French Red Wines

We don't place an emphasis on France (unlike many retailers) as we source our wines primarily on their own merits before appellation or region. The best French red wines tend to be expensive as there is plenty of demand from traditional retailers. But there are plenty of good French red wines at reasonable prices, particularly from the former Vin de Pays regions along the South coast.

The majority of our French offerings are natural, sulphite free wines from the Rhone and Languedoc regions. 

When it comes to Bordeaux I personally prefer a good Bordeaux blend from warmer more reliable climates outside France. In fact a "Bordeaux blend" is my favourite wine so I'm always keen to find good ones. We have some great examples from Argentina, South Africa and Italy. Give them a go - you would have to spend a lot more money to find anything anywhere near their equivalent from France!

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  1. Cave de Cairanne Organic Elegante Cairanne

    Gold - Orange 2017

    Silver - Mundus Vini 2017

    An excellent organic Rhone blend. Again sweet fruit on entry, good mouthfeel with full body, smooth and round with just a hint of oak.

    Organic: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £12.49
  2. Cave de Cairanne Organic Le Bete de Don Dieu

    A good quality organic Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu. Soft and easy drinking, with sweet red fruit flavours before finishing dry. Great with food like stews or good cheese.

    Organic: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

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    £11.99
  3. Cave de Cairanne AC Cairanne Sans Soufre

    Another sulphite free Rhone blend, this time from the Cairanne AOC. Full flavoured and fruity with medium body. Once again smooth with nicely balanced natural aciditiy. Like all Cave de Cairanne's reds it is made in a fruit forward style so is a little sweeter on the palate than our other sulphite free reds.

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

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    £13.00
  4. Cave de Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Sans Soufre

    Concours Grand Vins de France Macon 2018 - Gold

    A good entry level Cotes Du Rhone without added sulphites. Great value.

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

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    £10.99
  5. Cave de Cairanne Secret de Campane Rouge
    The Secret de Campane from Cave de Cairanne is a Rhone blend with a drop of Merlot. Designed to be fresh and fruity for everyday drinking.

    Sulphite level: Low

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    £8.50
  6. Cave de Cairanne Pas de la Baume Rouge

    Concours des Vins Orange 2018 - Gold

    The Pas de la Baume range from Cave de Cairanne are great wines for everyday drinking. Well made, well priced and low in sulphites too, so no hangover or muzzy head. This soft and fruity red blend won Gold at the Orange Wine Awards.

    I'm impressed by this one as it is great value for money. Big black fruit with some oak and a little pepper. More traditional Rhone style at an affordable price.

    Free sulphur: 18mg/l

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £9.79
  7. Cave de Cairanne Chateuneuf du Pape
    Cave de Cairanne Chateauneuf du Pape . Big and powerful of course, but Cairanne took great care to preserve the fruit and limit the tannins (by destemming the grapes before crushing). Super wine with a very long finish.

    Sulphite level: Low

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    £29.99
  8. Cave de Cairanne Gigondas

    Gigondas had become known as "the poor man's Chateauneuf du Pape" a decade ago, although I think that is a bit tongue in cheek as the wines can still command a hefty price. The wines can be amazing and although this AC has developed a very strong reputation for high quality, they still tend to be a bit cheaper than equivalents from Chateauneuf.

    This wine is superb. Big and powerful as you would expect, with full body. Super smooth with acidity and oak in perfect balance, and a very long lingering finish. Highly recommended. Cave de Cairanne make all their reds in a fruit forward style and minimise the tannins (by de-stemming etc) so the wine is ready to drink young. For this reason we recommend you drink within a couple of days once opened, but it is so delicious you will probably drink it within a couple of hours in reality!

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £23.95
  9. Cave de Cairanne Plan de Dieu La Reserve
    Cave de Cairanne La Reserve Plan de Dieu (meaning the plan of God) is one of the 17 designated villages which make up the Rhone's Cotes du Rhone Villages. For this appellation the wine can come from one of four villages in the Vaucluse area. Due to the nature of the soils these wines tend to be dense and concentrated with vivid colour. The 2016 won Gold at the Orange Wine Fair 2017 and Silver at Decanter 2017.

