In 2009, some 50 leading wine producers wrote an open letter to President Sarkozy, stating, “Marked by higher alcohol levels, over-sunned aromatic ranges and denser textures, our wines could lose their unique soul. Viticulture will slowly die out as vineyards cross the Channel and head north”.
In response, many French appellations are experimenting with lesser-known varieties that are permitted in and indigenous to their region, in the quest to regain varietal character and expression of terroir. In addition, regions that once excelled in white wine production are moving into reds. Here are some delicious examples, all at 12.5 per cent ABV:
? Roussette de savoie, Bruno Lupin, Frangy, Savoie, 2011
? Rolly Gassmann, Réserve Millésime Sylvaner, Alsace, 2010
? Domaine de Montredon, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc-Roussillon, 2012
? Domaine du Cros Fer servadou, Cuvee Lo Sang del Païs, Marcillac (SW), 2012
?Domaine Guillaume, Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes, Jura, 2010
? Philippe Alliet tradition, Cabernet Franc, Loire, 2010
? Anne Claude Leflaive’s Grolleau, Clau de Nell, Loire, 2011
Find your local merchant using www.wine-searcher.com 
Linda Johnson-Bell  is a US-born, French-raised, award-winning wine critic and author based in London, Oxford and Venice. To learn more about this topic, read Linda’s upcoming book, Wine and Climate Change, to be published by Burford Books, NY  this summer.
From France Today Magazine