Synopses & Reviews
For centuries, France has long been the worldand#8217;s greatest wine-producing country. Its wines are the global gold standard, prized by collectors, and its winemaking regions each offer unique tasting experiences, from the spice of Bordeaux to the berry notes of the Loire Valley. Although grape variety, climate, and the skill of the winemaker are essential in making good wine, the foundation of a wineand#8217;s character is the soil in which its grapes are grown. Who could better guide us through the relationship between the French land and the wine than a geologist, someone who deeply understands the science behind the soil? Enter scientist Charles Frankel.
In Land and Wine, Frankel takes readers on a tour of the French winemaking regions to illustrate how the soil, underlying bedrock, relief, and microclimate shape the personality of a wine. The bookand#8217;s twelve chapters each focus in depth on a different region, including the Loire Valley, Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Provence, the Rhand#244;ne valley, and Bordeaux, to explore the full meaning of terroir. and#160;In this approachable guide, Frankel describes how Cabernet Franc takes on a completely different character depending on whether it is grown on gravel or limestone; how Sauvignon yields three different products in the hills of Sancerre when rooted in limestone, marl, or flint; how Pinot Noir will give radically different wines on a single hill in Burgundy as the vines progress upslope; and how the soil of each chand#226;teau in Bordeaux has a say in the blend ratios of Merlot and Cabernet-Sauvignon. Land and Wine provides a detailed understanding of the variety of French wine as well as a look at the geological history of France, complete with volcanic eruptions, a parade of dinosaurs, and a menagerie of evolution that has left its fossils flavoring the vineyards.
Both the uninitiated wine drinker and the confirmed oenophile will find much to savor in this fun guide that Frankel has spiked with anecdotes about winemakers and historic wine enthusiastsand#151;revealing which kings, poets, and philosophers liked which wines bestand#151;while offering travel tips and itineraries for visiting the wineries today.
Bordeaux has long symbolized the peak of prestige for French wine. Yet, despite its outstanding reputation, the region has remained relatively closed to consumers, as forbidding as the highest chand#226;teau gates or the most tannic of its young wines. In this highly approachable, beautifully illustrated guide, Master of Wine James Lawther draws on his insiderand#8217;s knowledge to open up Bordeaux. He has identified 90 producers from both the Left and Right banks with the finest wines and the most interesting stories to tell and takes us inside their chateaux, offering intimate portraits of both the properties and the people who shape this fascinating region. He also provides chapters on history and winemaking that explain how Bordeaux has risen over the past three centuries to the unparalleled status it enjoys today. Illustrated throughout with original photographs and detailed color maps, The Finest Wines of Bordeaux reveals a changing region that is more open to new producers than its insular reputation suggestsand#151;and one that continues to hold a tight grip on the imaginations of wine enthusiasts around the world.
A companionable guide to the geology and soil (terroir) of the best vineyards in France.and#160; There exist only a handful of technical books about theand#160;terroirand#160;of France, and experts tell us there is always room for one moreand#151;especially if it is written in accessible prose.and#160; Charles Frankel is a geologist, adventurer, and science writer who has published books about geology, history of the earth (dinosaurs!), and outer space.and#160; Here, he deciphers the influence of the land on the aroma and quality of wines.and#160; Although the grape variety, climate, and skill of the winemaker are essential components, Frankel ably demonstrates how the geology also has a notable influence on the vineyard, the flavors and qualities of wine. The book takes us on a journey to experience the land of France, to admire the landscape, tracing the ancient history of its soil and subsoil, meeting the proprietors of vineyards, and enjoying some of the best wines along the way.and#160; The journey begins 445 million years ago and traces the development of the area that is now continental France up to the present day.and#160; We come to understand why the Beaujolais region produces its distinctive flavors and aromas (thanks to preponderances of manganese, sodium, and certain and#147;rotten rocksand#8221;).and#160; We tour Alsace and Touraine, Provence and Languedoc, Champagne, Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, and other areas.and#160; Frankel proves an able and interesting tour guide.and#160; He also provides maps, detailed compositional tables of specific vintages, technical drawings of regional geologies, a glossary of terms, and an index of useful websites.
About the Author
James Lawther MW is a wine writer who has been based in Bordeaux since 1995. He is a contributing editor of Decanter, a contributor to The World of Fine Wine, author of The Heart of Bordeaux, and a contributor to several wine books including the Global Encyclopedia of Wine.
Table of Contents
and#160;1. Savenniandegrave;res and Other Wines of Anjou2. Beaujolais3. Alsace4. Pouilly-Fuissandeacute; and Other Wines of Mandacirc;connais5. Corton and Other Wines of Burgundy6. Sancerre and the Upper Loire Valley7. The Central Loire Valley: Bourgueil, Chinon, and Saumur8. Vineyards of Provence9. Languedocandrsquo;s Vines and Dinosaurs10. Champagne11. Bordeaux12. The Rhandocirc;ne Valleyand#160;GlossaryBibliographyIndex of Geographical and Wine NamesGeneral Index