Top 10 French White Wines for 2024
There will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy white wine in 2024. The quality is better than ever, especially for French wine. The past few vintages delivered fresh, vibrant white grapes that produced a lively but balanced wine. White wine is at its best right now.
However, white wine is also more varied than ever, so finding the right bottle for the occasion has gotten more complicated. Here are our top 10 French white wines for 2024. Find your white wine for 2024 and enjoy the unmistakable personality and flavour of French white wine all year round.
Côtes de Gascogne was once famous for its Armagnac, a beautiful alternative to Cognac. However, in the past few years, producers have shifted their attention to making crisp white wine, and it’s gorgeous. The combination of local Gros Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc in Domaine Horgelus’ Côtes de Gascogne is fantastic — citrusy, dry and zingy. This is the perfect summer wine, and it’s a steal for the price. These wines sell at an IGT level, so they still fly under the radar — not for long, though.
Sancerre will always feature on our top ten list, and for a good reason — there’s no white wine more exciting, especially in the light-bodied and herbal category. This year, we’re featuring an independent estate where the Lauverjat family turns the region’s tart and mineral grapes into drinkable art. Fermented at low temperatures and allowed to mingle briefly with the lees, this Sauvignon shows a medium body and a palate filled with citrus and limestone. This beauty can also age, so stock up on this beautiful example of the famous appellation of the Loire.
Close your eyes and picture a silky, medium-bodied white wine with bitter orange peel, dried flower and honeysuckle on the nose. This is Viognier, and it’s a treat for your senses. The best Viognier comes from southern France, where the weather is warm, and although some of it is expensive, not all of it is. Let us introduce you to Domaine Sicard, a sustainable, family-owned estate in Languedoc-Roussillon that gives new life to warm-climate varieties, including Viognier. For the price, this might be the best aromatic white wine in France, and it’s deliciously versatile on the table.
Of course, no top ten list is complete without mentioning the classics: a good-old, old-vine Chablis from a legendary producer — a bottle of wine that needs no introduction, Dampt Freres Chablis. Think of a dry, refreshing white wine with hints of white and yellow fruit on the nose and palate over unmistakable minerality. The result is an elegant wine that rises to any occasion. If you’re not familiar with Chablis, this is a 100% Chardonnay from the northernmost region of Burgundy, where Dampt Freres has been making wine for over two decades.
Alsace is synonymous with world-class Riesling, but the German-influenced region is no one-trick pony. The region specialises in various grapes to offer wine for every pairing and occasion. This year, we’re featuring Alsatian Pinot Gris on our list of French white wines for 2024 because the past few years have favoured the off-dry style that only the grape can offer. We would also like to introduce you to Joseph Cattin, a producer in Colmar with roots in the area going back 300 years. Their style? Elegant, semi-sweet wines made traditionally — no compromises.
If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc and other light-bodied, refreshing styles, Pouilly Fumé is for you. It stands out for its flinty notes and mouth-watering acidity. This gem from the Loire Valley competes with Sancerre for the best Sauvignons in France, and this one, from Domaine Masson-Blondelet, is amongst the finest in the area. Expect minerality, white fruit and citrus on the nose over a lingering palate blessed by elegant fruit notes. This is our go-to wine for this year’s summer, especially when there’s fish on the menu.
Expect new and exciting blended wines this year. Producers worldwide are experimenting like never before to tame the ever-changing climate conditions, resulting in nothing less than appealing wines. Domaine Lalande has caught our attention with a blended mixture of Chardonnay, Viognier and Chasan grown in the Medieval city of Carcassonne, at the heart of Languedoc-Roussillon. Ripe fruit, flowers, nutty undertones and hints of oak spices make this medium-bodied white wine a delight, especially if enjoyed with white meat or charcuterie.
This bottle comes straight from the Black Mountain, in southern Languedoc Roussillon, from the rare appellation of Côtes de Thongue IGP. Wines here have a lovely Mediterranean influence, as you’ll notice when you sip Domaine Coste Rousse Chardonnay. Medium-bodied and ripe but attractively balanced by citrusy acidity, this family-grown Chardonnay defines versatility. Try it with chicken or fish or on its own if the weather is right.
We see seafood in your future, meaning this fruity and mineral Muscadet from Domaine des Clerambaults is perfect for you. Aged on its lees, this beautiful expression of the French Atlantic Coast offers a light and vibrant experience on the nose and palate, with delicate white fruit scents, marine saltiness and ringing acidity. It’s no secret that Muscadet has one of France’s best quality/price ratios.
We’re ending our list of the best French white wines for 2024 on a sweet note. Domaine Boudau’s Muscat de Rivesaltes is grapey, peachy and floral, and its sweet nose is mirrored on the palate with persistent residual sugar. This is a vin doux naturel, fortified with added alcohol for an age-worthy dessert wine suitable of the most memorable occasions. Enjoy now or store for over a decade; Muscat de Rivesaltes is that good. What French white wines are you looking forward this year?