, is it not the purity and intensity of recaptured time that invades us ? In this square parcel of land, have the Gods perhaps left us a bewitching trace of timeless perfection ?
The Romanée-Conti dates back to year 1131!
Soil composition is notably different on different continents, and regions within those continents. Could there be something special in the soil that makes their grapes better? Perhaps they are using a variety of grapes that grow best in the region and hence produce the best wine.
Another possible reason is that wine is the main alcoholic beverage of choice for most French citizens. This started when fresh water was not so good in France. Should the best wine then not come from those who appreciate it so dearly? Years and years of production may have allowed wine makers in France to hone their skills to the point of being the absolute best in the world.
While the reasoning why most wine enthusiasts agree French wine is the best, there are some great theories. In many modern day wine shows, other countries give French wines a run for their money, but nobody has yet to prove they can consistently make wine better than they do in France.