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

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    £11.50
  10. Cave de Cairanne Vacqueyras

    Guide Hatchette - "Excellent"

    Cave de Cairanne are very proud of this Vacqueyras. As an AOC the reputation of Vacqueyras has grown in recent years as it is catching up to it's more famous neighbours of Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape.

    This is an excellent wine. Big and powerful yet well balanced. Good fruit with just the right amount of oak, very smooth and medium bodied with a long finish. This knocks the socks off any generic Chateaneuf du Pape. Highly recommended. 

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £18.95
  11. Cave de Cairanne Les Voconces

    Gold - Paris 2017

    Bronze - Decanter

    This AC Cairanne is a blend of traditional Rhone varieties all fermented together, then aged in concrete for 18 months to preserve the fruit while maturing the wine so it's ready for immediate consumption (but will keep for years if required).

    Concentrated fruit flavours, medium bodied and very smooth. This is a great wine for anybody looking for depth of flavour without any wood ageing. 

    Sorry - sold out already!

    Free sulphur: 16mg/l

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £13.00
  12. Cave de Cairanne Rasteau

    90 Points & Silver - Decanter

    Bronze - Paris 2017

    Appellation Rasteau Controllee. Concentrated red and black fruits with some well integrated oak. Fairly light in body and silky smooth. This is a delicious wine, ideal with some good cheese. 

    Free sulphur: 17mg/l

    Sulphite level: Very Low

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    £13.00
  13. Cave de Cairanne Jardin Secret de Camille Cotes du Rhone Villages

    A good quality Cotes du Rhone Villages, Made in a fruit forward style with only a hint of oak. Very smooth with good body, and minimal tannins so it's not too heavy. Suited to enjoy as a glass of wine but like all Cave de Cairanne's wines is even better with food. Pair with anything from pizzas and pasta dishes to casseroles and game.

    Sulphite level: Low

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    £10.99
  14. Cave de Cairanne Antique

    Concours Mundial Bruxelles 2018 - Silver

    Appellation Cairanne Controllee. The 2015 Cairanne Antique won Gold at Mundus Vini and Silver at Decanter. This 2016 has only just been released.

    Free sulphur: 30mg/l

    Sulphite level: Low

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    £16.99
  15. Le Quai à Raisins Syrault sulphite free wine

    A new wine from a new venture! Robin Althof from Costes Cirgues and his wife Imogen are making small batches of their own excellent wines from different parcels of grapes from friends' vineyards. Obviously they are organically farmed and sulphite free of course. 

    This first wine is a blend of Syrah and Cinsault. Jane and I overnighted at the Chateau in September where we were treated to a full tasting of all their wines including some older vintages, prior to a wonderful meal out in the courtyard under the stars. All their wines are very good, but for some reason I was drawn back to this one repeatedly and it is the wine I chose to drink for the rest of the evening!

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £14.50
  16. Domaine Mayrac Organic Enigma

    A superb single vineyard Syrah aged for 24 months in oak. Delicious! Big black cherry flavours with vanilla and a hint of white pepper. Perfectly balanced wine with good natural acidity. Superb.

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £25.00
  17. Domaine Mayrac Organic Excellence Pinot Noir

    "Excellence" is a very apt name for this wine. It is velvet smooth, with good body. Fruit and oak in harmony, with excellent natural acidity.

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £17.99
  18. Domaine Mayrac Organic Diletante Syrah

    Domaine Myrac Diletante Rouge is a complex Syrah with flavours of dark chocolate followed by mint. Very smooth and balanced. Fully organic and very low in sulphur, this is a genuine artisan wine from this excellent organic family owned winery. This wine is lovely.

    Free sulphur: 19mg/l

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £16.00
  19. Domaine Mayrac Organic Milesime Rouge

    A lovely, smooth wine with savoury flavours and a long finish.

    Free sulphur: 20mg/l

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £13.99
  20. Domaine Mayrac Organic Arinarnoa

    A soft and smooth organic wine made from a unique grape which is a hybrid of Merlot and Petit Verdot.

