Congratulations to the 118 wines awarded at this year’s Best Value Vin de France Selection! The Selection tasting proved a great success again this year, with a record breaking 394 wines entered by 74 companies. Thank you to all French producers and négociants who took part! To see the full list of awarded wines, please click here.

The 118 ambassador wines will be showcased on a dedicated VIN DE FRANCE area; Hall 11/ Stand A93, at Prowein in Germany (13th – 15th March) and then featured in a series of promotional activities targeting the trade and consumers on export markets throughout 2016.

Group shot judges

Serge Tintané and the 2016 Selection international jury

Let’s take a minute to look at this year’s Selection main trends and statistics.

Our panel of international judges tasted 171 whites, 47 rosés and 176 reds. In the awarded wines, one can find 51 VIN DE FRANCE white wines, 13 VIN DE FRANCE rosés and 54 VIN DE FRANCE red wines, showing a 34% increase in the proportion of red wines represented in the final Selection compared to 2015.

If the growing international popularity of red grapes such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah on is anything to go by, it will not come as a surprise that they are growing more and more popular with forward-looking French winemakers looking at expanding on key French wine export markets. For example, this year’s Best Value Vin de France Selection shows a 44% increase in awarded Pinot Noir single varietal wines compared to 2015, a grape variety becoming increasingly sought after in the US, one of VIN DE FRANCE’s fastest growing export markets.

On the white side, varietal Sauvignon and Chardonnay Vin de France wines continue to prove successful with 39 medals in total.

Friendly and animated debateBut the Selection doesn’t only show the trends for single varietal wines within the VIN DE FRANCE category. It also shows how French wine producers make the most of the flexibility offered by VIN DE FRANCE to innovate with their blends. This year’s selection showcased good examples of innovative blends such as a Cabernet Sauvignon/Chenin Blanc and other quirky combinations.

As always, the Selection Tasting was a great opportunity for us to gather feedback from our international panel of expert judges on what they think about VIN DE FRANCE wines and how relevant they think VIN DE FRANCE is for their markets. Here is what they said this year:

Christian Mewes, buyer, Edeka Struve, Germany: “It was a very interesting tasting. In the past we have handled Vin de France very well – the quality is rising up and the range too.”

Marc Reichertz, buyer, Liberty Wine Merchants, Canada: “The Vin de France category offers a perfect entry into the world of French wines. You find innovative winemakers taking chances and blending grapes you don’t find often to sometimes thrilling effect.”

Li Chang Zheng, importer, Cofco, China: “The Chinese are buying more and more Vin de France wines. I think there is still much potential – we tasted some remarkable and beautiful wines.”

Xavier Gras, importer, Taster Vin, Denmark: “The tasting was very encouraging and the wines showed a good alternative and comparison to Chile or South Africa but with typicity.”Sauvignon flight in full swing

Alastair Pyatt, buyer, Bibendum Wine, UK: “The whites and especially Chardonnay were most successful this year. These wines are very relevant for our market; they offer value compared to more well-known AOCs.”

Barbara Houtzager, buyer, Ahold, Netherlands: “Vin de France is more and more important with good quality because of blending from different regions and because the prices are most of the time competitive.”

Entente cordiale at the tastingElizabeth Pezon, importer, Spring Wine & Spirits, Sweden: “France is an attractive origin in Sweden and Vin de France wines are often good value for money and a good introduction to France for the young wine consumer. They are export friendly and the flexibility afforded by this category can only contribute to its success.”

Olivier Kielwasser, buyer, Giant Eagle, USA: “The wines over-delivered and in terms of taste profile Vin de France is extremely relevant. They integrate a French touch with their winemaking that differentiates them from other international wines.”

Guy Stout, buyer, Glazer’s USA: “The Vin de France category has opened the door for many winemakers to make the best possible wine – it’s a revolution! Varietally labelled wines are the core of the market so having the grape and vintage on the label helps the wines to compete in the market.”


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