Driving south on France’s autoroute through the Rhône Valley, something special happens around the town of Montélimar. The sky opens up, sunshine pours through, and a cheery warmth fills the air. Olive trees, lavender fields, and rows of cypresses wavering in the mistral mark your official welcome to le sud, a vast area characterized as much by its Mediterranean climate as by the singing accents of its people and their down-home generosity. But something else changes as you arrive in the South: you enter the land of blends. Far from the Pinots and Chardonnays of Burgundy and beyond the pure Syrahs of the northern Rhône, blending is the rule rather than the exception. A host of red and white grape varieties including Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault, Clairette, Roussanne, Rolle, and Marsanne thrive in the vineyards of the southern Rhône, Provence, and the Languedoc-Roussillon. While growing a medley of cépages traditionally served as a sort of insurance policy in the event of pest, disease, or climatic mishaps, such a mélange also provides vignerons with a rich palette of possibilities for assembling their cuvées. Blending here is not just an art, but a direct reflection of a place’s history and unique terroirs. Each variety responds differently to nuances of soil and climate, giving distinct interpretations of place that ensure singular character in the final blend. The same handful of grape varieties is responsible for countless wine styles across a vast swath of land covering dozens of appellations. Such diversity makes it hard to generalize, but these reds, rosés, and whites tend to share a certain ripeness and richness of fruit from long hours of Mediterranean sunshine, along with fragrant herbal reminders of the shrubby garrigue herbs that have colonized the arid countryside. Our collection of southern French blends encompasses pedigreed appellations including Châteauneuf, Gigondas, and Bandol, where you’ll find profound, structured wines built for the long haul. You’ll also discover equally distinctive wines from lesser-known AOCs such as Pic Saint Loup, Saint-Chinian, and Collioure. And certainly don’t overlook the many delicious cuvées priced for everyday enjoyment—unassuming country wines that capture the essence of these sunbaked, windswept landscapes with simplicity and authenticity.
Use promo code SOUTH20 to take 20% off the wines in the collection below, now through July 3rd!
Domaine Catherine Le Gœuil France | Southern Rhône | Cairanne
This Cairanne bears all of the southern Rhône notes we love: black cherries, garrigue, olives, and stones. It will pair magically with braised oxtails or grilled lamb chops.
Clos Saint-Joseph France | Provence | Côtes de Provence
This unique terroir, nestled among the limestone mountains north of Nice, deserves its own appellation. Contrary to the usual rough and tannic reds of the far-reaching Côtes de Provence appellation, this is fresh and lively! A gem hidden in the hills.
Domaine La Tour Vieille France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Collioure
A stony, spicy cuvée full of Mediterranean sunshine, aromatic garrigue, and a hint of salinity that offers a perfect match for grilled rosemary lamb chops.
Château La Roque France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Pic Saint Loup
There is something timeless to La Roque’s Pic Saint Loup, its herbal bouquet and rich, fleshy texture, all free from any hint of modern trappings.
Mas Champart France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Monts de la Grage
These ancient hillside vines yield very little, giving an intensely concentrated juice with great acidity and a textured finish. Open it alongside seafood or as an apéritif.
Year in and year out, these cuvées prove not only that Bourgueil is home to some of the best terroirs for Cabernet Franc anywhere, but also that the Boucard family produces some of the greatest values in all of France.
I think it is timely to make the announcement—It’s officially “Rosé Season!”—but with one caveat: Let this not be the only time of year you drink rosé. Welcome it wholeheartedly into your regular rotation
Franck Follin-Arbelet—joined today by his son Simon—is one of our most exciting and talented growers in Burgundy. He simply does everything right, and I mean everything. A true artist, he is the type of grower you can seek for years without finding: exactly what we look for here at KLWM...
Through their various bottlings, these three domaines contribute to a collection of Chablis marked by place, each reflecting a unique site and the commitment of a talented vigneron. They communicate the Chablisien goût de terroir—that unequaled aroma and flavor that can only come from Chardonnay grown in this chilly pocket of northern Burgundy.
The only thing we like better than great wine is great wine that doesn’t cost much and we’re happy to report that a bottle of great wine can still be found for $20 or less. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and a couple of sparklers.
From a tiny village nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Burgundy’s golden slope and the prestigious vineyards of Piedmont, we have just received dozens of exciting wines from many distinct regions in France and Italy.
Consider this collection your golden ticket of sorts, your invitation to a dinner party with a group of underground artisans, champions of outsider winemaking culture, and a snapshot of a south of France that may be less iconic, but no less authentic.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
If you ever need two superheroes to help tackle the evil villain of thirst, then Catherine and Pierre Breton are prime candidates. Thanks to these new arrivals from la famille Breton, barbecues, picnics, apéritifs, brunches, pregames, post-games, baby showers, regular showers, bubble baths, tailgates, and happy hours are all taken care of. Yet again, the heroes of soif have saved us from going thirsty.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa