I know that I'm going to get a bunch of noses out of joint here, but in my opinion, on the whole, French wine sucks.
First of all, it is way too dry for me. Even the CdP's are too dry for me. I was at a Francophile's house over Christmas -- he handed me a glass of the "good stuff." I drank it, and then asked for something a little fruitier. He then opened something else, and it, too, was dry as a bone.
Next, it is WAY too expensive. The very best Califronia wines run around $175/bottle. The very best French wines run around $1000/bottle. To me, this is not a result of a product that is seven times better. Please!
The really good stuff takes too damned long to be "ready to drink." We can't all have the palate of DRAB, and I'm just not patient enough.
I can't read the labels.
The whole Controllee Appelation mess (whatever the hell you call it) is a joke. Why is it that there are fifth growths that are far better than some of the first growths?
Government control -- bad idea!
I should disclose my bias -- I don't really like French people either. Now, generally speaking, most of the French people who are involved in the wine industry are pretty cool and I'd love to have them over to my house for dinner. But in the final analysis, when I think of French people, I'm thinking they're all a bunch of Jacques Chiracs. Hard to separate my distaste for the French with their wine.
And when it comes right down to it, the taste of the wine just doesn't do it for me. I mean, a nicely aged bordeaux is "fine," but that's really it -- just "fine." I'd rather have a young CaliCab than a six year old Bordeaux. And I'd rather have anything Aussie, an OR or WA pinot, or a Argentinian malbec.
And as G-Dead points out below, French wines are corked 2-3 times more often than California wines.
So -- there it is......