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World's Top Local Wines

France

Courtesy of E. Guigal

France

The funky, earthy, Grenache-based wines from the village appellations of the southern Rhône have always been appealing. Increased attention to vineyard practices and new wine-making techniques have raised the quality a notch higher, but prices remain low. Tardieu-Laurent is a négociant (meaning it buys grapes from many sources) that makes wines from throughout the Rhône Valley. Try the fruity red Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Les Becs Fins or the slightly pricier old-vine St.-Péray, Vacqueyras, and Gigondas from the eponymous villages. Look for the 2007 vintage, one of the best in years. —Bruce Schoenfeld

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