    Free sulphur: 17mg/l

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  21. Domaine Mayrac Organic Caractere Pinot Noir

    A great organic oaked Pinot Noir from this family owned winery.

    Free sulphur: 7mg/l

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £10.99
  22. Chateau Costes Cirgues sulphite free wine

    Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 - Platinum "Best Wine in Show (Rhone Style)"

    Chateau Costes Cirgues is the top wine from this superb tiny family winery. All their wines are sulphite free and organically certtified. It consists of 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache hand harvested into small trays from another tiny 1.6 hectare vineyard. Gravity fed, concrete fermented then aged in French oak for 15 months prior to blending. Black fruit from the Grenache with some pepper from the Syrah. Big, rich and opulent. This is a superb wine.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £24.95
  23. Costes Cirgues Bois du Roi sulphite free wine

    Deep opaque purple in colour. This is a big wine and is best decanted as it really opens up given some time to breathe. Big black fruit flavours, velvet mouth feel and soft tannins.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £17.99
  24. Costes Cirgues Saint Cyr sulphite free wine

    Deep opaque ruby in colour. Swirl it round in the glass and the nose really opens up. Big damson and plum flavours in the mouth. Very smooth and balanced.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  25. Costes Cirgues Montplaisir sulphite free wine

    Montplaisir from Costes Cirgues is one of our best value sulphite free red wines. It's made in a fresh and fruity style to be enjoyed young. Merlot adds ripe red fruits and the Carignan was fermented under carbonic maceration where the grapes are not pressed but simply crushed by their own weight, which extracts only the free run juice and avoids extracting the tannins. 

    This wine is great value and a good introduction to just how good Costes Cirgues sulphite free wines are. Once you've enjoyed this wine you will be tempted to move onto their other excellent reds.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £14.99
  26. Domaine D'Anglas Esprit de la Garrigues sulphite free wine

    Esprit de la Garrigues is a big, powerful wine which benefits from decanting. Handpicked grapes from a 2 hectare vineyard from vines between 15-25 years old. Consisting of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, fermented in stainless steel then aged in a combination of stainless steel and oak.

    A great wine in it's own right, being sulphite free is a bonus!

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £16.99
  27. Domaine D'Anglas Le Petit Roy sulphite free wine

    This is Roger's lightest red. Soft, smooth, fruity and low in tannins.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £11.99
  28. Domaine D'Anglas Chemin Des Moutons sulphite free wine

    Chemin des Moutons Organic Domaine D'Anglas is a beautiful big sulphite free syrah grenache blend. It is the flagship wine from Roger and is superb!

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £24.95
  29. Domaine Mayrac Esprit Nature Red sulphite free wine

    Another soft and smooth sulphite free red for every day drinking

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: No

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £12.49
  30. Domaine Viret Emergence sulphite free wine

    A big powerful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan aged in barriques for 24 months.

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £28.00
  31. Domaine Viret Les Colonnades sulphite free wine

    A big powerful blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan aged in barriques for 24 months.

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £22.99
  32. Domaine Viret Mareotis sulphite free wine

    A big powerful blend of Grenache and Syrah aged in barriques for 24 months.

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £22.99
  33. Domaine Viret Renaissance sulphite free wine

    Perhaps Philippe's most successful wine. A beautiful, powerful blend aged only in concrete to preserve the natural fruit flavours. Nothing added and nothing taken away.

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £16.99
  34. Domaine Viret Energie sulphite free wine

    This year Philippe has only made the one "Energie" wine. Previously there was Energie Yin and Energie Yang, but no longer. The wine is better than ever, this time being 100% Syrah fermented and aged in concrete tanks to retain all the fruit purity. Obviously the wine has Philippe's trademark natural style. Thoroughly delicious!

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £12.79
  35. Domaine Viret Solstice sulphite free wine

    A great introduction to Viret wines. Fruity, earthy, very natural in style. No added acid (or anything else) of course so it harmonises with the body and quickly becomes really "moreish"!

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £12.79

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