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An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France Hardcover


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An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France + The Wines of Burgundy + Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520220935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520220935
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.1 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's extraordinarily detailed, provides a ton of information, and, most importantly, tells it like it is." -- the Quarterly Review of Wines

"Read it and you will never fear those French sommeliers again." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"This is one for the connoisseurs, the serious scholars of fine French wines. An exhaustive survey." -- Associated Press

"This qualifies as a serious gift wine book with its imperial purple jacket alone." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

About the Author

Clive Coates, M.W., was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite by the French government, the Ruffino/Cyril Ray Memorial Prize for his work on Italian wine, and the title of Wine Writer of the Year for 1998/1999 in the Champagne Lanson awards. He has published The Vine, his independent fine wine magazine, since 1985. His books include Claret (1982), Wines of France (1990), Grands Vins: The Finest Chateaux of Bordeaux and their Wines (California, 1995), and Côte D'Or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy (California, 1997), which won the Champagne Veuve Clicquot Prize, the André Simon Award, and the James Beard Award.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Vinophile on March 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Clive Coates is a charming and often acerbic British writer who happily flaunts convention in his monthly wine newsletter by eschewing any form of number rating (no stars, no points, no grades). His ratings are terms like "fine" and "very fine indeed," which may or may not be helpful to many American readers, but there's no doubting his expertise and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, his tone often gets preachy and borders on snobbism though, in some of his other books (especially his valuable tome on Burgundy), the judgements are still precise and well-researched. This book is precise as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far.
By attempting to cover all the wine properties of France, even the best ones are invariably dismissed in a few lines rather than explored in depth (two short paragraphs on Chateau Latour and just one for Chateau Lafite, for rexample). It's the USA Today of wine reporting, and terse, short paragraphs just don't suit Coates' expansive style even if he does award 1-3 stars for key properties.
For the same money, you can get Jancis Robinson's excellent Oxford Companion to Wine, a much better and more detailed reference, or Andrea Immer's exceptional wine course for anyone interested in the basics.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "doctor_rock" on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent encyclopedia of knowledge about French wine. It is personal, of course, but after sampling some of Coates' recommendations I can start to believe in the rest of them and feel it would be a very useful accompaniment on visits to the local wine store! The maps are beautifully simple and, taken together with the book "Terroir" these two books alone will provide an excellent basic library for the understanding of why French wines are (a) the best and (b) why some French wines are better than others!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sebastiano on July 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Clive Coates is rightly considered one of the top experts on the wines of France because, together with Michael Broadbent, he holds the widest tasting experience of its wines, both chronologically and geographically. He also does an excellent job at sharing his great knowledge, through his newsletter (The Vine) and his books.
The Encyclopedia dispenses short but accurate and up-to-date information about all aspects of French wine, from appellations and geografical aspects, to specific wines and domaines. While the book obviously doesn't aim at providing in depth information about every single region and domain it mentions (that would take at least 30 volumes!), it surely is the most accurate introduction to the subject of French wines available today. The content is provided in a very clear and precise manner, the maps are excellent, and Coates' point of view is as usual very reliable, while at the same time absolutely impermeable to fashions and distortions, not to mention plain ignorance, so typical of today's wine journalism.
For those interested in more in depth information, I suggest his beautiful books C'te D'Or and Grands Vins, which focus respectively on Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Definitely an excellent guide for those approaching the subject of French wine, and a must have for serious scholars of French wine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr Benjamin on April 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This provides a good overview of what is a complex system of French wine regions. With so many - over 10,000 wineries - this is a good guide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great basic overview of the wine producing regions of France. The book covers everything from Bordeaux to Savoy and Champagne to Roussillon all in just under 600 pages so some brevity is required, the most comprehensive sections are Bordeaux and Burgundy (which he has written other books on). This book is very helpful for professionals who want to have a better though cursory understanding of the many wine regions of france, the basic differences between Sancerre and Vouvray in the Loire valley for example and also for people who want to get the geography of the Cote du Nuits and the Cote du Beaune correct, this book has helped me recommend wine to people at my place of employment successfully without having personal experience of the wine in question because of Mr. Coates discussion of the Domaines process and the typical style of the appellation. The only thing that holds this book back is the fact that it is nearly fifteen years old and wine has definitely changed in that time.
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